Haggans eager to find way to fit into 49ers' picture

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Haggans eager to find way to fit into 49ers' picture

SANTA CLARA -- Veteran outside linebackers Parys Haralson and Clark Haggans might not ever be on the same field together. But they both made it into the official 49ers team photo, which was shot Tuesday.As Haralson departs for the season -- he is on injured reserve after undergoing season-ending surgery for a torn triceps in his left arm -- Haggans is getting prepared to take his place.Haggans got in a workout around the lunch hour and still dripping with sweat, he put on his No. 51 jersey and went out to the practice field behind the 49ers' team complex for the team picture.REWIND: 49ers finalize deal with Clark Haggans
The Arizona Cardinals released Haggans, a 12-year pro, on Friday. The 49ers signed him to a contract on Sunday. The deal was announced Monday and he spoke with the media on Tuesday:"Did you know the 49ers had a need at outside linebacker?
Haggans: "No idea. Happy to be here. I had no clue. Just right now, getting into the playbook and getting to know my teammates and my coaches and all that, and workout and routine."What was your impression of the 49ers, seeing them this season with this new regime?
Haggans: "They're a physical team, blue collar, work hard. All the success they had last year, obviously earned. And happy to be a part of it.On whether the 49ers fit his style:
Haggans: "In and out of the weight room. Running after practice. Film study. And try to play football with effort."What kind of adjustment is it for you?
Haggans: "The terminology is different. A lot of the techniques are the same. Just been here since Sunday in the class room with my coaches and coach Vic. So just trying to absorb as much as I can and be as spongy as possible, and take it from there." Haggans faces a possible NFL suspension after serving jail time in June, stemming from an April 2011 DUI in Arizona. In a statement issued through his agent, Jeff Sperbeck, Haggans said he had been drinking at a concert when he received an urgent phone call from his babysitter, who said his 5-year-old daughter was having trouble breathing. Unable to quickly find his wife, Haggans drove him. He was pulled over after running a red light. Sperbeck is scheduled to speak on Haggans' behalf during a hearing Wednesday with the NFL.
How much does the uncertainty over a possible NFL suspension weigh on your mind?
Haggans: "Right now, I'm just leaving it up to my agent and staying ready. Obviously, I'm going to play some time. Just leaving it up to my agent and see what happens from there, see what happens with the NFL and take it from there."Do you expect to play Sunday?
Haggans: "I don't know. I got my cell phone. It's on. I made sure I paid my bill. It works. When I get the news, either way, I just got to be ready for it."Will you talk to commissioner Roger Goodell?
Haggans: "My agent is on it right now. Right now, I'd just say I'm on a need-to-know basis to see what's going to transpire for the next hours to days up to, I don't know, the end of the month or so. As soon as I hear, I'll let you all know."Are you optimistic that the circumstances surrounding your DUI will work in your favor?
Haggans: "The circumstances were the circumstances. I had to do what I had to do as a father. It's on them. I'm not the one making the call. I'm the one who's got to be ready either way and be prepared."How do you expect to be used in the 49ers' scheme?
Haggans: "I'll find out today when we start practice. Be ready. It's unfortunate what happened to Parys. Wherever they see me playing, if they need me to long snap or kick, fill up the water bottles. . . "What have you done in the past?
Haggans: "I was mostly on the left. Played the right. Earlier in career, play the right. You always. I've been back and forth. I've been in a 3-4 defense a long time. So a lot of the techniques are the same. Getting used to the terminology, my eyes and the footwork. I was fortunate to have had a training camp. So as far as being in game shape and all that, I'm still working toward that. I'm going to dive into the playbook as much as I can and take it from there."Does being a 12-year veteran help you adjust?
Haggans: "I hope so. There's a lot that's gone in, and I'm trying to take in as much as I can."

49ers' first pre-draft visit: Alabama LB Foster

49ers' first pre-draft visit: Alabama LB Foster

PHOENIX – Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster was the first of the 49ers’ 30 pre-draft visits to the team’s Santa Clara facility.

Team general manager John Lynch said the club has already met with Foster, an expected first-round draft pick and the likely top inside linebacker available in the draft.

“We brought in Reuben Foster,” Lynch said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. “He came in, and we had a nice visit with him.”

Foster (6 foot, 229 pounds) was a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. He won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. Foster had a controversial trip to the NFL scouting combine. He was sent home after allegedly getting into a confrontation with a hospital worker in Indianapolis.

“I think that’s why you do those things,” Lynch said. “You try to gather information, and react and make decisions accordingly. And so that’s why these things are valuable.”

York, Shanahan and the question of whether to 'bro hug'

York, Shanahan and the question of whether to 'bro hug'

PHOENIX – Without officially offering Kyle Shanahan the job at the conclusion of the 49ers’ second meeting with the then-Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, CEO Jed York said he made it clear what he was thinking.

And that led to an awkward moment late on the evening of Jan. 27 after 49ers executives Paraag Marathe and Brian Hampton, who were present during the interview, left York alone with the man who would become head coach.

“I let him know, very, very clearly that he was at the very top end of our list,” York said on the 49ers Insider Podcast from the NFL owners meetings.

"And it was one of those situations where we kind of shook hands and it was one of those things . . . Do you bro hug here? Do you not bro hug? What do you do? And I wanted to kind of play it cool so (we) didn't do the bro hug right then.

“But it was clear that we had a chemistry and a connection and that the 49ers mean something to Kyle. I mean, some of his formative years, being with his dad when we won our last Super Bowl -- it means something to him.”

Mike Shanahan, Kyle’s father, served as George Seifert’s offensive coordinator during the 49ers’ championship season of 1994. Shanahan became the head coach of the Denver Broncos shortly after the 49ers’ victory over the San Diego Chargers in the Super Bowl.

Mike Shanahan was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching openings when Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly were hired, York said. Kyle Shanahan could have re-joined his dad as offensive coordinator with a succession plan to eventually take over as head coach. The 49ers were also interested in hiring Kyle Shanahan to Tomsula’s staff in 2015. Instead, Shanahan decided to become offensive coordinator on Dan Quinn’s staff with the Atlanta Falcons.

Although the 49ers officially hired general manager John Lynch before finalizing the deal with Shanahan after the Super Bowl, the decision was made to hire Shanahan before Lynch became a candidate for the position to replace Trent Baalke.

The 49ers have not invested in big-money free agents, but the club has been considerably more active in free agency this offseason with the signings of such players as quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, receivers Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson, defensive lineman Earl Mitchell and linebacker Malcolm Smith. The 49ers also acquired Pro Bowl center Jeremy Zuttah in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens.

“Obviously, with a 2-14 team, you need to turn some things over and start building the identity that your coach and general manager really want,” York said. “I think that’s what this free agency was all about.”

The immediate aftermath of the season was also about York admitting mistakes and making the moves he believes can turn around the franchise. After the 49ers parted ways with Jim Harbaugh following an 8-8 season in 2014, the club lost many of its veteran leaders and plummeted to the depths of the NFL with records of 5-11 and 2-14 under Tomsula and Kelly.

“My approach is always, be aggressive,” York said. “Try to shoot for the stars. I don’t want to be a 9-7 team. That’s just not what I’m aiming to do. And if you make mistakes, make them quickly, learn from them and move on. And I think we certainly made mistakes with our last two hires.

“I think Kyle is going to be a great addition to this team and to this franchise and somebody we can build around for the next, you know, 10, 20, 30 years. And that’s what I really want to do. The more you can stay stable and the more you can have the same people running your organization, the better chance you can have for long-term sustained success. . . . And I think we have the right people to build this franchise from the football perspective.”