Harbaugh protecting 49ers' young talent

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Harbaugh protecting 49ers' young talent

SANTA CLARA -- Practices for 49ers rookies and selected veterans this week are closed to the media. And coach Jim Harbaugh has a reason for keeping his evaluations to himself.Following the team's workout Tuesday, while making small talk, Harbaugh asked which players we were interviewing. Then, I asked Harbaugh if there were any "under the radar" players I should be interviewing. He told me he would rather not disclose which players have impressed him.
The 49ers have 90 players on their roster. They must trim 37 players from their roster for the start of the regular season. Then, they can add eight of those waived players to their practice squad.Among the players who could generate some interest around the league if they fail to land spots on the 49ers' roster are safety Michael Thomas, quarterback Scott Tolzien, and a group of receivers that includes Nathan Palmer, Chris Owusu and Brian Tyms."There are a lot of guys out here who are impressive," 49ers second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. "Obviously, they're out here for a reason: They can play football. So I think the coaches are going to have a tough time when it comes to making cuts."There are a lot of receivers I like, fast and agile. I really don't want to get into naming names."Harbaugh appears genuinely excited about the crop of young players the 49ers have in camp. And, obviously, the organization does not want to see any of that promising talent end up with another team.Once the veterans report to camp, their practices are required to be open to the media. Because of stadium construction around the team's practice facility, only one practice is scheduled to be open to the general public (Aug. 12 at Candlestick Park).Here's the roster of 49ers rookies and selected veterans who are taking part in the practices prior to the arrival of the veterans:Quarterbacks
1-Josh Johnson
3-Scott Tolzien
7-Colin Kaepernick
11-Alex SmithRunning backs
23-LaMichael James
33-Jewel Hampton
44-Cameron Bell
Wide receivers
9-Brian Tyms
17-A.J. Jenkins
19-Ted Ginn
81-Chris Owusu
89-Nathan PalmerTight ends
46-Delanie Walker
47-Kyle Nelson
48-Garrett Celek
88-Konrad ReulandOffensive linemen
60-Garrett Chisolm
61-Chase Beeler
62-Jason Slowey
65-Al Netter
66-Joe Looney
68-David Gonzales
69-Kenny Wiggins
71-Derek HallDefensive linemen (10)
63-Tony Jerod-Eddie
69-Patrick Butrym
71-Matthew MasifiloLinebackers
44-Eric Bakhtiari
48-Kourtnei Brown
50-Cam Johnson
51-Joe Holland
57-Michael Wilhoite
58-Darius FlemingDefensive backs
23-Cory Nelms
30-Trenton Robinson
32-Darcel McBath
33-Anthony Mosley
35-Ben Hannula
35-Mark LeGree
36-Michael Thomas
40-Deante PurvisSpecialists
5-Giorgio Tavecchio-Placed on activephysically unable to perform list
-Placed on activenon-football injury list
Players placed on either list count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated at any time prior to the final cuts of training camp.NOTE: All quarterbacks and players who were rehabbing injuries in the offseason are eligible to report early. That list includes Ginn (knee), Walker (knee) and McBath (arm).

49ers announce more hires to Shanahan's staff

49ers announce more hires to Shanahan's staff

Kyle Shanahan put together some of the final pieces of his coaching staff on Tuesday.

The 49ers announced the hirings of seven coaches, including confirmation of John Benton as offensive line coach.

The team hired former NFL standout linebacker DeMeco Ryans as defensive quality control coach. He was a second-round selection of the Houston Texans in 2006 and spent 10 seasons in the league. He finished his career playing four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 49ers also hired Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, Stan Kwan as assistant special teams, Vince Oghobaase as assistant defensive line, Adam Stenavich as assistant offensive line, and Michael Clay as strength and conditioning assistant.

Benton, 53, was hired away from the Broncos after being on the job for approximately a month. Benton served as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach last season. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Benton and Shanahan worked together for four seasons with the Houston Texans.

Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.

John Lynch: 49ers will be up-front with Kaepernick

John Lynch: 49ers will be up-front with Kaepernick

The only promises new 49ers general manager John Lynch made quarterback Colin Kaepernick for this offseason are open communication and honesty.

Kaepernick has spent all six of his NFL seasons with the 49ers after being a second-round draft pick in 2011. He has started 58 of the 49ers’ past 71 regular-season games.

Kaepernick has the contractual ability to opt out of his contract in March. If he does not, it seems likely the 49ers would release him – even if they want him back – to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay for the 2017 season.

“The one thing we will do very well with Kap is we’ll communicate,” Lynch said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. “And I think that’s very important for both sides. Like everything else, that process is well in the works. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll be very up-front with him, in terms of what we’re thinking and we’ll want to know what he’s thinking, as well.”

Lynch said he developed trust and a good rapport with Kaepernick during the time when the 49ers were among the top teams in the NFL. Lynch was a broadcaster for FOX-TV and had occasion to meet with Kaepernick multiple times during production meetings.

“Every time we talk about Kap, I think of the guy who was in the Super Bowl not too (long ago),” Lynch said. “Things happen in guys’ careers. Injuries happen. Different things happen.”

Kaepernick began last season as the backup to Blaine Gabbert. After regaining his starting role in Week 6, Kaepernick put together his best season since 2013 – his first full season as a starter.

Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 90.7, and he added 468 yards rushing.

Lynch said he and coach Kyle Shanahan have been evaluating the players on the 49ers’ roster. The other three quarterbacks on the roster – Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis – are not under contract for next season.

“Like we said we would – and like we told Kap we would – we’re assessing everything,” Lynch said. “Both Kyle and I believe wholeheartedly that position is the most-important position in football.

“From every side of this thing, we’re evaluating. And we’re continuing to watch the film. We’ll continue to work toward that until we have made a decision.”