How do 49ers replace Williams, Hunter?


How do 49ers replace Williams, Hunter?

UPDATE: The 49ers on Tuesday afternoon officially placed receiver Kyle Williams and running back Kendall Hunter on injured reserve with season-ending injuries. The 49ers added undrafted rookie running back Jewel Hampton to the 53-man roster. The 49ers currently have one roster spot. The club also signed receiverreturn man Chad Hall to the practice squad.

The 49ers' slot receiverbackup punt returner and No. 2 running back are out for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.
For all the talk that this means for the 49ers' top two draft picks, A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James, it might turn into bigger opportunities for two veteran free-agent pickups: Randy Moss and Brandon Jacobs.Here's what the 49ers must consider as they move into the final five games of the regular season without Kyle Williams and Kendall Hunter.Replacing Williams
The 49ers' three best wide receivers are Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss. Williams was the 49ers' best slot receiver, so when the 49ers went with three wides, Williams was on the field, along with Crabtree and Manningham.NEWS: Kyle Williams to miss rest of season with torn ACL
After Williams' injury on Sunday, the 49ers used three wides on only one play: Manningham was in the slot, with Crabtree and Moss flanked out wide.Moss has 32.5 percent of the 49ers' offensive plays this season. He has been on the field, mostly, when the 49ers go with two backs, two tight ends and one wideout.But it becomes a question of which remaining receiver the 49ers believe is the best in the slot. If the answer is Manningham, then it will mean a lot more playing time for Moss.Manningham showed good short-area quickness when he lined up in the slot in the first half with Frank Gore on the outside. Manningham ran a whip route that left Saints cornerback Jabari Greer scrambling. He turned it into a 40-yard gain.MAIOCCO: 49ers offensive review -- Walker, Manningham deliver
When the 49ers drafted Jenkins with the No. 30 overall pick, they touted his versatility. He spent the summer learning each of the three receiver spots, including the slot. Jenkins has yet to play in a game. And his only chance to make a big contribution now will be to convince the coaching staff that the trio of Crabtree-Manningham-Jenkins is better than Crabtree-Manningham-Moss.With Williams and Hunter out of action, it means that the do not have much of a safety net underneath Ted Ginn in the return game.Cornerback Perrish Cox is the most logical backup as a punt returner. The 49ers signed Chad Hall to the practice squad, and he is an option to be promoted if they need another punt returner.James does not appear ready to return punts in a game, but he is definitely an option behind Ginn on kickoff returns.Replacing Hunter
The 49ers initially reported Hunter's condition as an ankle injury. But team athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson was seen examining Hunter's left Achilles on the sideline Sunday in New Orleans. The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday that Hunter sustained an Achilles tear.REPORT: Kendall Hunter out for remainder of season
This is precisely the reason the 49ers kept Jacobs on the 53-man roster. Hunter was the No. 2 running back behind Frank Gore. He averaged 5.2 yards a carry, and every week his grasp on the backup job became more secure.There was simply no role for Jacobs because he does not play special teams. On most game days, Anthony Dixon was the 49ers' third running back because of his versatility while Jacobs was in street clothes, failing to secure a spot as one of the team's 46 active players.
Dixon has carried 12 times for 48 yards, mostly in mop-up duty, while Jacobs' two snaps on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints were his only times on the playing field this season.Hunter's injury means that the 49ers must decide on another No. 2 running back. Jacobs, an eight-year pro, has the track record. He has averaged 4.5 yards a carry in his career with 56 touchdowns. He is the logical choice to get the bulk of the playing time behind Gore.With Hunter's injury, it's possible that James could be active for the first time this season. It's also possible that James could be used on occasion when quarterback Colin Kaepernick runs those zone-read-option plays. James and Kaepernick worked those plays well during the exhibition season. James had 63 yards on 13 carries (4.8 average) in the preseason.

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.

Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.

Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.

Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:

Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright

* * *

Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.

The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.

But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.

The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.

Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.

The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.

Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. 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.