If Alex Smith thought he had it rough against Seahawks ...

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If Alex Smith thought he had it rough against Seahawks ...

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers faced one of the better defenses in the NFL a week ago. And that, more than anything, is the reason the passing game struggled.At least that's the theory of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who pointed to what the Seattle Seahawks have done this season to some strong passing attacks."There are people that expect the same thing over and over again," Smith said Thursday. "That was a good defense we played on Thursday night. We played them on a short week. You look at what they did versus a lot of good quarterbacks this year.REWIND: Alex Smith Q&A -- On his injured finger and his confidence
"Look what they did against Aaron (Rodgers), they beat Tom Brady. Look what they did against (Tony) Romo."Let's look at what the Seahawks' defense against the opposing quarterback through seven games:Week 1 vs. Cardinals: John Skelton 51.0 rating (Seahawks lost 20-16)
Week 2 vs. Cowboys: Tony Romo 74.0 rating (Seahawks won 27-7)
Week 3 vs. Packers: Aaron Rodgers 81.5 rating (Seahawks won 14-12)
Week 4 vs. Rams: Sam Bradford 63.3 rating (Seahawks lost 19-13)
Week 5 vs. Panthers: Cam Newton 56.8 rating (Seahawks won 16-12)
Week 6 vs. Patriots: Tom Brady 79.3 rating (Seahawks won 24-23)
Week 7 vs. 49ers: Alex Smith 74.5 rating (Seahawks lost 13-6)Opposing quarterbacks have a 79.2 passer rating against the Seahawks defense with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.But the 49ers aren't getting any breaks this week, either.On Monday night, the 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals, who feature one of the better pass defenses in the NFL.They feature a good front three, including Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, a strong pass rush of Daryl Washington (six sacks) and O'Brien Schofield (four sacks), cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and William Gay, and experienced safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes.Week 1 vs. Seahawks: Russell Wilson 62.5 rating (Cardinals won 20-16)
Week 2 vs. Patriots: Tom Brady 79.6 rating (Cardinals won 20-18)
Week 3 vs. Eagles: Michael Vick 64.8 rating (Cardinals won 27-6)
Week 4 vs. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill rating (Cardinals won 24-21)
Week 5 vs. Rams: Sam Bradford 69.7 rating (Cardinals lost 17-3)
Week 6 vs. Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick 68.9 rating (Cardinals lost 19-16)
Week 7 vs. Vikings: Christian Ponder 35.5 rating (Cardinals lost 21-14)The Cardinals are on a three-game losing streak, but don't fault the pass defense for those defeats. For the season, opposing quarterbacks have compiled a 67.4 rating with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

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.”