Maiocco: Nothing easy about Smith-49ers union

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Maiocco: Nothing easy about Smith-49ers union

June 2, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comThe Alex Smith-49ers union has lasted six forgettable seasons. The highlight came in Year 2 when the 49ers surprisingly put together a 7-9 record, and things appeared moving in the right direction for Smith and the organization.Then, two years were wasted because of injuries to Smith's throwing shoulder. Prior to 2008, then-49ers general manager Scot McCloughan stated that Smith would not return in 2009 unless he finished that season as the clear-cut starter.Smith spent that season on injured reserve. Yet, when many believed at that point the 49ers and Smith should part ways, the sides reached agreement on a two-year deal that included a sizable pay cut.

RELATED: Alex Smith career stats
He remained healthy the past two seasons, and his statistical play showed incremental improvements. But there were no improvements to the 49ers' win-loss record. And when Smith's contract expired at the end of the season, he was admittedly ready to leave town.But circumstances always have a way of working together to make sure Smith and the 49ers remain together.This time, the owners-imposed lockout and coach Jim Harbaugh's offer of a playbook on the day the lockout briefly lifted on April 29 convinced Smith that the right thing for him to do was to give it another shot.Yes, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 draft will be back with the 49ers after the lockout lifts.RELATED: NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement page
"It would have been easier, to go to a new place, a fresh start, and maybe I should have," Smith told reporters from the San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Bee on Wednesday. "But at this point, I'm happy with where I'm at and really attempting to be about something different in this league."It's unprecedented that a No. 1 overall pick remains with the organization that drafted him after such a sketchy first six seasons. It's amazing the 49ers have stuck with him. And it's even more improbable that Smith -- despite hearing loud boos last season -- decided to remain.After all, the easy thing for Smith would be to run away and close this chapter of his professional career."Nothing against decisions that other guys have made in the past, (but) I feel like it's such an easy way out," Smith said. "I don't know of any other guy that has ever attempted to do what I'm doing.If there's anything that I feel like I stand for as a person, not even a football player, it's that."

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.”