Shanahan clinical in explaining what set up deep pass

Shanahan clinical in explaining what set up deep pass

SANTA CLARA – In the meeting rooms at team headquarters, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has impressed players with his ability to dissect a play from the perspective of both the offense and defense.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer is accustomed to Shanahan’s clinical explanation of what makes a play succeed or fail from their time together with the Cleveland Browns in 2014. In those days, Shanahan spoke only to one side of the ball as the offensive coordinator.

Now, as head coach, Shanahan stands in front of the entire team. Veteran players – on both sides of the ball -- have expressed amazement with Shanahan’s level of detail.

“I remember I was sitting right there in that seat and (linebacker) Dekoda Watson was right next to me and we went over our running play for about 10 minutes and Kyle just talked about gap scheme and which players defended for that,” Hoyer said. “And Dekoda was like ‘Man, I never even knew that. I was just out there playing. I just do what my coaches told me to do.’ To see it explained that way, it was really cool for me to see him respond to him that way.”

On Saturday, Shanahan gave the media a glimpse of his ability to break down a play when NBC Sports Bay Area asked him the elements that enabled wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to get open down the field for a long touchdown pass from Hoyer.

“It was a zone coverage,” Shanahan said. “We motioned to it. You have a safety as a curl-flat player and you have a linebacker as a hook player and when you motion empty they have to switch, and so they change two quick responsibilities and we snap it and they communicate and if, when you talk to someone for half a second and you have a 4.3 (speed) guy in the slot and he’s gone, you can’t hesitate. He’s wide open.

“So it’s just about going, being fast and changing a little bit of your formation and watching two defensive guys talk. That’s why you’ve got to walk-through so much. That’s why you’ve got to rep. It happens fast and when you want to change something, if there’s any hesitation, they can make you pay.”

Shanahan said it was a great for experience for coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense to see that particular play and get a valuable practice rep so the adjustment can be made quicker in the future and the mistake avoided in an actual game.

“Great route,” Shanahan said. “It’s perfect, and if we wouldn’t have had that play called, they would have never saw that and then people are like, ‘No, you’ve got to communicate. Great.’ Yeah, we got it. You don’t really know until you can make them pay and now they know, ‘Yeah, Saleh’s right. We do have to communicate pretty fast.’ What if they had that called? So those are the things you hope for for both sides of the ball. Makes the offense feels good, but I guarantee the next time we do that formation of play, they’ll cover it.”

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers


Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.