Sept. 11, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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EDITOR'S NOTE: As fans, what goes through your mind during the playing of the National Anthem? Click on the comment link above to share your thoughts. Thank you.
SAN FRANCISCO -- When recording star Brian McKnight performs "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday before the 49ers-Seahawks game, it is bound to stir up a flurry of emotions throughout the stadium.The ritual playing of the National Anthem means different things to different people. On the 10th anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks, thoughts and memories will swirl like the winds at Candlestick Park.Tough guy Alex Boone, a 6-foot-8, 300-pound backup offensive tackle for the 49ers, freely admits he often gets emotional during the song.
"I had a brother who fought in Iraq, so there's a lot that goes through my mind," Boone said. "I'm thankful for all those guys over there, doing what they do. I'm thankful for my brother and thankful he came home alive. I'm thankful to be doing what I'm doing."Sometimes I get emotional when a plane flies over. At Ohio State, we used to have the F-16s fly over some times and I'd get teary-eyed. It also depends on how good the singer is, too."
Boone referenced Sydney Shalhoob, an 11-year-old from Santa Barbara. She performed a spectacular rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the 49ers' exhibition game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 27."Unbelievable. Tears in my eyes," Boone said. "In times like that, I'm just thankful to be here. And thankful for all those guys over there."Here is what some other 49ers said about what goes through their minds during the playing of the National Anthem:"I look at the flag, making sure the team is looking sharp and standing straight and concentrating on that -- respecting the flag and the National Anthem. That's what's going through my head."
-- Coach Jim Harbaugh"It's right before a game, but I try to put things in perspective about the sacrifices others made so I can get to play football on Sundays. I think about the Stars and Stripes and all the wars that were fought to protect our freedom."
-- Quarterback Alex Smith"You just always have that in the back of your mind about what happened in New York. There are a lot of thoughts running through your mind. I think it'll be really emotional."
-- Fullback Moran Norris"Usually, I'm usually paying attention to who's singing and whether they can sing or not. I've already gone through my thoughts about the game in the locker room and I'm ready to play. Sunday is going to be something new. I'm on a new team with a different coach."
-- Cornerback Carlos Rogers"It's going to be remembrance of what happened in New York. It'll be more emotional than usual. I just think about God giving me the chance to live on."
-- Cornerback Tramaine Brock"I usually think about all the past games we had and things that have happened in the past. It's a calm moment to reflect on different things. I think 911 will be on everybody's mind."
-- Safety Reggie Smith"You can only think about what happened that day, 911, and all the brave men and women who fought for us, and think about the firefighters and police departments who contributed to helping people on that day for this country. On 911, it's a little more special and a little more meaningful. For me, I look at the how the guys across the way (on the opponent's sideline) respect the song. If those guys aren't into it, I know they aren't focused. Their demeanor shows a lot about whether they're ready to play."
-- Receiver Braylon Edwards"I usually try to clear my mind and relax and take in the moment. It's usually a time I try to calm myself for the game. It's a pretty significant day. I played in New York the year after that happened, and we used to stay in a Marriott right next to Ground Zero the night before games. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years, so it'll probably be a emotional time."
-- Center Jonathan Goodwin
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:
2017 49ERS COACHING STAFF
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
* * *
2016 49ERS COACHING STAFF
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
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.