Willie Mays visits Harbaugh, 49ers

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Willie Mays visits Harbaugh, 49ers

SANTA CLARA -- Jim Harbaugh's mind was on baseball Wednesday afternoon.About 30 minutes after his formal session with the media, Harbaugh entered the 49ers' locker room from the team's lunch room. He was in a particularly good mood, as he ate a hot dog and asked at least three reporters, "Why aren't you at the (Oakland Athletics) game today?"Then, Harbaugh and several reporters spoke about batting mechanics, invoking the teachings of the late Charley Lau.
Baseball was the topic of the day because of a visitor scheduled to attend 49ers practice later in the day: Hall of Famer and sporting icon Willie Mays, generally considered the greatest living ballplayer.
Big treat for the @49ers today at practice. Honored to meet Willie MaysSFUnite twitter.comJedYorkstatus Jed York (@JedYork) October 4, 2012Two weeks ago, Harbaugh made it known that he wanted to meet the San Francisco Giants great."I don't want anything from him," Harbaugh said of Mays. "I just want to go up to him and shake his hand and tell him that me and my dad think that he's the greatest baseball player in the history of the game. That's all I want."Harbaugh got that opportunity on Wednesday. Mays arrived near the end of the 49ers' practice, a team spokesman confirmed to CSNBayArea.com. The 49ers' practices are closed to the media.Harbaugh introduced Mays to the team. Mays spoke for a few minutes and told the team he would autograph anything they wanted.Last week, football Hall of Famer Jim Brown visited the 49ers at their team hotel just outside of Youngstown, Ohio.Just met Willie Mays. Very pumped. For sure got an auto Joe Staley (@jstaley74) October 3, 2012The Great Willie Mays just told us we won't live that long. lolOh.. And he signed my thumb protector thing. lockerz.coms250024426 Bam Davis(@BamDavis76) October 3, 2012

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.”