49ers Mailbag: Offense nears NFL record

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49ers Mailbag: Offense nears NFL record

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' defense is one game away from setting an NFL record for fewest rushing touchdowns allowed in a season.But the San Francisco offense is also on the verge of carving out a spot in the NFL record book, too.The 49ers have not committed a turnover in the past 18 quarters. They have committed only 10 turnovers this season. If they make it through Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams without giving the ball away, the 49ers will tie the NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season.The New England Patriots set the mark last year with 10. The 1982 Kansas City Chiefs committed 12 turnovers.And that leads us into our first question from the 49ers Mailbag . . .

Do you think the offense will open up during the playoffs? (Mike Brown Sr.)
If that occurs, something will have gone terribly wrong for the 49ers, and their playoff stay will be a short one.After 15 games, it's very apparent what works for the 49ers. And a wide-open, spread-'em-out, throw-the-ball-around-the-field approach is not the formula.Quarterback Alex Smith is not going to be throwing for 350 yards a game in the playoffs. But what he can do is to continue to do what he has done this season. He's been one of the best in league history at avoiding turnovers.Smith has thrown five interceptions and lost just two fumbles on the season. The 49ers lead the NFL with a plus-26 turnover margin.Do you ever envision the defense switching to a 4-3 to utilize the strengths of Aldon Smith and get him on the field more? (Shawn Joseph)
No, because I think the 49ers believe that Aldon Smith is eventually going to be better-suited to standing up as an outside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has a long history in the 3-4 defense, so he's not going to change overnight.And where the 49ers really succeeded this season was allowing Smith to ease into the transition. The coaches had him concentrate as a rookie on rushing the passer as a defensive end. During practices and some game situations, he worked on his techniques as an outside linebacker, too. He played 10 snaps of outside linebacker last week against Seattle when Ahmad Brooks was out with an elbow injury.Look for Smith to start next season as outside linebacker. Brooks is a free agent, so his return is not guaranteed. But if Brooks is back, there's a strong chance Smith would take over for Parys Haralson as the every-down guy.Any word on Carlos Rogers and Dashon Goldson deals for next season? (David Caracas)
Nothing is going to happen until after the season. Carlos Rogers and Dashon Goldson are likely to hit the open market. Both are going to be looking for the kind of free-agent love that they did not get a year ago.Hey, let's face it, Rogers and Goldson were very disappointed with what occurred in free agency. Rogers signed a one-year contract after looking for a lucrative multi-year deal. Goldson was said to be looking for "Eric Weddle money." Their stock is high right now.Both Rogers and Goldson want to remain with the 49ers. But the 49ers are trying to follow the mold of the New England Patriots -- a franchise that does not regularly compete with the over-spenders in the league. Rogers and Goldson might have to make sacrifices to return to the 49ers.I think there's a better chance Goldson re-signs. If Rogers leaves, the 49ers feel pretty good about Tarell Brown and Chris Cullliver as the starters with Tramaine Brock as the No. 3. Then, they can add a Carlos Rogers-esque veteran who slips through the cracks while also investing a draft pick in a corner, too.

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

The 49ers reportedly continue to pursue Gus Bradley to serve as defensive coordinator on presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

The 49ers have increased their offer to Bradley, Mike Siliver of the NFL Network reported on Friday. Bradley wanted to work with Tom Cable, according to the report.

Cable interviewed with the 49ers on Sunday but removed his name from consideration on Tuesday after he and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner sensed their 49ers’ interest in them intended to receive a commitment from Shanahan, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Bradley served as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks from 2009 to ’12. In Bradley’s final season on Pete Carroll’s staff, Seattle ranked first in the NFL in points allowed and fourth in total yards.

Bradley became head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. His teams went 14-48 before he was fired with two games remaining in the season.

The 49ers this week inquired with the Chicago Bears about the possibility of bringing back Vic Fangio to the organization to serve as defensive coordinator. The 49es were informed, according to a source, that the Bears would not let Fangio out of his contract. Fangio was the defensive coordinator for all four seasons with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh.

Report: Jim Tomsula interviews for Saints DL job

Report: Jim Tomsula interviews for Saints DL job

Former 49ers coach Jim Tomsula reportedly interviewed this week for the New Orleans Saints’ defensive line job.

Tomsula, 48, who was fired as head coach of the 49ers after a 5-11 record in 2015, spent last season out of the football. He interviewed with Saints coach Sean Payton to replace fired line coach Bill Johnson, the Alex Marvez of The Sporting News reported, citing two sources.

Tomsula was hired as head coach to replace Jim Harbaugh after the 49ers announced a “mutual parting” with Harbaugh following the team’s 8-8 season of 2014.

Tomsula was well-regarded as the organization’s defensive line coach from 2007 to ’14.