49ers notes: Secondary spots unsettled for opener

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49ers notes: Secondary spots unsettled for opener

Sept. 6, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Safety Dashon Goldson said he is battling a sore knee that makes his availability for the 49ers' season opener against the Seattle Seahawks in question.Goldson said he sustained the injury last week in practice. He is not wearing a brace on his knee, but he said he could not have played in the exhibition finale Thursday night in San Diego even if it were a regular-season game.Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he is not sure who will start Sunday in the 49ers' defensive backfield alongside strong safety Donte Whitner .Veteran Madieu Williams is listed as the 49ers' second free safety behind Goldson. Reggie Smith was atop the depth chart before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Aug. 8 -- the same day the 49ers re-signed Goldson to a one-year contract. Smith is expected to return to practice this week.
Cornerback Shawntae Spencer is also expected to return to practice and could be available for some play time Sunday against the Seahawks. However, Tarell Brown
and Carlos Rogers are expected to start at the cornerback spots."We'll see how he feels and how he reacts to getting back out there," Fangio said of Spencer. "He hasn't done anything football-wise in over four weeks."That would be a tall task for him to come back this soon and play a full game. Maybe he can come back and play parts of it. That remains to be seen or to be determined day to day."Spencer sustained a left hamstring strain in practice July 31. He tried to return to the practice field on Aug. 14, but aggravated the injury.Wideout watch: Receiver Michael Crabtree is expected to return to practice this week, but his availability for Sunday's game remains in question. Crabtree sustained a fractured left foot and underwent surgery prior to training camp.Crabtree was removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list and caught passes in warmups last week. Currently, the 49ers have three receivers listed as starters on the depth chart: Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn Jr. and Braylon Edwards .The league has yet to announce whether Edwards will be suspended at the start of the season, stemming from his guilty plea of a DWI charge. A league spokesman told CSNBayArea.com that the matter is still "under review."
Crabtree has started 26 of the 27 games in which he has appeared in his two-year career. His only non-start was last year against Denver when the 49ers opened with a two-tight end formation. Crabtree entered for the second play of the game.Outside linebacker rotation: Rookie outside linebacker Aldon Smith, the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, is expected to be used as a pass-rush specialist. Ahmad Brooks and Parys Haralson will be the starters, Fangio confirmed."He'll be a part of our rotation outside," Fangio said of Smith. "Putting a number on that will be hard. But he'll definitely be a part of the rotation."New numbers: After the final cuts, several 49ers players ended up with new uniform numbers. Receiver Braylon Edwards claimed No. 17, the number he wore each for his first six NFL seasons with Cleveland and the New York Jets
The others to change numbers: center Jonathan Goodwin is No. 59, defensive lineman Will Tukuafu is No. 92 and defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs is No. 96.Quarterback Scott Tolzien is No. 3, and inside linebacker Tavares Gooden was issued No. 56.Tolzien wore No. 16 during his career at Wisconsin and during his five weeks with the San Diego Chargers. Of course, the 49ers have retired No. 16 in honor of Joe Montana."I said, 'I want No. 16,'" Tolzien said. "And they said, 'No you can't.' And I said, 'No, I want No. 16!"
Of course, Tolzien was merely joking with 49ers equipment manager Steve Urbaniak.

Adam Gase sets the record straight: Trent Baalke hired Jim Tomsula

Adam Gase sets the record straight: Trent Baalke hired Jim Tomsula

Two years ago, it appeared as if Adam Gase would be hired to replace Jim Harbaugh as 49ers head coach.

But on a day in which Gase was hopeful of receiving good news, he heard from then-general manager Trent Baalke that Jim Tomsula had gotten the job.

Gase, who recently completed his first season as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, spoke candidly Wednesday on CSNBayArea.com’s “49ers Insider Podcast” to set the record straight on what occurred in mid-January 2015.

At the beginning of Gase's first interview with Baalke, 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe, and co-chair John York, it was made clear to him that Baalke was responsible for the decision.

“I knew that Trent was the final decision-maker in San Francisco heading into the interview process,” Gase said. “When we first met, when it was all four in there, that was explained to me from the get-go, that Trent ran the organization, as far as who’s getting hired for the head-coaching job. I knew that going in.”

Gase went through a second marathon interview with only Baalke, the day before the decision was made, he recalled.

“I felt like I was in good position heading into that next day,” Gase said. “I did know it was down to two of us. . . It was down to Jim and myself. I felt like going into that morning, I had a good shot. I felt like my interview went really well. But until you get that call from the GM, nothing’s ever 100 percent.

“So heading into that morning, I felt good about it. But never got that final word. The last call I got was they hired Jim. I really felt we had a great meeting and felt that I was in a good position. It went the other way.”

Next season, the 49ers will have their fourth head coach in four years. Tomsula was fired at the end of a 5-11 season. The 49ers fired Baalke and coach Chip Kelly after the club’s 2-14 season. The club is now expected to announce Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as head coach after the Falcons’ season has concluded. 

Things have worked out well for Gase, who spent one season as Chicago’s offensive coordinator before earning the Miami job. The Dolphins went 10-6 in Gase’s first season and advanced to the playoffs for just the second time in the past 15 seasons.

Gase said he was never offered the 49ers job two years ago. And when asked if he was told he had to promote Tomsula as defensive coordinator, Gase answered, “I don’t remember that being a conversation. We spit-balled a lot of different scenarios of how we were going about putting a staff together.”

Gase said he would have been inclined to retain a number of 49ers assistant coaches from Jim Harbaugh’s final staff because he already knew some of those individuals.

“It’s not as easy to get coaches as you think, because guys get locked into contracts," Gase said. "I was always told when I went into these interviews, ‘Don’t promise something you can’t come through with.’ Because you can’t control some of these things. You kind of have to have an idea of who’s available to get out of their contract or who’s up on their contracts.

“It looked like there were going to be some holdovers based on the relationships I had with a lot of those guys. It was really just trying to figure out what was the best fit for the entire group at that time.”

In a conference call with Bay Area reporters prior to the Dolphins’ November game against the 49ers, Gase confirmed Tomsula offered him the position of offensive coordinator with the 49ers. Gase turned it down to work with his previous head coach, John Fox, with the Bears.

Gase said one of the elements of working for the 49ers that attracted him to the job was the opportunity to reconnect with Jed York and Marathe, whom he got to know during his season as an assistant coach in 2008.

“I wanted to find a way to be a part of what they had really got going on there,” Gase said. “The main reason was because of Jed. I wanted to do whatever I could to help him. And felt like he knew I’d be invested in that organization because between Jed and Paraag, my relationship with them was really good with them when I was there previously. That’s why I was heavily interested in getting that job because I wanted to do something to help those guys. With them there, that was very positive for me.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn shares past experience with Kyle Shanahan

Falcons coach Dan Quinn shares past experience with Kyle Shanahan

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn went through two years ago what his offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is experiencing now.

Quinn, who was the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator at the time, was the presumptive next coach of the Falcons while he prepared to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.

One day after the Seahawks’ 28-24 loss to the Patriots, Quinn was announced as Falcons head coach.

The 49ers are expected to formally make an offer to Shanahan after the Falcons’ season is over, and Shanahan is “almost certain” to accept, the NFL Network reported. Atlanta plays host to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

“I definitely have shared insight with him as he was going through the process for him,” Quinn said of Shanahan on Wednesday during a press conference.

But Quinn referred all other questions about Shanahan’s likely hiring as the next 49ers coach to the Bay Area. The 49ers will be able to hold a second interview with Shanahan next week, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game. The 49ers’ first interview with Shanahan was Jan. 5. He was allowed to interview the first time because the Falcons were on the playoff bye week as the NFC’s No. 2 seed.

“I know it’s for sure out there, (but it’s) definitely not our story to tell,” Quinn said. “They (the 49ers) will for sure reach out to (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and to the organization and there will be a window for them if they’d like to visit with him for next week. But that’s really where it’s at, and there’s nothing left to do until then.

“That’s the way it’s designed from the league. You have your window and then that one closes for a while, and then there’s another one and you’re able to talk. From there, that’s why you’re able to lock back in and do what we’re doing. That’s where I am with that.”