Baalke: Aldon Smith will be every-down player

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Baalke: Aldon Smith will be every-down player

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 49ers kept Aldon Smith's role simple during his rookie season.Smith was listed as an outside linebacker. But, in reality, did not play that position. Instead, the 49ers used Smith almost exclusively as a defensive end to rush the passer in nickel situations.This season, Smith can expect a large increase in his playing time. And he will be a true outside linebacker in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme.General manager Trent Baalke was asked Thursday morning whether Smith will be an every-down player in 2012."Huh," he said laughing. "Yeah. I think that's safe to say. Yes."RELATED: Aldon Smith 2011 game logs
Last season, veteran Parys Haralson played right outside linebacker on base downs to mostly defend the run. Smith replaced him at right defensive end when the 49ers went with a four-man line in passing situations.On the other side, Ahmad Brooks started at left outside linebacker and moved to left defensive end in pass-rush situations. Brooks is not signed for next season. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on March 13.RELATED: Ahmad Brooks' replacement is already on 49ers' rosterBaalke reflected back on the evaluation of Aldon Smith from a year ago at the NFL scouting combine. The 49ers selected Smith with the No. 7 overall pick, and he led all rookies with 14 sacks in the regular season."We were very high on Aldon from the first time we put on the film," Baalke said. "I can say that with no reservations. He was a guy who on film told us everything we needed to know about him physically. Then, it was just getting to know him better and finding out the wiring, the character, the makeup of the individual.RELATED: Q&A with 49ers GM Trent Baalke from NFL combine
"There are a lot of guys who have the physical talent to play and play well in the National Football League but, for whatever reason, they don't. And it usually comes back to their wiring."

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.

Source: Gutekunst remains with Packers, withdraws from 49ers' GM race

Source: Gutekunst remains with Packers, withdraws from 49ers' GM race

Green Bay executive Brian Gutekunst, who was widely considered a favorite for the 49ers’ vacant general manager position, has decided to remain with the Packers, a source confirmed Friday morning.

Gutekunst has signed a new contract to remain with the Packers, as ESPN and the NFL Network first reported.

Gutekunst, 43, is in his 18th season with Green Bay and his first as director of player personnel. He interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 5.

Gutekunst becomes the second Packers executive in two days to withdraw from consideration for the 49ers job. On Thursday, director of football operations Eliot Wolf decided to remain with Green Bay with a new title and an increase in salary. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wolf withdrew his name from consideration when it became apparent he would not get the job.

The race for the general manager position appears to be down to two known candidates: Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton and Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough. One source described the situation as "fluid."

Two years ago, Paton and Falcons coach Dan Quinn, the boss of presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, were reportedly connected as part of a possible general manager-coach team. Paton and Quinn know each other from their time together with the Miami Dolphins. Paton and Shanahan interviewed with the 49ers on the same day – both in Atlanta.

McDonough is a highly respected talent evaluator who was believed to have Shanahan at the top of his list all along for coaches with whom he wanted to work, according to sources.