Feuds for thought as 49ers, Lions set for rematch

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Feuds for thought as 49ers, Lions set for rematch

SANTA CLARA -- After Jim Harbaugh's handshake and back slap, and Jim Schwartz fervid pursuit of the 49ers' coach into the tunnel at Ford Field, it took quite awhile for another heated situation to simmer down.Right tackle Anthony Davis, who found himself in the middle of the post-game skirmish, got into a dust-up of his own with Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril via Twitter.REWIND: Harbaugh angers Schwartz
To maintain a G-rated standard, we'll paraphrase what Davis wrote. Davis stated with colorful language that the Lions "talked" all week and the 49ers kicked the Lions aside -- and from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Lions were 5-0 entering the game.
Avril responded to Davis, "lol that's real professional homie Well meet again and see what's up"Then, Davis wrote, "I pancaked you on a passing playsooo uh just be quiet go home play with your kids and go to bed.."On Wednesday, Davis did not back down from his comments directed at Avril following the 49ers' 25-19 victory at Detroit."I was just saying what happened," Davis said. "That's it. I didn't make anything up. I didn't fabricate the story to make it more interesting. I just said what happened. Now we play again. "But it's more about our offense executing. The defense is doing what they have to do. It's a tackle and a D-end. Who really cares?"Davis played well against the Lions. He rode Avril out of the way to create a window through which quarterback Alex Smith hit Delanie Walker on the go-ahead six-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes. Avril was credited with two tackles and one quarterback hit."It's not a big feud," Davis said. "We get to play them again. It's great. It's exciting. I know he wants to play. I want to play. I'm excited. But I'm not more excited than any other game because it's our second game. "The more notable plot from a national perspective, of course, is Harbaugh vs. Schwartz. Davis was right there in the middle of the action as the teams were departing the field. He said he objects to the notion that the two coaches "got into it.""The coaches didn't into it," Davis said, "Schwartz got into it. He bumped coach. Everybody was just excited. We just have to control it. I didn't didn't want him to knock coach over. We need our coach."REWIND: Schwartz's challenge to Harbaugh
Both coaches have been asked this about what happened a year ago, and both decided to side-step the subject. The NFL decided not to fine either coach for their involvement in the near-melee, which according to multiple sources, continued into the tunnel with Schwartz yelling at Harbaugh.Harbaugh addressed the topic on Monday."Our approach with the mini-controversies are really to give them the attention that they deserve, which isnt much," Harbaugh said. "Now, people that will use that to promote this game or any other game I think are really missing the point. The game is just so much bigger. As a rule of thumb, I have too much respect for the men who play this game, on both sides. And too much respect for the game to give it anything less than what it deserves."On a conference call Wednesday with the Bay Area media, Schwartz said last year's game will have no impact on what happens Sunday when the teams meet at Candlestick Park in a nationally televised rematch."We've all moved on from that," Schwartz said. "We've addressed that enough, and the focus is on the 49ers. Anything that happened in the game last year or anything else does not have any bearing on this game."The 49ers dropped the Lions from the ranks of the unbeaten last season. Both made it to the playoffs. Both began this season with victories in Week 1. And, then, there's the history of last year's heated game to take into account."I think all games in the NFL are intense," Schwartz said. "You're talking about two teams that come to play every week. And that's the personality of both of those teams. . . You expect both teams to be up and fighting and scratching, clawing. I think every game in the NFL is that way. I think that's the way both of these play. It means a lot to both of these teams."

49ers' Buckner selected to All-Rookie team

49ers' Buckner selected to All-Rookie team

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner on Monday was selected to the NFL's All-Rookie team in a vote of the Pro Football Writers of America.

Defensive end Joey Bosa of the Chargers was named Defensive Rookie of the Year. Running back Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was named Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Buckner, the 49ers’ No. 7 overall pick from Oregon, started all 15 games in which he appeared. He ranked second among all NFL defensive tackles with 73 tackles on the season. He finished with six sacks, ranking fourth in the NFL among rookies.

2016 PFWA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
2016 PFWA OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
2016 PFWA DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: DE Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers
 

2016 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Offense
QB – Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
RB – Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys; Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
WR -- Sterling Shepard, New York Giants; Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
TE – Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers
C – Cody Whitehair, Chicago Bears
G – Joe Thuney, New England Patriots; Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins
T – Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans; Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions
Defense
DL – Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers; DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers; Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs; Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville Jaguars
LB – Jatavis Brown, San Diego Chargers; Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears; Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons
CB – Vernon Hargreaves III, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars
S – Karl Joseph, Oakland Raiders; Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons
Special Teams
PK – Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints
P – Riley Dixon, Denver Broncos
KR – Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
PR – Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
ST – Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

49ers Mailbag: Shanahan the overwhelming favorite, if he wants it

49ers Mailbag: Shanahan the overwhelming favorite, if he wants it

The 49ers have interviewed six head coach candidates and nine prospects for the general manager position.

During the search, 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe admitted to candidates that mistakes were made and the roster is in shambles. They have also promised all the resources necessary and plenty of patience in fixing the problem, according to multiple sources.

Three of the 49ers’ six original coach possibilities – Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams), Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills) and Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers) -- have already taken jobs elsewhere. Perhaps the top candidate, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, decided against uprooting his four children from the East Coast and remain in the no-lose situation of working with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for at least another season.

That leaves Kyle Shanahan and Tom Cable as the last known candidates for the job. And this is where we go to our 49ers Mailbag to answer questions submitted on our Facebook page:

Do you think Kyle Shanahan will be our next coach?‬ (Praize Rodriguez)
I’m not able to predict how strongly Shanahan, 37, wants to become a head coach at this stage in his career. But it appears to be his job if he wants it.

The 49ers decided to wait on McDaniels and Shanahan. McDaniels announced on Monday that he has removed himself from consideration. That leaves Shanahan as the overwhelming favorite for the job. Really, he is the only legitimate candidate for the job.

Cable is regarded around the league as a good coach. In the right circumstances, maybe he will again get the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. But the 49ers might be the worst fit, considering what occurred when he was in the Bay Area as the Raiders coach. Cable's time with the Raiders ended with allegations he punched an assistant coach, breaking his jaw, and had a history of domestic violence.

The 49ers will be able to speak again with Shanahan after the NFC Championship. If the Atlanta Falcons lose, they can get the deal done immediately. If the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl, they must wait until after the game to make things official.

The last team to wait for a Super Bowl coach was the Atlanta Falcons, who ended up with Dan Quinn, who signed a contract in the early morning after the Seattle Seahawks’ loss to New England in Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015.

That worked out pretty well.

Who would be the best GM fit if the 49ers hire Kyle Shanahan?‬ (Brad Peltier) ‬
The 49ers were the only team with a general manager opening this offseason after firing Trent Baalke. With no competition, the 49ers compiled a strong list of interviews for the job.

Assuming Shanahan wants the coach job, he will be able to meet with the finalists for the general manager position and see which of the remaining candidates he believes is the best fit for his philosophy on building a roster.

York and Marathe set out two weeks ago to find the best pairing of coach/general manager, so their input and direction during the final phase will be pivotal, too.

Arizona’s vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough looks like a strong fit. McDonough is believed to have Shanahan ranked at the top of his list of coaches even though the men have never worked together. McDonough has experience on the pro and college scouting sides, and he has helped build one of the top defenses in the NFL with the Cardinals.

Green Bay director of football operations Brian Gutekunst also has extensive history as a college scout, and he impressed the 49ers with a strong interview on Jan. 5. There is also some buzz about Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner.

Who do you think will be the defensive coordinator if Shanahan takes the job?‬ (Ryan Cruz)
The 49ers last year received permission from the Houston Texans to interview linebackers coach Mike Vrabel for the position. Vrabel’s stock has only risen after the Texans ranked first in the NFL in total defense under coordinator Romeo Crennel. Vrabel turned down Chip Kelly's job offer.

Vrabel’s name surfaced for the first time this offseason as a head-coaching candidate, though he did not receive a formal interview. This would be a good opportunity to Vrabel to, in essence, be the head coach of the defense while Shanahan’s focus is solely on the offense. This could be a tempting situation for Vrabel because Shanahan's offense does not present the same issues and concerns that defensive coaches had working on the other side of Kelly.

Another strong candidate to join Shanahan’s staff as defensive coordinator is Falcons’ secondary/senior defensive assistant Marquand Manuel. Manuel played eight NFL seasons as a defensive back and worked with Falcons coach Dan Quinn at the University of Florida, then Seattle before moving onto Atlanta.

If Shananahan is coach, is Kap pretty much done in SF?‬ (Juan Ito Heredia)
Of course, that decision on what happens with Colin Kaepernick and the remainder of the roster will be up to the new head coach and general manager.

But one of the 49ers’ main selling points is a fresh start and a clean break from how things have happened in the past. That means the head coach will be free to choose his own staff. That means the general manager can structure the scouting department as he chooses.

That also means, of course, that the coach and general manager will have all the power to assemble the roster.

It is difficult to believe any new coach and new general manager will not want to hit the reset button and start over at the quarterback position.