Run defense is what 49ers do best

566172.jpg

Run defense is what 49ers do best

Quarterback Alex Smith has done everything asked of him while the 49ers' power-running game has done much of the heavy-lifting on offense.Special teams have performed at a high level from the opening game, whether it was Ted Ginn's returns, the legs of David Akers and Andy Lee or the coverage units.But the biggest on-field reason the 49ers made it to the bye week with a 5-1 record might be their run defense. With one of the best front-sevens in the NFL, the 49ers have neutralized each opponent's top running back.

The 49ers rank second in the NFL, surrendering just 74.7 yards on the ground per game. They are the only team in the league that has yet to give up a rushing touchdown.The 49ers shut down Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks), Felix Jones (Cowboys), Cedric Benson (Bengals), LeSean McCoy (Eagles), LeGarrette Blount (Buccaneers) and Jahvid Best (Lions) in the first six games. They took those running backs out of the game -- literally, most of the time.
Against the 49ers, those players combined for 70 rushing attempts for 211 yards (3.01 yards average). Against all other opponents, those same running backs have carried a combined 435 times for 2,028 yards (4.66 average) and 16 touchdowns.Week 1 vs. Seattle: Lynch carried 13 times for 33 yards and did not touch the ball in the fourth quarter.Week 2 vs. Dallas: Jones sustained a shoulder injury on linebacker Patrick Willis' tackle in the first quarter. He rushed nine times for 25 yards.Week 3 at Cincinnati: Benson gained 64 yards on 17 carries and did not touch the ball for the final 10 minutes of the game.Week 4 at Philadelphia: McCoy was shaken up while trying to pick up Ray McDonald on a blitz. He returned and finished with 18 yards on nine carries, but he did not touch the ball for the final 9:30 of the game.Week 5 vs. Tampa Bay: Blount gained 34 yards on 10 rushing attempts and did not return after sustaining a hamstring injury when safety Dashon Goldson upended him with a third-quarter tackle.
Week 6 at Detroit: Best gained 37 yards on 12 rushing attempts and did not play in the final 10 minutes of the game after sustaining a concussion.

Report: Chip Kelly interviews for Jags' OC job

Report: Chip Kelly interviews for Jags' OC job

Former 49ers coach Chip Kelly, who was fired hours after the club’s 2-14 season, is reportedly interviewing Monday to become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.

Kelly is interviewing with Jaguars new head coach Doug Marrone, reports radio station 1010 XL in Jacksonville.

Kelly told CSNBayArea.com recently he would take his time to determine his next career move. Kelly interviewed for the Jaguars’ head-coaching job, ESPN reported over the weekend.

“I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said two days after his firing. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

The 49ers fired Kelly with three years, $18 million remaining in his contract. The 49ers hired Kelly just two weeks after the Philadelphia Eagles fired him. Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles after leaving his successful program with the Oregon Ducks after the 2012 season.

Pats OC McDaniels 'impressed' by York, Marathe

Pats OC McDaniels 'impressed' by York, Marathe

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels announced Monday morning he has pulled his name from consideration for the 49ers’ head-coaching job.

McDaniels interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe on Saturday, Jan. 7, while the Patriots were on the bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. McDaniels indicated he also met with Brian Hampton, the 49ers’ director of football administration and analytics.

"I was really impressed with Jed York and Paraag and Brian, and people that came for the 49ers organization,” McDaniels said in a conference call with reporters who cover the Patriots.

“They did a great job with their presentation,” McDaniels added. “Again, (I’m) humbled to be included in that process. At this time, it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England, and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

McDaniels said his main focus would be on helping prepare the Patriots to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.

McDaniels, 40, was viewed as one of the hot head-coaching candidates, along with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, this offseasons. He has served the past five seasons as New England’s offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick.

Shanahan becomes the leading candidate for the 49ers’ job. The 49ers interviewed Seattle offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable on Sunday. Shanahan and Cable are the only known remaining candidates for the job to replace Chip Kelly, who was hired after a 2-14 season.

McDaniels became Denver’s head coach in 2009. He was fired after 12 games in 2010 after his teams compiled an 11-17 record. He returned to the Patriots in 2012 and has served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Bill Belichick’s staff.

McDaniels, who also interviewed with the 49ers last year, also had interviews on Jan. 7 with Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. Jacksonville hired Doug Marrone, while the Rams hired Sean McVay.

“I've always said how grateful I am for this opportunity to work here for Mr. Kraft his family and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff and have the privilege to work with the players we get to work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. Very thankful to be here and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."