Players and coaches may be gone for the bye week, but there is still work being done. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke is away on a ten day scouting trip, and Jed York is currently focused on several community events.
The 49ers have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, and Wednesday, York helped kick off the annual Holiday food drive. I caught up with the team president and asked him a few questions about the team seven weeks into the season.
Mindi Bach: Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh were brought in to turn around this team. But did you expect the results theyve had just 6 games into the season?Jed York: I am not surprised with coach and Im not surprised with Trent being able to work well together and make sure they continue to make the team better. Thats what we talk about. Its coming to work every day and getting a little bit better each day. And I think thats what youre seeing with our team. Nobody is satisfied with where we are right now because we arent playing the best football that we can play. And thats what were trying to do, get better each and every day.
MB: Is there anything that you are able to take advantage of at this time and are working on given the bye week?JY: I think its good for the coaches and players to just get a little bit of time to sort of take a deep breath, relax, prepare for a short week in Baltimore thats coming up in a few weeks so they can get a little bit of extra preparation for that, but its really business as usual.MB: A lot of key players in this 5-1 record who are on one year contracts. Alex Smith, Dashon Goldson, Carlos Rogers; Ahmad Brooks is in final year of a 2 year deal When will you and Trent sit down and start addressing which of those players you will bring back?JY: Trent and Jim are talking about that now and will continue to assess that situation and figure out whos going to be a part of this moving forward. But were making sure were focusing on this year and just getting better one day at a time.MB: Do you expect some of those extensions to be done before the end of the regular season?
JY: You know there are guys that weve extended. Obviously Frank Gore is one of those guys that we extended, so its not out of the question. But thats something that Jim and Trent will discuss and figure out.
MB: The Bears and Bucs are playing in London this week. The NFL has agreed to play an annual game there for another five seasons. As your dad is the head of the leagues International Committee, will you request for the 49ers to return to play there in the near future? 49ers played the Broncos at Wembley Stadium last season.
JY: We had a great experience going to London. I wouldnt be surprised if we go back, but thats something that the league will work with all the different teams on, and obviously, its something that we enjoyed being over there and helped kick off a little bit of a mini winning streak last year. And I think thats a good thing for your team to be together like that in a different location. So I think its very good for the football operations to do things like that.
MB: But will you push for the 49ers to return to play in London?
JY: I think it depends on what Coach and Trent want to do and well have that discussion internally and figure out whats the best thing for the football team.
The 49ers are asking fans to please consider a donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank. There will be collection barrels at future home games, but a monetary donation is preferred. 1 buys two meals with the food the organization can buy in bulk. Last year Second Harvest fed 250,000 people.
First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.
Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.
Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.
Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:
2017 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright
* * *
2016 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama
John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.
The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.
But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.
The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.
Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).
Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.
The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.
Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.