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49ers Confident Shanahan Will Help Offense Rise from The Ashes

by admin on Monday, August 14th, 2017

kyle shanahan 49ers nfl coachAfter three consecutive, disastrous seasons the San Francisco 49ers start a new rebuilding project. Kyle Shanahan will be the fourth head coach in as many years.

His excellent resume as offensive coordinator throughout the league, more recently with the Atlanta Falcons, gives optimism to the 49ers front office that this time the team has found a capable head coach that will help this offense rise from the ashes.

In addition to Shanahan, San Francisco has another very important and surprising new face in John Lynch. He replaces Trent Baalke as general manager.

His inexperience in the office created many questions around him at the time of his signing, but for now all the movements he’s made for the franchise have been well received.

Almost all of the team has been turned around and very few pieces remain from the previous disastrous years.

Improving the 49ers offense should not be a complicated task. The 49ers have finished in 31st place in total yards each of the last two seasons. The main change will be at quarterback where none of last year’s QBs (Collin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder).

Although it’s true that Brian Hoyer is not an All-Pro quarterback, he certainly fits into Shanahan’s system.

His best season as a pro was in 2014 when they were both in Cleveland. The backups behind Hoyer are Matt Barkley, a four-year man that has started a total of 11 games in the NFL, and third-round rookie C.J. Beathard.

The former Hawkeye was selected much earlier than expected by the 49ers, a sign that Shanahan saw potential in him and trusts he may be able to help mold Beathard into a winner.

One of the few offensive pieces that remains with the team and still has an important role in the team is running back Carlos Hyde. The problem for the physical runner is his inability to stay healthy throughout a full season.

In three years, he has missed fourteen games. With that in mind the team selected running back Joe Williams, a very explosive back that, if he leaves behind some personal issues may be a factor in Shanahan’s scheme, which prioritizes the use of two runners.

The  receiving corps underwent an almost complete overhaul. The only player coming back is Jeremy Kerley, one of the few good signings made by Baalke in his last few years.

Pierre Garçon arrived from the Washington Redskins to be the number 1 receiver that San Francisco has lacked lately. Under Shanahan’s command, Garçon led the NFL with 113 receptions in 2013.

The big question will be who gets snaps across from him. San Francisco has several men who can play in the slot such as Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson and rookie Trent Taylor but they haven’t proved that they can be reliable outside the numbers.

The Niners would be delighted if the always injured DeAndre Smelter took a step forward and had a break out year, but that’s a big if.

The tight ends play a key role in Kyle Shanahan’s attack and the 49ers certainly have decent material at the position. Logan Paulsen, via free agency, and George Kittle, via draft, have joined Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell. Surely throughout the preseason someone in this unit will be cut but the talent is there.

The offensive line remains a unit in development. Joe Staley is the great veteran and one of the greatest presences in the locker room. Trent Brown seems to have settled positively into right tackle and is a force to be reckoned with.

There are questions surrounding the three interior men though as Josh Garnett is not considered yet a solid player and he’s still dealing with an injury which will cause him to miss the whole preseason.

Also, Jeremy Zuttah is doing little to bench Daniel Kilgore at center. In short, a lot of unproven players are fighting for starting positions, which will probably become a headache as the regular season starts.

On a positive side, fullback Kyle Jusczyk was one of Shanahan’s top priorities this year because of the importance the position usually plays in his teams. The former Baltimore Raven is more than a regular fullback because in addition to blocking he can carry and catch the ball. In short, a versatile player that the new head coach will try to incorporate into his offense as much as possible.


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