Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
On Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers made their assistant coaches available to reporters, as they do every offseason. Below are some noteworthy tidbits from the interactions.
No contact with Garoppolo
On Tuesday, tight end George Kittle said he hasn’t spoken with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo since the team cleaned out their lockers after the season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers still intend to trade Garoppolo, but also said nothing is guaranteed.
On Wednesday, San Francisco’s new quarterbacks coach, Brian Griese, said he has worked closely with all of the team’s quarterbacks this offseason, except for Garoppolo. In fact, the assistant coach hasn’t even spoken with Garoppolo.
Yes, Garoppolo is rehabbing from his March 8 shoulder surgery. Still, the position coach not working at all with the quarterback is a good indicator that the team is focused on moving forward without him.
Chris Foerster confident in Aaron Banks
Last year’s second-round pick, Aaron Banks, played just five offensive snaps during his rookie campaign in 2021. However, the 49ers seem confident that the offensive lineman can make more of an impact during his second NFL season.
49ers offensive line coach Chris Foerster believes Banks can earn the starting left guard spot following the departure of Laken Tomlinson to the New York Jets.
Kris Kocurek praised Armstead’s adaptability in 2021
Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek shared that the 49ers value versatility along the defensive front. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, the assistant gave a lot of credit to Arik Armstead’s adaptability for the unit’s success in 2021, especially after injuries impacted the team.
“I didn’t mandate anything,” Kocurek shared. “I said, ‘Hey, I’m just bouncing this off of you. What do you think about it?’ … He was all for [moving inside]. Arik, the main thing that he showed me is he’s an unselfish player. He’s a team-first guy. He’s been a captain the last two years. The guys look up to him.
“And most people can’t make that transition midseason. If you’re going to make that type of transition, it usually needs to be in the offseason, [using] the OTAs to get kind of acquainted in there, and then sharpen it out in [training] camp, and then hit the ground running Week 1.
“He gets thrown in there Week 7, Week 8. It’s not the easiest thing to do. Arik excelled in there as the season went on. … And then in the playoffs, I thought he played his best ball, was a difference-making type player in there, run and pass.”
Raiders working out Colin Kaepernick
This one isn’t from Wednesday’s media availability, but it is still noteworthy. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last played in the league during the 2016 season, has a workout scheduled with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Kaepernick has been out of the league since the start of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch’s regime when the 49ers opted not to bring back the quarterback.
Kaepernick’s NFL career was halted after the quarterback started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, which sparked many others to follow in his footsteps the following season. Director Spike Lee is working on a multipart documentary for ESPN that will focus on the polarizing quarterback.
In 2021, Netflix released the drama series “Colin in Black & White,” narrated by Kaepernick.
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