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49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: LB Brock Coyle

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to linebacker Brock Coyle.

Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.

When an NFL team turns over the coaching staff, it is all but assured that there will be changes in core special teams players. Certain players that sign in free agency will get a chance to compete at a given offensive or defensive position in training camp, but they are likely going to be playing primarily on special teams when the regular season gets going.

In most years, linebacker Brock Coyle would be one such example. Coyle signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2014, and spent much of his first three seasons as a special teams player. He started five games at linebacker during that time when linebackers were injured, but otherwise focused on special teams.

The 49ers signed Coyle as a free agent this offseason, inking him to a one-year, $1.45 million deal. The depth chart already includes NaVorro Bowman, Malcolm Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Reuben Foster, and Ray-Ray Armstrong, among others. Coyle will get LB time in camp and the preseason, but special teams is his best shot at earning playing time.

However, it does get a little bit interesting given his time in Seattle. Kyle Shanahan brought in Robert Saleh to be his defensive coordinator. Saleh spent the past three seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach. He joined Gus Bradley there after spending three seasons as defensive quality control coach in Seattle. Saleh is tasked with implementing a Seahawks style defense. Coyle knows the defense as well as anybody on the 49ers defensive roster, which is certainly a plus for him. I don’t know if it will be enough to land a rotation role, but it makes him at least a little more interesting.

Basic info

Age: 26 (27 on October 12)
Experience: 3 accrued seasons
Height: 6’1
Weight: 245 lbs

Cap status

Signed one-year, $1.45 million contract. His 2017 base salary is $1 million. He received a $400,000 signing bonus, and a $50,000 workout bonus

Why he might improve in 2017

He has limited starting time, but as I said, he knows the type of defense the 49ers are implementing. If he remained in Seattle, he would remain in the same role as a special teamer who is an injury back-up. With the 49ers, that is his floor. I don’t see a particularly big ceiling, but he has an advantage in Santa Clara he would never have in Seattle.

Why he might regress in 2017

I don’t think regression is really a concern. His floor as a player is settled for the time being, and considering he is 26, I don’t really see any reason to be concerned about it. It’s just a matter of maintaining modest expectations with him.

Odds of making the roster

The 49ers will continue looking to the future, but Coyle is a solid veteran to help get the team moving in the right direction. I imagine he will be a leader on special teams, and very well could serve as a sort of assistant coach on the field when it comes to implementing the 49ers new defense. I don’t think he’s a “lock” per se, but I’d say there’s a 75 percent or greater chance he’s on the roster when Week 1 rolls around.