Despite losing multiple players to injury throughout the season, the 49ers remain on top of the NFC rankings. The players have gotten plenty of credit for stepping up in place of those that were injured, but the coaching staff’s ability to develop and get the players ready seems to get overlooked. Ahkello Witherspoon had an up and down season last year, then Joe Woods was hired this offseason and Witherspoon looked fantastic before he got injured (and after returning). In his place, Emmanuel Moseley (an undrafted player from 2018) didn’t miss a beat. Most teams would fall apart if one of their offensive tackles went down, let alone two, but the offense kept chugging along thanks to John Benton’s ability to coach up rookie 6th round pick Justin Skule and former Atlanta Falcons UDFA Daniel Brunskill. Here’s a clip of him getting Ben Garland ready to step in for the newly injured Weston Richburg:
Watch 49ers OL coach John Benton and the team’s other linemen iron out pre-snap nuances with new starting center Ben Garland. This is a massive replacement job that the 49ers must nail. As you can see, center is a communication cog of Shanahan’s offense pic.twitter.com/CfAiLJMJGO— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) December 11, 2019
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have done a great job finding talent, but the ability to develop these players has been the key to the 49ers success this season. Guys like Kris Kocurek, DeMeco Ryans, and the ones listed above deserve more credit. So cheers to the unsung heroes of the season: our coaching staff.
Now on to those links...
49ers re-sign cornerback Dontae Johnson, wide receiver Jordan Matthews (Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports)
What 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has changed to go on recent hot streak (Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports)
How Emmanuel Sanders is leading the 49ers’ young receivers (Nick Wagoner, ESPN)
How Kendrick Bourne saves 49ers from needing Odell Beckham (Titus Briseno, Niner Noise)
49ers have found a hidden gem in Raheem Mostert (Al Sacco, 49ers Webzone)
Top 5 takeaways from 49ers Week 14 win vs. Saints (Elvis Jerez, Niner Noise)
49ers get better idea of cost to retain Arik Armstead on franchise tag (Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports)
5 under-radar 49ers players to watch over final three regular-season games (Peter Panacy, Niner Noise)
Around the league...
Antonio Brown’s latest tirade targets ‘racist’ NFL, ‘loser’ Ben Roethlisberger (Ryan Gaydos, Fox News)
2020 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah a Top-Five Pick to the Lions (Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated)
NFL coaching hot seat rankings: Vic Fangio buys more time, Doug Marrone in danger and Pat Shurmur has to go (Patrik Walker, CBS Sports)
David Johnson unhappy with role in Cardinals’ offense (Nick Shook, NFL.com)
2019 NFL All-Rookie Team, defense: Nick Bosa’s the clear DROY (Chris Wesseling, NFL.com)