Monday was a busy day for the 49ers. The players, John Lynch, and Kyle Shanahan held their exit interviews. We’ll discuss their quotes today. Adam Peters is a hot name, while Robert Saleh had an interview with Atlanta.
The Atlanta Falcons interviewed San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on Monday. The interviewed was conducted remotely.
Beginning Monday, in-person interviews may begin for head coach and general manager positions with candidates who are not current NFL club employees or whose club is not participating in the postseason.
Virtual interviews for all head coach positions may begin with coaches whose clubs have a bye in the first week of the playoffs and may continue through the conclusion of wild-card games on Jan. 10.
Virtual interviews for high-level club employees and secondary football executive positions may begin. Once a candidate’s employer club is eliminated from the playoffs, in-person interviews may begin.
Q: What did you learn from Richard Sherman while sitting next to him in the booth?
GAROPPOLO: “Especially these last couple games, we sat right next to each other and I really tried to pick his brain in a casual way. He’s very insightful. Sherm is a very bright guy, obviously knows both sides of the ball. Just talking schematics, scheme, whatever it is, he has a very interesting outlook on it.
Honestly, I told him this yesterday at the game, I was like, ‘Dude, I’ve learned so much just in these last couple weeks of talking to you. Because as a quarterback, you think you know defenses and you think you know what they’re thinking, but now you talk to a corner who has been doing it for so long, it was very insightful. I learned a lot. Sherm is one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever been with. He’s one of those guys you love to be around, love his attitude and how he comes in everyday. He’s one of a kind. That was pretty much what we were trying to do up there.”
Bonus: Jeff Ulbrich
Atlanta defensive coordinator, and 10-year 49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich, would be the most under the radar, and unlikeliest choice.
It would be shocking for Ulbrich to get the job over the previous five. He’s neither an experienced defensive coordinator, nor an in-house hire.
He does, however, know the system.
Ulbrich was an assistant special teams coach for Seattle under Bradley. After a three-year spell as UCLA’s linebackers coach, he became Atlanta’s linebackers coach in 2015 before becoming the defensive coordinator this year.
He had a brief tryout this season leading a defense, and as stated above, Atlanta improved as the year went on.
“I’m very excited, it’s the first time I’ve ever packed two days in advance for anything,” Shanahan said. “We’re all excited to see our families and everything. ... When anyone is stuck in a hotel for over 30 days, that does wear on you a little bit, so not just me but the players, the cooks, the equipment guys, everybody involved with us is ready to get back home.”
To be exact, it was 32 days ago that the Niners packed up their football operation and headed to Arizona after Santa Clara County banned contact sports as part of expanded COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’d rather be playing in the playoffs but the way that our season has gone, most of the guys getting out healthy toward the end of the year, I think that’s what my relief is,” tight end George Kittle said.
“That’s a good question — I think one we’re looking for clarity on,” Lynch said. “Our sole focus right now is to help Dee in any way that we can to get him healthy. I think everybody understands we’re a better football team when Dee’s out there. He’s an impactful player. He’s a finisher. He’s pretty emblematic of a lot of the issues that plagued our team this year. You know the old saying — the best ability is availability, and we weren’t available enough this year, and that went for Dee.
“When you’re dealing with that part of your body — the back — sometimes these things take more time. I think Dee tries to stay encouraged but I think it’s been a struggle for him. We try to stay encouraged as well, but I can’t tell you with great absolute (certainty) that yeah, he’s going to be ready. We’re working hard and he’s working hard to try to get there.”