If a person in the 49ers organization was more ridiculed than Jimmy Garoppolo, it was special teams coordinator Richard Hightower. The Niners finished the season below average across the board in just about every special team's category.
They struggled to field kicks and punts, tackle on the punt and kick teams, and punt the ball. Robbie Gould had a string of extra points he failed to make for a slight stretch.
Aside from punting, most of those issues came to a halt in the playoffs once the 49ers regained health and could play more starters on special teams. Still, they were a disaster for most of the season.
And now, there will be a change. Hightower won’t return to San Francisco as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the Chicago Bears are hiring Hightower as its special teams' coordinator.
Now, the 49ers will need a new tight end and special teams coach. There's a chance Shanahan must fill a few other spots, like offensive coordinator.