The 49ers lost offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel after the 2021 season, and some feared the offense would take a step back. McDaniel’s Dolphins’ offense flourishing early during the season didn’t help as Jimmy Garoppolo wore off the rust.
San Francisco had a couple of different offensive coaches in new roles, which has been the case for a few seasons now with their annual turnover. Bobby Slowik is off to the Texans to be DeMeco Ryans new offensive coordinator, which means Kyle Shanahan will shuffle the coaching decks once again.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes an in-house promotion is coming:
The Texans did well to land Bobby Slowik from the Niners—the guy that was at the top of DeMeco Ryans’s OC list. The next one in Kyle Shanahan’s young OC assembly line figures to be tight ends coach Brian Fleury, who has been in San Francisco for four years, and actually first worked with Shanahan as a Browns defensive assistant (Shanahan was OC there) in 2014.
Don’t be fooled by Fleury’s coaching tag. Last season was the first time he had coached tight ends. Shanahan’s staff has always featured diverse coaches, and Fleury tops the list.
The former college quarterback has coached defensive backs, linebackers, been a quality control coach on both sides of the ball, and a research analyst.
Fleury told the media during minicamp and OTAs last year that he grew up in staff meetings and around the game, much like Kyle Shanahan. A versatile background should only give Shanahan and the 49er players more confidence in Fleury.
Fleury knows you can’t succeed in Shanahan’s offense without knowing what the quarterback is thinking. His experience at the position gives Trey Lance and Brock Purdy more first-hand knowledge to lean on, in addition to Brian Griese.
The 49ers had to change their offense numerous times to adapt to a different quarterback in 2022. If Shanahan feels like Fleury is the most adaptable coach — from communication to ideas — it’d make sense that he’d be the coach to promote to offensive coordinator.