The San Francisco 49ers kicked off organized team activities this week. Tuesday's practice was the first that was open to the media. Two other sessions will be made available in the coming weeks.

During Tuesday's practice, reporters noticed that the defensive coaching staff was getting a little help. It appeared to have an extra coach working with the defensive backs.

The 49ers signed cornerback Richard Sherman in March. He is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles sustained in November and has not yet been medically cleared to practice. Until that happens, Sherman isn't happy merely being an observer. He was seen working with the young secondary, offering advice when needed, and helping the group improve its techniques.

Until Sherman is cleared to practice, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh welcomes the extra help. He spoke about Coach Sherman during the team's State of the Franchise event on Wednesday night.

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"Sherm's unbelievable," Saleh said. "So any time you get a guy like Sherm, it's really a gift to not only the players but to the coaching staff. You've got a guy who not only has had the amount of success he's had at corner, but you add in the fact that he knows our system inside-out like a coach does.

"For the players who are so young in that backend, to be able to just walk up to him and just absorb all the information that he has, all the little player tricks that a coach just can't teach you. Those are the things that he brings, and his leadership. His voice means something.

"To have him here is a gift to everybody, coaches and players alike."

Saleh went on to say that he fully expects Sherman to return to his pre-injury form.

"He's an animal when it comes to taking care of himself and preparing himself to play football games," he continued. "If people only knew what he actually has played through, they would understand that if there's anyone in the world who can come back from what he's come back from, it would be Sherm, and there's no doubt in our mind that he'll be able to."