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Bleacher Report ranks 49ers coaching staff 17th in 2019 power rankings

Jul 1, 2019 at 4:43 PM--

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Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport recently came up with a power rankings of each NFL team's coaching staff ahead of the 2019 season, which kicks off two months from now.

Perhaps to no one's surprise, the Cincinnati Bengals came in dead last, while head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots enter the year ranked first.

The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, were ranked right in the middle of the pack at 17th. And here's what Davenport had to say about the placement:

It may seem odd that a staff that has won just 10 games over two seasons is ranked this highly. But this is a testament to how good of an offensive coach I'm convinced Kyle Shanahan is.

For most of Shanahan's first campaign, the San Francisco 49ers had no quarterback. They acquired one in Jimmy Garoppolo, handed him a fat extension after a hot streak to close the 2017 campaign and then watched him tear his ACL three games into last season. It's been a theme with Shanahan's 49ers—the team's been hit as hard by injuries as any over the past two years. By the end of the 2018 season, San Francisco was rolling out undrafted rookie Nick Mullens under center—and competing.

Shanahan, of course, is 10-22 over his first two years at the helm. In 2017, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were tasked with a near-complete rebuild of the 49ers roster. Trading for Garoppolo, of course, seemed to turn the franchise around quicker than many expected. But Garoppolo's season-ending ACL tear in Week 3 last year put to bed any lofty hopes or expectations for San Francisco.

Still, despite the slew of injuries last season, Shanahan somehow engineered the league's 21st-ranked scoring offense, and the 5,769 all-purpose yards gained ranked 16th.

There's little doubting how much an offensive genius Shanahan is. But the pressure is likely to be much higher on his defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, whose previously used defensive scheme saw a number of notable shakeups during the offseason.

The Niners are switching to a wide-9 format, which kicks the strong-side defensive end outside the right shoulder of the inline blocking tight end. This move forces the SAM linebacker and strong safety back off the line of scrimmage, creating what will look more like a traditional two-deep safety setting.

While Saleh's defense finished 13th in fewest yards allowed last year (5,546), the 435 points allowed ranked fifth most. Additionally, the 49ers forced a mere seven turnovers on the season, which set a NFL record low in a non-strike-shortened season.

San Francisco hopes some new defensive additions, namely edge rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, will change the overall effectiveness in 2019. Getting the 2017 version of Garoppolo back hopefully helps matters for Shanahan, too.

Remember, good players usually make coaching staffs look smart.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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