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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


49ers mailbag: Will Jauan Jennings take back his WR3 role? Does SF have a backup kicker? How can 49ers keep Adam Peters?

Marc Adams
Jan 10, 2024 at 10:56 AM


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The San Francisco 49ers are off this week. It's a good opportunity for them to rest and recover from injuries as they wait to see which NFC team they will be hosting for the Divisional Playoff Round. This is the time of year we all wait for, as fans, players, coaches, and media. The next month or so promises to be very exciting.

We opened up the 49ers Webzone Mailbag on Monday to solicit your 49ers questions. You came through once again, and we have some great questions to get to. There might be a postseason question or two. Let's take a look:

If Jauan Jennings makes a full recovery, do you think he'll take the WR3 spot automatically or will someone else (like Ronnie Bell) get more snaps during the playoffs? - Andy G.


Jauan Jennings, according to Kyle Shanahan, has cleared the concussion protocol and should begin practicing this week. I fully expect Jennings to be ready to play next week, and he will be the number three wide receiver. Ronnie Bell will not be playing more postseason snaps than Jennings. I'm not even sure Bell will play more than Ray-Ray McCloud, who returned from injury last week.

Do we have a backup kicker?! Lol. - Annette B.


Shanahan seemed to say there's no need for the 49ers to bring in anyone else. He expressed his faith in Jake Moody, and it would seem that Moody's teammates believe in him, as well. The part that has 49ers fans anxious, is that you want your rookie kicker heading into the playoffs with a lot of confidence. I know Moody has a great amount of confidence, but the NFL postseason is a different kind of pressure.

They'll go into the first game with Moody. But if he struggles a lot and they still somehow win, you have to wonder if they might reach out to Robbie Gould. Stay near your phone, Robbie.

Jake Moody definitely has a slice. Even the kicks he makes from the right hash are usually just inside the post. Do you know if he had this in College? He has had a good season but it's the same miss every time. - TheGreavance


I don't recall seeing that in college. After all, Jim Harbaugh famously said, "Death, taxes, and Jake Moody." And in the offseason, when I interviewed Tracy Sandler, of the Fangirl Network, I asked her if Moody can handle the pressure of being an NFL kicker, knowing that rookie kickers often struggle. She said that Moody is not your average rookie and she had no concerns about him whatsoever.

Would she still say that? I'm guessing she would.

With Peters set to interview for Washington, what's stopping the 49ers from promoting him to GM and then making Lynch President of football operations (like Elway) so we don't lose exceptional talent? - Scott B.


John Lynch is already the president of football operations. He received that new title when he signed his latest contract extension back in September. He is still the general manager.

Now, would the 49ers move Lynch into a position that is strictly president of football operations? Perhaps. Many had hoped that Lynch's title change signaled a move that could place Adam Peters in the general manager position. However, at this time, there's been no indication that this is the direction they're going. But that's not to say it won't happen.

Peters may be interviewing for other general manager positions because he's genuinely interested in them. Or he may be doing it to persuade the 49ers to promote him. Regardless, I hope they can figure out a way to keep him because he's too talented to be allowed to leave.

Would John Lynch and the 49ers allow for a move, where Adam could be promoted? A co-president of football ops perhaps, one for player ops/scouting/development and one for business strategy? - Jordan


It is an interesting thought, but who would be the general manager? And who would focus on the player/scouting side? Lynch or Peters? Lynch is excellent as the face of the franchise, and the voice we often hear from. And he's a Hall of Fame player. But Peters is widely considered to have a great mind for building a team.

They just need to find a way to keep both, and then we won't have to worry about these things.

Do the 49ers ever decline other teams wanting to interview their coaches/front office personnel? - Rob


The 49ers wouldn't try to block Peters even if they could. And as far as coaches, they cannot block Steve Wilks from interviewing for a head coaching position. Not that they would even if they could.

There are NFL rules that disallow a team to block coaches and front-office personnel from moving to a new team for a position that presents an opportunity for career growth. For example, a team cannot block an assistant coach from interviewing for a coordinator position. Before an NFL rule change in the spring of 2020, teams had a lot more freedom to block moves, and that went on, even with the 49ers. It's not quite the same now, though.

Case in point: in 2019, Shanahan blocked the Green Bay Packers from hiring away Matt LaFleur, even though LaFleur's brother, Mike, was the head coach in Green Bay. The 49ers also denied the Browns and Vikings of talking to LaFleur and then rejected interview requests for Mike McDaniel and Rich Scangarello.

In your estimation, do all roads to the NFC Championship run thru San Francisco? - Ed H.


Yes. Not only do the 49ers have home-field advantage for as long as they're still in the NFC playoffs, but they are the best team in the NFC. As long as they're healthy and play like they are capable of playing, they shouldn't lose another game. But this is the NFL, and sometimes a team can get hot. When the Dallas Cowboys upset the 49ers in the 1992 NFC Championship Game, Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson admitted that the Cowboys weren't as good as the 49ers, but on that day, Dallas was better.

Johnson made a great point. It truly comes down to who is better that day. And that's what makes teams like the Rams a little scary.

Do you think Sebastian Joseph-Day & Robert Beal Jr will contribute in the playoffs? It's wild that the D line, which has been considered a strength for years, will need significant contributions from an end-of-year FA pickup and a seldom-used rook. - Andy G.


Yes, I do. Sebastian Joseph-Day is the kind of player the 49ers need to help with the run defense. He's still learning the scheme, but I think he'll be able to help contribute.

Same thing for Robert Beal, Jr. It looks like Clelin Ferrell will miss the 49ers' first postseason game. And Drake Jackson doesn't appear to be close to returning. So Beal, Jr. will get his share of reps in the first game.

I hope it's paranoia, but I am worried. I know other than the Bengals game, the defense hasn't really been torn apart, but they just don't pass the eyeball test. We rarely get to QB outside of blitz, we give up easy layups over middle constantly, and don't get me started on tackling. -TheGreavance


I'm concerned about the tackling and the run defense. But when this defense is healthy and rested, and they should be by the time they play, they are elite. With Chase Young likely starting in Ferrell's place, that should add more pop to the pass rush. And with Arik Armstead slated to return, that should help the pass rush and the run defense.

I think the defense will be fine. But I understand the concern.

If Wilks receives a head coach gig, who are some candidates to replace him? - Jordan


The Los Angeles Chargers have requested an interview with Wilks for its head coaching vacancy. Wilks deserves another opportunity. But, as far as the Chargers go, Wilks is one of several the team has reached out to. There will likely be other teams interested in Wilks, as well. So we can expect to hear more as the postseason progresses.

As far as who would replace Wilks, should he move on, that's a good question. Remember, many believe Vic Fangio is not in Santa Clara because he wasn't willing to change his scheme. The 49ers offense is Shanahan's. But so is the defense, and he will want someone who can keep the train rolling.

Another question is who might Wilks take with him? Maybe some defensive coaches? Maybe some offensive coaches? We have plenty of time to discuss that. As of now, Wilks is still with the 49ers, and gearing up to lead the defense in the postseason.

That's all we have for this edition of the 49ers Webzone Mailbag. Thank you for your questions. We'll be back next week after we know who the 49ers will play. Enjoy your bye week. I hope you come out of this well-rested. After all, the fans have to be rest up, as well.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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