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49ers tight ends coach the latest assistant to interview for a coordinator job

Marc Adams
Jan 27, 2024 at 9:55 AM

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When you're one of the best teams in the NFL, as the San Francisco 49ers are, season in and season out, it stands to reason that your assistant coaches are going to be lured away for jobs that promise a greater opportunity. Such is the life for the 49ers, who not only have lost coordinators to head coaching positions, but they've lost other coaches and front office talent to other teams, as well.

When Robert Saleh left for the New York Jets in 2021, he took offensive coaches Mike LaFleur and John Benton with him. DeMeco Ryans left the 49ers for the Houston Texans in 2023 and took Bobby Slowik and Cory Undlin with him. Mike McDaniel left for the Miami Dolphins in 2022 and took Jon Embree and Wes Welker with him, although Embree had already left the team, reportedly being let go by the 49ers.

Of course, Assistant General Manager Adam Peters left the 49ers earlier this month to become the GM of the Washington Commanders. Quarterbacks coach Brian Griese and passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak both interviewed for the New Orleans Saints' vacant offensive coordinator position. Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks interviewed for a couple of head coaching jobs, as well, but it doesn't look like he'll be going anywhere.

And now, Tom Pelissero, of the NFL Network, is reporting that 49ers tight ends coach Brian Fleury has interviewed with the New England Patriots for its offensive coordinator position. Fleury is in his fifth season with the 49ers and his second as the tight ends coach. Fleury was on the defensive side of the ball before moving to offense.

Fleury won't be credited with the development of star tight end George Kittle, considering he's only worked with the tight ends for two seasons. But Kittle has experienced a bit of a rebirth the last two seasons, though most of that is due to improved health and quarterback Brock Purdy. Still, Fleury has done good work with the 49ers tight ends.

In April, the 49ers drafted a pair of rookie tight ends for Fleury to develop. In the third round, the 49ers drafted Cameron Latu out of Alabama, and then in the seventh round, they drafted Brayden Willis out of Oklahoma. Latu tore his meniscus during the preseason, and as a result, underwent surgery and missed the entire 2023 season. Willis, meanwhile, spent most of the season on the team's practice squad but has been active for seven games, including the Divisional Playoff win over the Green Bay Packers.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense continues to be one other teams want a piece of. And now the 49ers may be looking to replace a few coaches of their own.
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