The 49ers continue to tinker with their coaching staff with the offseason officially underway following Super Bowl LIII. In fact, the team is tapping a former New England Patriots star to coach up its receivers.
Wes Welker will become Kyle Shanahan’s new receivers coach, as first reported by the Houston Chronicle, as San Francisco looks to get more out of the position. The team had not confirmed the hire when contacted by The Bee on Tuesday.
Welker was one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets out of the slot in six seasons with New England from 2007-12, when he led the NFL in receptions three times and eclipsed 100 catches five times. He spent the last two seasons on a coaching internship with the Houston Texans and was not retained for 2019.
The 49ers dealt with injuries to their top two receivers, Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin, throughout the season. Former undrafted free agent Kendrick Bourne was the team’s only wide receiver among the 49ers’ top four pass catchers with 42 receptions, second behind tight end George Kittle (88) and ahead of fullback Kyle Juszczyk (30) and running back Matt Breida (27).
Additionally, the 49ers ranked last in the NFL in red-zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns on just 41 percent of their trips. Welker averaged more than six touchdowns per season with the Patriots. Kittle and rookie wideout Dante Pettis tied for San Francisco’s team lead this season with five.