Nearly a month after the 49ers hired Jim Tomsula as their head coach, Tomsula on Monday announced his staff.
In a news release, he called it “a collection of passionate coaches who have wide-ranging experience at every level of the game.”
“This is a group of talented communicators who take great pride in helping players maximize their abilities,” Tomsula continued. “Throughout the staff you see bright, high-energy coaches who enjoy taking a hands-on approach to teaching the game. We are all looking forward to getting to work.”
Some observations on the new staff:
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▪ There’s more balance between offense and defense than there was under Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula has 19 assistants, including entry-level positions. Nine are on defense, eight on offense and two on special teams.
Last year, Harbaugh’s 20-man staff included an NFL-high 12 offensive coaches, not including Harbaugh, who spent most of his time with the offensive staff. He had six defensive coaches – coordinator Vic Fangio doubled as the outside linebackers coach – and two on special teams.
Tomsula seeks a more streamlined approach with an emphasis on player input and on getting quickly to the line of scrimmage on offense.
▪ Cohesion was a priority for Tomsula, and a number of his coaches have worked together in the past. Tomsula, for example, was on the same NFL Europe staff as quarterbacks coach Steve Logan and special-teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. Logan, 62, is expected to play a large role when it comes to offensive game planning.
The 49ers also have an unusual arrangement with Adam Henry and Ronald Curry sharing the role of coaching the team’s wide receivers. Henry was an offensive assistant with the Raiders in 2007-08, when Curry was a receiver in Oakland.
▪ Former special-teams coordinator Brad Seely had the additional title of assistant head coach under Harbaugh, but Tomsula doesn’t have one.
The only assistant with a fancy title is Jason Tarver, a senior defensive assistant/linebackers. Tarver presumably will be in charge of the 49ers’ outside linebackers while Clancy Pendergast will work with the inside linebackers. Pendergast, Tarver and secondary coach Tim Lewis have been NFL defensive coordinators, Pendergast with the Cardinals (2004-08), Tarver with the Raiders (2012-14) and Lewis with the Giants (2004-06).
▪ The 49ers initially approached Jeff Ulbrich about coaching inside linebackers, a position he played for the 49ers from 2000 to 2009. Ulbrich, who had been UCLA’s defensive coordinator, instead joined new Falcons head coach Dan Quinn in Atlanta.
There’s familiarity for Ulbrich. Quinn was a defensive assistant with the 49ers when Ulbrich was a player. They both also were on the Seahawks’ coaching staff in 2010. Still, losing Ulbrich to the Falcons was a disappointment to the 49ers, who wanted former team members on the staff. They will have two, running backs coach Tom Rathman and former defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin, 34, who will be an entry-level defensive assistant.
▪ One of the oddest hires may be defensive-line coach Scott Brown, who for the last three seasons was a regional scout on general manager Trent Baalke’s staff. Brown was a longtime defensive-line coach before becoming a scout, but his only experience is in college.
Brown’s addition to the coaching staff certainly doesn’t diminish the notion that Baalke has unusual influence over the team and coaching staff.
▪ Including Tomsula, there are eight holdovers from 2014: Geep Chryst (offensive coordinator), Eric Mangini (defensive coordinator), Ejiro Evero (defensive assistant), Mick Lombardi (defensive assistant), Rathman, Curry and Brown.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.
Read Matt Barrows’ analysis of the 19 members of new 49ers coach Jim Tomsula’s staff. sacbee.com/49ers