Brandon Staley

Shanahan appreciates Staley's immediate impact in new 49ers role

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ORLANDO, Fla. — New assistant head coach Brandon Staley has impacted the 49ers' 2024 plan in just one month.

Coach Kyle Shanahan detailed Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting how valuable Staley has been since he arrived in the Bay earlier in March.

"Brandon has a lot of knowledge being a coordinator in this league and also being a head coach the last few years," Shanahan said. "He knows a lot of the personnel, and he’s been very involved in the draft stuff. It’s always nice to have a guy with his expertise on board to help us out."

Staley, who went 24-24 from 2021 to 2023 as the Los Angeles Chargers' head coach, gave valuable free-agency input that included insight on edge rusher Leonard Floyd, whom the 49ers signed to a two-year, $20 million contract. Staley coached Floyd in 2020 when he was the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator.

"It was real cool having Brandon on our staff," Shanahan said. "He got to coach [Floyd] in L.A., and just hearing the type of practice player he is, he goes all day, loves playing football, and I’m pumped to have him on our team."

Staley's background made him a candidate for the 49ers' defensive coordinator vacancy, after Steve Wilks was fired, but Shanahan and general manager John Lynch decided to promote in-house candidate Nick Sorensen. They added Staley as assistant head coach at the same time, though, and Shanahan explained Tuesday how the roles will be different.

"Nick is going to call the plays," Shanahan said. "Nick will be a huge part of the game planning and doing everything on that side of the ball, and helping me out in other areas also. Brandon will be a big part of the game plans, implementing a lot of our defense here in the offseason and during each week, preparing for teams."

“He’s been a big part of free agency already,” Shanahan said. “Helped us with the draft and he’ll be a huge asset to the whole coaching staff. Once we start practice and go through OTAs, just have another guy’s expertise, who knows a lot of ball, he’s run a number of schemes.”

As far as Shanahan is concerned, the more input, the better, and he has hired several veteran coaches and coordinators to assist him in game planning and with ideas. For example, Anthony Lynn, who proceeded Staley as the Chargers' head coach (2017-20), is the 49ers' run game coordinator.

Staley, who also served as outside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears (2017-18) and Denver Broncos (2019), similarly will add another set of eyes on defense.

"Helped us with the draft, and he'll be a huge asset to the whole coaching staff," Shanahan said. "Once we start practice and go through OTAs, just have another guy’s expertise, who knows a lot of ball. He’s run a number of schemes."

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