49er’s notebook: Griese hasn’t spoken to Garoppolo; trust in banks; Raiders train Kaepernick


 49er's notebook: Griese hasn't spoken to Garoppolo;  trust in banks;  Raiders train Kaepernick

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers made their assistant coaches available to reporters, as they do every offseason. Below are some notable tidbits from the interactions.

No contact with Garoppolo

On Tuesday, tight end George Kittle said he hasn’t spoken to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo since the team cleaned out their lockers after the season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers still intends to trade Garoppolo but also said nothing is guaranteed.

On Wednesday, new San Francisco quarterbacks coach Brian Griese said he’s worked closely with all of the team’s quarterbacks this offseason, with the exception of Garoppolo. In fact, the assistant coach hasn’t even spoken to Garoppolo yet.

Yes, Garoppolo is rehabilitating from his March 8 shoulder surgery. However, the fact that the position coach doesn’t work with the quarterback at all is a good indicator that the team is focused on moving forward without him.

Chris Foerster convinced of Aaron Banks

Last year’s second-round pick Aaron Banks played just five offensive snaps during his rookie campaign in 2021. However, the 49ers seem confident that the offensive lineman can do more in his second NFL season.

49ers offensive line coach Chris Foerster believes Banks can take the starting left guard spot after Laken Tomlinson’s departure to the New York Jets.

Kris Kocurek praised Armstead’s adaptability in 2021

Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek shared that the 49ers value versatility along the defensive front. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, the assistant credited Arik Armstead’s adaptability to the unit’s success in 2021, especially after the team was hit by injuries. “I didn’t order anything,” Kocurek said. “I said, ‘Hey, I’m just throwing this at you. What do you think about that?’ … He was all for it [moving inside]. Arik, the most important thing he showed me is that he is a selfless player. He’s a team first guy. He was captain for the last two years. The boys look up to him.

“And most people can’t make that transition mid-season. If you want to make this kind of transition, it usually has to be in the off-season, [using] the OTAs to sort of get to know each other there and then sharpen it [training] Camp and then hit the ground running in week 1.

“He gets thrown in there in week 7, week 8. It’s not the easiest thing. Arik has excelled there throughout the season. … And then in the playoffs I thought he played his best ball was a difference – type of player in there do, run and pass.”

Raiders train Colin Kaepernick

This isn’t from Wednesday’s media availability, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last played in the league in the 2016 season, has scheduled a practice session with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Kaepernick has been out of the league since the start of the regime of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, when the 49ers opted not to bring the quarterback back.

Kaepernick’s NFL career was halted after the quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, leading many others to follow in his footsteps the following season. Director Spike Lee is working on a multi-part documentary for ESPN that focuses on the polarizing quarterback.

In 2021, Netflix released the Kaepernick-narrated drama series Colin in Black & White.

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