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NFL Notes: 49ers, Browns, Jaguars, & Lions

49ers

  • Cam Inman reports neither the 49ers nor new HC Chip Kelly reached out to QB Colin Kaepernick about Kelly taking over as the team’s head coach.
  • According to Inman, Kaepernick is unsure how to react to Kelly’s hiring because he’s unsure whether Kelly sees him in the 49ers’ future.

Browns

  • Ian Rapoport reports the Browns checked in with Patriots DC Matt Patricia to gauge his interest in their head-coaching vacancy before making the decision to hire Hue Jackson.
  • Rapoport adds that the Browns would have hosted Patricia for a second interview if he had shown strong interest in the position.

Jaguars

Jaguars HC Gus Bradley said adding a full-time fullback to the roster is not a large necessity, and seems to think TE Clay Harbor or DT Tyson Alualu can continue to fill that void.

For short-yardage and goal-line situations, what you’re looking at your [fullback] to do, your other tight end [can possibly do],” Bradley said, via Mike DiRocco of ESPN. “What traits does he [the tight end] have and what can he bring to the table? I think as you look at that position, to have somebody like Clay Harbor will line up in the backfield some or at least off positions, so if you have a guy like that it allows you to get away from a [fullback].”

DiRocco points out that Jacksonville rated as one of the worst short-yardage teams in the league last season after converting just 16 first downs through 40 rushing attempts on downs third-and-2 or shorter. In fact, they fumbled three times on those plays.

Lions

  • ESPN’s Michael Rothstein writes that DC Teryl Austin will likely return for 2016 if he is not hired by the Titans.
  • While Rothstein is not sure that bringing back HC Jim Caldwell will convince Calvin Johnson to continue playing in 2016, he believes Caldwell’s ability to keep players healthy could be a key factor into getting Johnson to stay for another season.
  • Th Lions could reasonably attempt to trade Johnson if they don’t place him on the reserve/retired list. However, Rothstein mentions that Johnson’s reluctance to play could be prohibitive for a potential trade.
  • Rothstein views this offseason as a big opportunity for 2015 fourth-round pick DT Gabe Wright to earn a starting spot.
  • Rothstein believes the Lions must upgrade both offensive tackle spots, while a move at center could also be a possibility.