NFC Notes: 49ers, Rams, Bobby Wagner, Seahawks


  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes that should 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans get a head coaching job this offseason, as many people expect he has a great shot to, San Francisco’s best internal candidate for promotion is secondary coach Cory Undlin.
  • Barrows adds he could see RB coach Anthony Lynn, assistant DL coach Darryl Tapp, defensive assistant Nick Sorensen and safety coach Daniel Bullocks leaving with Ryans for jobs on his new staff. 
  • After a hot start, 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey‘s efficiency has dipped a little bit. He acknowledged he’s still getting up to speed in the offense after the midseason trade: “Just continuing to get reps is so important because it (the run offense) is so dynamic and specific and each run has its own coaching point. So for me, it’s about continuing to learn and grow and get reps at it.”


Rams LB Bobby Wagner said he’s moved on from Seattle and is looking forward to competing at home against “a team that’s pretty good.

I am a mature man and that happened a long time ago,” Wagner said, via OC Register. “So, I am focused on performing at my best ability against the team that I’m playing this week. It’s just another game. It’s just a game coming up played in our stadium against a team that’s pretty good.

Wagner said he hasn’t paid any attention to the Seahawks when asked about their expedited rebuild.

I did not pay any attention to them, to be honest,” Wagner said. “I was focused on the Rams because that’s what my shirt says at this moment.

Wagner plans on being cordial with any member of Seattle’s organization that comes up to him, including HC Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider.

I’m sure they’ll come up,” Wagner said. “I’m sure they’ll come up, I’m sure I’ll say something afterwards. At the end of the day, we’re still competing, so whatever happens, happens. There’s not really a set plan on saying, ‘What’s up?’ I’m just going to go about my routine. Obviously, I’m a kind person. I’m not going to stiff-arm anybody per se.

Rams HC Sean McVay was very complimentary of Wagner, citing his professionalism and elite preparation regardless of outside circumstances.

I think just watching how committed he is to a process, to a standard of a consistent approach regardless of the circumstances,” McVay said. “We always talk about the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer, and he truly is a thermostat where he doesn’t let the external circumstances dictate going low or high. He’s always ramping things up and that’s as big a compliment as I can give anybody, especially just given the perspective that this year has given me, and I think a lot of people in our building.


Seahawks fifth-round CB Tariq Woolen has been a star right away for Seattle, with five interceptions and a strong case for defensive rookie of the year. Given his size and draft status, the comparisons to former Seahawks CB Richard Sherman are inevitable, but also more than fair. 

“He’s lived up to it, man,” Sherman said via the Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar. “He’s been a great player. He’s been confident. He’s taken advantage of his ops when they’re there. He had all the tools, but a lot of people have all the tools and can’t put it together on game day. It’s cool to see somebody living up to his potential.”

At 6-4 and with elite speed — running the 40-yard dash at the Combine in 4.26 seconds — Woolen seems like he was generated in a lab to be the prototypical Seahawks cornerback. Seahawks HC Pete Carroll places a high value on size for his cornerbacks and predictably loved Woolen as a prospect. 

“Pete saw him as a Seahawk,” said former Seattle exec Alonzo Highsmith. “Pete felt the same way about him as he did about Richard Sherman.”

Plenty of other teams have followed the Seahawks’ model on defense too, which made it even more surprising when Woolen slipped to the fifth round even though he was admittedly raw as a prospect. Seattle even drafted another corner before Woolen, using a fourth-round pick on starting nickel corner Coby Bryant.  

“We didn’t have to,” Carroll laughed when asked why they didn’t take Woolen sooner even though they thought so highly of him. “That’s the same thing that Sherm used to say. He’s always pissed at us for taking him in the fifth round. I say, ‘Well, nobody else took you.’”

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