NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams



49ers HC Kyle Shanahan wouldn’t rule out a potential move to tight end down the road for WR Jalen Hurd, who also played RB in college, comparing him to TE Niles Paul who Shanahan coached in Washington.

“We plan on him coming in and being a receiver and working with that group, putting him with [wide receivers coach] Wes [Welker] and [offensive quality control coach] Miles [Austin], but I don’t think that’s where it stops,” Shanahan said via Niners Nation. “We’ll see how his body ends up being here over the years and while he does it, I also hope we can give him a few carries here and there.”

  • According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, there’s some friction between Shanahan and GM John Lynch.
  • Miller says sources in the team coaching and scouting staff have told him Shanahan wants to focus on scheme and player development, but has found himself increasingly involved in player evaluation because he doesn’t trust Lynch’s decision-making.  
  • However, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco says there’s no indication of “acrimony or distrust” from what he’s personally seen and heard. 
  • When Shanahan was asked about the report, the coach texted back: “Complete bullshit.” (Maiocco)
  • Both Lynch and Shanahan have four years left on their deals. 


Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury says he plans to run an offense similar to what QB Kyler Murray ran at Oklahoma with a lot of five-wide receiver sets. 

“His ability to escape the pocket, escape those D-lineman when they can’t get off blocks—it’s just unique,” Kingsbury said via NBC’s Peter King. “And to still be able to drop back and survey the field and still be able to get the ball out on time, get through his progressions . . . When you spread people out he’s a weapon in a bunch of different ways. That’s tough on defenses because if you want to rush him upfield and he takes off, good luck catching him. And if you sit back, he can still pick you apart. The way we spread people out, the tempo in which we play, he’s the guy who can really thrive in system. We’re going to play the game at times wider than probably most people do in the league. We’re going to use the entire field and make them cover five wides and the quarterback and that’s tough on defenses.” 

The Cardinals ruined their chances of getting decent value for QB Josh Rosen by inexplicably not shopping him until they’d already taken Murray. 

“I can’t think of anyone who could have played this worse,” said an executive of one team interested in Rosen, per Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller. “EVERYONE knew they were taking Murray and you’re drafting first overall. You have nothing to hide from anyone. They could have been quietly shopping Rosen for weeks at least.”

Miller adds he was told the rumor that the Cardinals hadn’t decided on Murray until the week of the draft was “bullshit” and that the Cardinals were telling everyone who would listen at the Combine they were taking Murray. 


Rams HC Sean McVay says that while RB Todd Gurley will still be a major part of the offense, he’s had conversations about managing his workload. 

“We anticipate Todd being a huge part of this like he has been the last couple years,” McVay said via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “As far as managing the workload, those are things that we talk about with Todd and as you continue to get educated on, is that something that we should do for the long haul or something that is or isn’t going to affect Todd most importantly and how does that affect our team.”

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