SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As it turns out, the San Francisco 49ers will have some movement involving a key role on their staff and the NFL broadcast booth after all.
After general manager John Lynch acknowledged earlier this week that he declined a lucrative opportunity to return to broadcasting, the Niners decided to hire Brian Griese as their next quarterbacks coach, sources told ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Adam Schefter on Friday. Griese had served as one of the color analysts on ESPN’s Monday Night Football since 2020.
Griese replaces Rich Scangarello, who left the team to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Kentucky last month, a move that came as a bit of a surprise to the Niners.
Griese will be stepping into a coaching job for the first time. He retired from the NFL as a player in 2008.
Griese does, however, have some familiarity with Niners coach Kyle Shanahan. He played quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 and ’05, when Shanahan was the team’s offensive quality control coach. After leading Michigan to a national championship in 1997, Griese played 10 NFL seasons with stops in Denver, Miami, Tampa Bay, Chicago and again with Tampa Bay before retiring.
Griese’s arrival comes at a critical time for the 49ers when it comes to quarterbacks. This offseason, San Francisco is expected to move on from incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo and turn the reins over to Trey Lance, whom they selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
At the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Lynch acknowledged that Garoppolo, who is slated to have surgery on his right shoulder soon, is part of trade conversations.
“A lot of people need or want quarterbacks right now, and he’s obviously a guy they’d look at,” Lynch said. “So, yes, we have listened, but he’s a part of us and he’s gonna work diligently to get back from this surgery.”
Griese is just one of what’s expected to be many new additions amid significant turnover to Shanahan’s coaching staff. Eight Niners coaches, including offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, now the Dolphins head coach, have departed for other opportunities this offseason.
Anthony Lynn, the former Chargers head coach, was hired in February as the team’s assistant head coach and is also expected to coach running backs as longtime assistant Bobby Turner takes a hiatus to handle some health issues.
Lynch said Wednesday the Niners are close to filling all their coaching vacancies with an announcement to come in the next week or so.