SF 49ers: 4 tweaks Kyle Shanahan can make to roster after loss vs. Cardinals

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Raheem Mostert, SF 49ers
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Keep Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon atop the SF 49ers depth chart

If there was one saving grace from the Niners’ Week 1 defeat, it was seeing Kyle Shanahan’s running backs being used in a variety of different ways.

Rushers Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon each recorded receiving touchdowns. In the case of McKinnon, who missed the last two years after tearing his ACL in 2018, his score must have been especially gratifying.

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And in total, Mostert and McKinnon combined for seven receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Both also had rush longs of 14 and 16 yards, respectively.

Fellow running back Tevin Coleman, however, wasn’t much of a factor.

Coleman, who was Kyle Shanahan’s primary early down back in 2019, managed just five touches for 18 yards rushing and 6 yards receiving. While Coleman does have a valuable role on the 49ers, and Shanahan will never shy away from his affinity for him, it’s pretty clear early on both Mostert and McKinnon offer San Francisco’s offense much more.

Both on the ground and through the air.

As such, those two should be the featured tailback tandem in Shanahan’s offense moving forward, while Coleman can be a primary reserve to guard against injury and too much wear and tear on any of the other backs.

Next. Grades, analysis from 49ers' ugly Week 1 loss to Cardinals. dark

The Niners offense would be that much better because of it.