49ers news: What to expect from new QBs coach Brian Griese

ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Brian Griese (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Brian Griese (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The 49ers finally landed an assistant coach after a wave of losing many, onboarding former quarterback turned ESPN analyst Brian Griese to be their QB coach.

For the bulk of the 2022 offseason so far, the talk about the San Francisco 49ers (outside of what will happen to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo) is just how many assistants under head coach Kyle Shanahan were departing.

Earlier on, the only notable addition was former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn to the staff. Yet the bulk of chatter was still about departures, not hires.

Well, that shifted the other direction on Friday night, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported former NFL quarterback and then-Monday Night Football analyst Brian Griese was leaving his position at ESPN to take on the Niners’ vacant quarterbacks coach spot, which was previously held by now-University of Kentucky offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello:

Griese, a third-round NFL Draft pick in 1998 by the Denver Broncos, spent 11 years in the league before shifting over to the television side of things a year after his retirement from pro football. And while Griese doesn’t have any prior coaching experience, it’s certainly not the first time San Francisco has brought in a former player who also turned into a TV personality to hold a position of prominence within the organization.

The most recent being general manager John Lynch, of course.

Nevertheless, Griese’s hiring is a bit of an unorthodox move by Shanahan, so it’ll prompt the question about what to expect heading into 2022 and potentially beyond.

What Brian Griese offers Trey Lance will be vital to 49ers

There’s a bit of unconfirmed buzz stating Scangarello wasn’t a top fan of the 49ers’ selection of quarterback Trey Lance in last year’s NFL Draft. Exactly how much truth there is to that remains up for debate, but the fact the Niners and Scangarello parted ways after a lone reunion season (Scangarello held San Francisco’s QB coach role in 2017 and 2018) is, perhaps, a small piece of evidence.

Nevertheless, Griese’s relationship with Lance is going to be vital for both the 2021 rookie’s success and that of the franchise moving forward.

On one hand, Shanahan clearly trusts his gut on a move like this, probably understanding the journeyman-like career Griese had and the fact he worked within a number of different offensive systems. Sometimes, it’s not the best players who end up making great coaches, rather the ones who are on the fringes of staying in the league for a long time, knowing fully well how much hard work it requires just to stay relevant.

Read More: 3 free agents Anthony Lynn might bring to San Francisco

Additionally, Griese has stayed close to the league as an analyst ever since, seeing the transition from a predominantly run-heavy NFL to the pass-happy league it is today. That’ll surely help, too.

At the same time, though, Griese’s lack of any practical coaching experience comes with some risks. While Griese holds credit, being a former player, the art of coaching is vastly different. Mentoring Lance is going to be a challenge for which Griese might not be adequately prepared.

Next. 4 former Niners players San Francisco should bring back. dark