--The 49ers plan to widen their search for a high-level executive after Mike Reinfeldt, Seahawks vice president of football administration, turned them down. Coach Mike Nolan has wanted to hire a respected NFL administrator to strengthen his support system. Just two weeks ago, the 49ers announced that owner John York had given Nolan the go-ahead to fill such a spot in the organization.
Falcons executive vice president/chief administrative officer Ray Anderson is among the candidates for the 49ers' opening, along with Rams executive vice president Bob Wallace, former NFL general manager Bob Ferguson and Cardinals senior director of football operations John Idzik.
--Quarterback Alex Smith said he plans to speak this off-season with former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who won his first two Super Bowl titles with Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator. Turner is the new 49ers' offensive coordinator, taking over for Mike McCarthy, who left to become head coach of the Packers.
"I've talked with him before but my past conversations were more on what it's like to be a starting quarterback as a rookie," Smith said. "I know he speaks very highly of coach Turner, so I'll definitely want to talk with him again."
--Smith said he was eager to delve into his off-season of work with McCarthy as his coordinator, but he now must make an adjustment to a new coordinator.
"Obviously, it was a surprise," Smith said. "I was looking forward to an off-season of not having to learn a new offense. But I grew so close to coach McCarthy last year that part of me is really happy for him. We talked about we were both looking forward to getting this thing going this off-season. I understand the business and realize this was a great situation for him. There are only 32 of those jobs out there. We talked and decided to stay in touch. He said I could always call him."
Smith has already started learning Turner's new system after spending time this off-season at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and in Detroit for the Super Bowl.
"I'll be going back to a learning environment again," Smith said. "I'll be starting over with a lot of things, which is not a terrible thing. I learned a ton last year going through Coach McCarthy's system. If coach McCarthy had stayed, we could have hit the ground running. Now, it's going to be a lot more scholastics."
--The 49ers have allocated quarterback Bryson Spinner to NFL Europe. Spinner has been released by the Redskins, Jaguars and Seahawks. A 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, Spinner completed his college career at Richmond in 2003.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I feel a lot better about the football team today than a year ago. Also, I'm very realistic about the improvements we need to make. Next year we'll make some strides. We're going to start stacking on top of good players as we continue to draft well." - 49ers coach Mike Nolan on the progress the club has made since he took over.
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