After giving him a test run for the past two seasons, the 49ers have decided to offer a second chance to former Dolphins coach Chris Foerster. As of this week, Foerster is now listed as one of the offensive line coaches on the team's website, which means he's their newest assistant coach.
According to Jennifer Lee Chan, who covers the team regularly, the 49ers signed Foerster to a two-year deal. If you've heard Foerster's name before, it's probably because he went through a high-profile incident nearly three years ago while he was serving as the offensive line coach for the Dolphins.
Back in October 2017, Foerster was forced to resign from his job in Miami after a video surfaced that showed him snorting a white powdery substance that he later admitted was cocaine. After leaving the Dolphins job, Foerster immediately checked himself into rehab, which is something he talked about extensively back in 2018.
After watching what happened to Foerster, the 49ers wanted to help him get back on his feet, so they hired him as a consultant prior to the 2018 season. The reason the team wanted to help is because Foerster has close ties with both Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Foerster knows Shanahan because they spent four seasons together on the same coaching staff in Washington (2010-13). As for Lynch, Foerster was the offensive line coach in Tampa Bay from 1996 to 2001, a time when Lynch was a safety for the Buccaneers.
"We're trying to ease him back in," Shanahan said of Foerster in 2019. "I understand how big of a problem he did have. I also understand what he's doing in committing to fix that problem. We're trying to give him a chance to get back on track."
While talking about Foerster in 2019, Shanahan hinted that the 49ers might be interested in giving him a full-time job if he was able to prove that he could stay clean.
"He's done that exactly the right way for two years," Shanahan said, via Lee Chan. "We will see if he continues to do that, and then we will reassess that after [the 2019 season]. If it continues to go well, I think he has a chance to get his life back on track. And that's really all we are trying to do."
The fact that the 49ers gave him a full-time job proves that they were obviously thrilled with his progress.
"He did something extremely stupid, and since then, he has hit rock bottom," Shanahan said. "He went to rehab for 60 days, and then he was in a 90-day outpatient rehab. For the last two years, he's been in a 12-step program that he's been to every single night seven days a week."
During his time as a consultant, Foerster broke down film for the team and handled advanced scouting reports, but he wasn't at the facility every day. Now that's a full-time coach, Foerster will take part in everything the team does.
Before resigning his Dolphins job away on Oct. 9, 2017, Foerster had been an NFL assistant for 25 years. Foerster's job with the 49ers is actually his third stint with the team following two separate runs as their offensive line coach (2008-09, 2015).