San Francisco 49ers

Stadium: Levi's Stadium | Coach: Kyle Shanahan
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense17th100.8 (22nd)233.2 (16th)
Defense25th121.3 (24th)230.5 (20th)

49ers report: Notes, quotes

The Sports Xchange
Notes, quotes · Inside slant · Strategy and personnel

--Owner John York of the 49ers has been portrayed as a skinflint since taking over the operation from his brother in law, Eddie DeBartolo. But York quietly has poured approximately $1.25 million into improvements behind the scenes at the team's Santa Clara, Calif., training facility.

Last year, York spent about $250,000 on improvements to the club's weight room after seeking advice from veteran defensive lineman Bryant Young. This year, the 49ers will add a synthetic turf practice field at a cost of $1 million.

--After a long search, the 49ers hired former Browns executive Lal Heneghan to become the team's executive vice president of football operations. Heneghan, 42, brings some experience to one of the youngest and least-experienced front offices in the NFL.

"I was most impressed with the communication chemistry and shared vision of the future for the team," Heneghan said. "What was most important for me was the structure and interaction that John (York), Mike (Nolan) and Scot (McCloughan) established with the 49ers. I was immediately comfortable with them and excited about the opportunities I would have to work within that structure. My goal is simple: To help everyone in the 49ers organization and the fans get the team back to the Super Bowl and to win it."

--When the 49ers were believed to be looking for a team president, Nolan had mentioned that the person hired should have the power to fire the head coach. But the job title seemed to change after Seattle executive Mike Reinfeldt turned down the 49ers' job offer.

When asked if Heneghan will have the power to fire the head coach, York paused for a long time before answering.

"Um ... I don't think he will," York said.

Nolan, alluding to the York's initial silence, quipped: "I hope you were taking a drink or something."

York then clarified the role of Heneghan when it comes to making decisions about the head coach. "Mike reports to me and Lal reports to me, so that would be something that would be difficult."

--The 49ers were one of a reported 11 teams to be represented at George Mason basketball player Jai Lewis' workout in Alexandria, Va. Lewis recently helped lead George Mason to a surprise appearance in the Final Four. Lewis (6-foot-5, 292 pounds) could project as a tight end in the NFL.

--The 49ers announced the selection of HNTB Architecture Inc. to provide the planning and design services for the club's proposed stadium, along with Turner Construction and Devcon, which have been retained for the pre-construction management phase of the project.

A 49ers spokesperson said HNTB's success on Denver's Invesco Field, home of the Broncos, was a key factor in the decision.

The 49ers confirmed the club is looking at new ways to finance its planned stadium on Candlestick Point without relying on the $100 million revenue bond narrowly approved by San Francisco voters in 1997 while was tied to a stadium-mall project.

NBBJ Sports & Entertainment is the firm that developed the original plan for the 49ers' proposed stadium in '97. NBBJ was the architectural firm that built Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field and Browns Stadium in Cleveland.

"We need starters. We're not just trying to build depth." -- 49ers coach Mike Nolan on the upcoming draft.

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