Losing wide receivers coach Wes Welker to the Miami Dolphins does come off a significant loss for the San Francisco 49ers during this early offseason period. After all, producing an All-Pro in Deebo Samuel and getting Brandon Aiyuk to flourish is the proof of Welker’s impact.
But was his loss considered a surprise by the 49ers? Particularly the man who became a Pro Bowler under his tutelage in Samuel?
The third-year wide receiver caught up with Heavy on 49ers during his appearance at the Super Bowl event “Calle de Crunch” sponsored by Frito-Lay at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles on Friday, February 11 to share his response to Welker moving on to the Dolphins.
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Samuel’s Reaction to Welker’s Departure
While word got out after Mike McDaniel’s introductory press conference as Miami’s next head coach that Welker was soon to join him, Samuel tells Heavy there was communication beforehand between him and his now former position coach.
“I had already knew. I had already talked to him,” Samuel told Heavy. “He had already called me before it (the news) hit the fan.”
Welker is lined up to take the same position with the Dolphins and under the 49ers’ former offensive coordinator McDaniel. For McDaniel, he continues his rise in coaching ranks after one season coordinating the offense with Kyle Shanahan, but has spent his previous four seasons as the team’s run-game coordinator.
And while Welker instilled receiving fundamentals into Samuel and the other 49er wideouts, McDaniel was able to move around Samuel and got him to damage run defenses outside of going out for a pass:
Plus got him to show his arm:
Samuel blossomed into a household name in the NFL during the 49ers’ NFC title game run under both men. Now, he’s ecstatic about McDaniel and Welker collaborating together next season.
“I think it’s great for both of those guys,” Samuel said. “Especially for Mike and the head job and Wes going over there. It’s another opportunity for him. I wish the best for both of them.”
What Happens Now With the 49ers’ Staff?
So now, the 49ers have job postings for offensive coordinator and receivers coach.
Although, newly hired assistant coach Anthony Lynn comes over having ran the offense for the Detroit Lions and holding a background in stellar running play, which could point to Lynn possibly becoming second in command for Shanahan’s system.
But what to do with wide receiver? Or, another major question: Would Samuel have some say on who the 49ers bring in for Welker’s replacement?
“Nah, that’s above my payroll over there,” Samuel said, indicating he trusts the 49ers will hire the right guy.
Regardless of who replaces Welker, Samuel showed his growth on the gridiron. But even after a dominant year, Samuel sent this message to the 49ers’ Faithful:
“The best is still yet to come,” Samuel said. “I think I hit a mark this year in showing what I’m capable of. During this offseason I tend to get better.”
Samuel was one of two 49ers who took part in “Calle de Crunch,” with George Kittle appearing on Thursday. The Super Bowl experience event helped honor East L.A. and its community’s vibrant food scene.