The San Francisco 49ers have now lost their eighth member of the 2021 coaching staff.
This time, one man who was instrumental in the development of an important offensive position is doing this rare NFC West swap: He’s heading to a place where he’s replacing a future Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator.
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San Francisco quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello is leaving the franchise to take the open offensive coordinator spot at the University of Kentucky, first reported by the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Friday, February 25. Scangarello is replacing Liam Coen, who will soon join Sean McVay and the Rams’ staff.
Significance of Scangarello’s Loss
Again, Scangarello is departure No. 8 from the staff that helped take the 49ers to the NFC title game this past season.
The loss of the 49-year-old Scangarello, though, impacts Trey Lance moving forward.
The second-year quarterback is appearing more and more likely to handle the quarterback reins for the 49ers moving forward, as chatter of Jimmy Garoppolo getting traded continues to be a hot button topic across the league. But now, when Lance does take the QB1 snaps, he’ll have a new quarterbacks coach to work with.
Scangarello earned a strong reputation as a quarterback developer. Despite Garoppolo’s early injuries, Scangarello helped oversee Jimmy G’s 5-0 season of 2017. He originally left the 49ers in 2019 to take over the offensive coordinator role for the Denver Broncos. Last season, he served as senior offensive assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles. Then in 2021, he returned to his post as QB coach during the 49ers’ run to the conference title game.
Under Scangarello, Garoppolo threw for 3,810 passing yards (a second time in his career he surpassed 3,000). Garoppolo also tossed 20 touchdowns — another second time for him. Garoppolo’s completion percentage was 68.3% and his QB rating was 98.7. Meanwhile, Lance threw 5 touchdown passes with 2 interceptions in two starts for the 49ers, plus delivered a completion percentage of 57.7 and a quarterback rating of 97.3 per Pro Football Reference.
Scangarello will now head to a Southeastern Conference (SEC) program that went 10-3 overall and averaged 425.4 yards per game. One of his first tasks will be to find a new top target to replace early NFL Draft prospect Wan’Dale Robinson — who caught 104 passes for 1,334 yards and scored 7 touchdowns working with Coen. He will have experienced quarterback Will Levis to work with — who threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season.
Also, he won’t be the only past 49ers representative on the Wildcats’ staff.
Who Could the 49ers Turn to as QB Coach?
David Lombardi of The Athletic has already mentioned one name as a possibility to replace Scangarello, which would stay with the theme of the ‘Niners promoting from within under Kyle Shanahan.
“With Rich Scangarello gone, 49ers will have a new QB coach in what’ll presumably be Trey Lance’s first full season starting. Bobby Slowik, an offensive assistant who’s worked extensively with the QBs, is on the staff — and we’ll see if Shanahan adds an experienced QB coach,” Lombardi tweeted.
There’s another name that Lombardi mentioned as a possibility: John Beck, who is currently with Ex-49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and his staff with the New York Jets.