SANTA CLARA – Despite being the quarterbacks coach of the 49ers for four seasons prior to moving into the offensive coordinator role, Geep Chryst is putting a brand new stamp on San Francisco’s offense.
That’s per the instructions of new head coach Jim Tomsula.
“The first thing he wanted to do was not just bring in a playbook, slide out the first cover sheet and slide in the other one,” Chryst said on Thursday, as the 49ers wrapped up OTAs. “It forced us as a group of offensive coaches to kind of put it together from scratch. Bake the cake from scratch. I think that’s a good process to go through. You’re hitting the reset button.”
“Everything is new. Everything is different,” Vernon Davis said. “It’s a totally different staff that we have, different players. The offense is just different in so many ways.”
While the system may be new, Chryst does have the advantage of already knowing much of the 49ers personnel on offense. That includes Colin Kaepernick, of course, and there were hints during minicamp that the offense will be tailored more towards the 27-year-old quarterback’s strengths.
“You start with the quarterback. That’s pretty simple,” Chryst said.
Joe Staley said: “He has a great understanding of the whole entire offense, and how everything fits together. Being a quarterback coach for so long and coaching that position, he understands how the offensive line’s blocking schemes affect what the quarterback does. … He has great insight on all that stuff. A lot of great ideas that we’re all excited about.”
There are some new pieces too, including receivers Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson. The versatile Reggie Bush could also see plenty of snaps along the line of scrimmage, and the 49ers running game will surely look different with Frank Gore’s departure.
Bush suggested that everything is going well so far.
“The chemistry has been really good,” he said. “I think it’s been as good as it could possibly be. I think the offense has really started clicking. It seems like we’re really starting to find our identity as a team.”
And what’s that identity exactly?
“I can’t tell you that, you’ll have to wait and see during a game,” he said with a chuckle.
Of course, there’s only so much that can be learned when the players aren’t yet in pads. Chryst admitted that he still has plenty of homework to do in the coming weeks.
“We need to see what our players do best,” he said. “What does (rookie running back) Mike Davis do best? It’s good seeing (running back) Kendall Hunter back – what does he do best? We need to get on pads, quite honestly, to do that and figure that out, and the preseason games to battle test it.”
Davis said: “He’s all about the players. He’s about involving different players because we all have different talents and abilities that can help this team win. He’s just a fun guy to be with.”