San Francisco 49ers Ted Ginn Jr. (19) returns a punt for 55 yards for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks Dexter Davis (58) in the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, September 11, 2011. (Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News)

SANTA CLARA — If poring over the 2021 game film wasn’t enough for 49ers special teams coordinator Brian Schneider to realize he’s got a big job ahead of him, one of the first questions sent his way Wednesday served as a painful reminder.

Q: Do you remember the last time the 49ers had a punt return for a touchdown?

Schneider: No. Hopefully we’ll get one soon.

Schneider was informed it hadn’t happened since 2011, when Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park. The Seahawks’ special teams coordinator that day was Brian Schneider.

“Thanks for reminding me,” Schneider said. “We’ve all had games like that and that was one of the all-time worst.”

Schneider was not exaggerating. The punt return closed out the scoring in a 33-17 win for the 49ers. Before the punt return, Ginn returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown when the Seahawks trailed 19-17.

For a special teams coach, that’s as bad as it gets.

The 49ers know all about special teams issues after a 2021 season where it was clearly the weakest of the team’s three units. Schneider, 51, takes over for Richard Hightower. Hightower left for the Chicago Bears when it was clear the 49ers had no intention of rehiring him even after a special-teams-fueled divisional playoff win over Green Bay.

Schneider’s credentials are solid. Seattle ranked in the top five in special teams four times in a six-season span before fading at about the same rate as the talent on the roster. He stepped away from football before the 2020 season, and then was hired by Jacksonville for the 2021 season. He never made it to the starting line of the disaster orchestrated by Urban Meyer, stepping away again before the season started.

Ted Ginn Jr. (13) returns a punt 55 yards for a touchdown for the 49ers at Candlestick Park on Sept. 11, 2011. Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group

Neither time did Schneider specify anything other than “personal reasons,” and it was no different on Wednesday.

“We all have things to go through in life,” Schneider said. “It gave me new perspective to be able to step back. I was fortunate to be able to do that. You have four kids and a wife. It’s just life. I know that’s made me a better coach, being able to step away and feel how important this is to me.”

Schneider visited a son who …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


49ers’ Schneider is back in the game and tasked with fixing special teams woes

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