Thoughts on 49ers' offensive coordinator

A few nuggets following news that the San Francisco 49ers have identified Stanford assistant head coach Greg Roman as their next offensive coordinator:

  • This was an expected move once Stanford hired David Shaw over Roman as successor to new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

  • Roman has worked closely with Harbaugh, a bonus. The comfort level is already there. The 49ers haven't had this built-in comfort level between their head coach and offensive coordinators in recent seasons.

  • Roman might have done a marvelous job at Stanford, but Harbaugh's background on offense diminishes, to a degree, the value of the 49ers' offensive coordinator. Put another way: The 49ers will be less reliant on their offensive coordinator because their head coach can do the heavy lifting on that side of the ball. That is a welcome change, although the defensive hires now become more important than they were under, say, Mike Nolan.

  • The 49ers have not ranked higher than 18th in points per game or 24th in yards per game since ranking among the NFL's top 10 in both categories back in 2003, Dennis Erickson's first year as head coach. The bar has been set pretty low, in other words. Harbaugh and Roman need to jump over it pretty quickly.

  • Roman has coached in the NFL with Carolina, Houston and Baltimore. That helps. He was quarterbacks coach for the Texans when current 49ers backup David Carr was their quarterback in 2004 and 2005. I don't know if that makes Carr more or less likely to return as a backup, but the 49ers know they still need to find their long-term starter elsewhere.

We should expect Harbaugh to continue piecing together his staff at an accelerated rate now that Stanford has hired a head coach.