If you happen to hear about a broom being used during quarterback drills on the 49ers practice fields, don’t be alarmed.
Well-known quarterback coach George Whitfield, the broom master, is now on the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff as part of the team’s coaching internship program.
Whitfield has used brooms to simulate defensive linemen during his ballyhooed combine training sessions with the likes of recent first-round signal-callers Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Johnny Manziel.
READ: What We Learned at Tuesday's OTA Workout
Fifteen-year NFL veteran offensive lineman Bob Whitfield also has joined San Francisco's coaching staff in the same fashion. Jim Harbaugh shared the news of the intern additions following Tuesday’s OTA session.
“Really fired up to have them,” the 49ers head coach said of the men who will be with the 49ers through training camp. “Both are doing a good job.”
George Whitfield’s presence wasn’t prop-heavy during the practice session open to the media. He stood alongside quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst during the opening individual period and worked with some of the team’s young quarterbacks in a pocket footwork drill.
Whitfield got to know Harbaugh years back when the 49ers coach was the head man at the University of San Diego. Whitfield lives in San Diego and has used his surroundings to train his quarterbacks on the beach. The forward-thinking teacher explained his reasoning for joining the 49ers while responding to a fan on Twitter.
“So much to learn,” Whitfield tweeted in response. “QBs/ offense/ culture/ ppl building.”
Harbaugh, a quarterback guru in his own right, spoke highly of his new specialist.
“Thought it would be beneficial for us to have him here,” Harbaugh said.
The 49ers currently have five quarterbacks on the roster to learn from Whitfield:
Timing is perfect for the Whitfield additioin. The five passers are the most the team has ever had during Harbaugh’s coaching tenure in San Francisco.
The 49ers, however, didn’t bring in Whitfield to commandeer the quarterback room. Instead, he’s going to share his insight with the group.
“There’s no carte blanche, but we agree on a lot of things,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t found anything we disagree on, so it’s not like we’ve turned our quarterbacks over to George. He’s going to augment, he’s going to assist.
"I think it’s going to be beneficial for us, beneficial for him and it should be a win-win, always looking for that.
As for the brooms, it remains to be seen if Whitfield will look to incorporate his signature drill.
“He’s got more than one drill in his bag,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got a repertoire.”