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Tom Compton: Reuniting with Kyle Shanahan Was a 'No-Brainer'

Many players have alluded that the opportunity to play under head coach Kyle Shanahan was a driving factor to sign with the 49ers. Newly acquired left tackle Trent Williams recently stated that the 49ers were a "preferred destination," given the chance to reunite with his former offensive coordinator.

For fellow offensive lineman Tom Compton, it was an obvious decision when the opportunity arose to join the now-head coach in San Francisco.

"The coaching staff is a huge deal," Compton said this week. "I know just about everybody on the offensive staff here, and they're just about the best coaches in the NFL. They all work together well. They're all on the same page. It's very cohesive. They're very smart. They're coming up with new things all the time. (They're) innovative and it seems like you'd want to be a part of that.

"It was a no-brainer for me."

The 49ers signed Compton to a one-year deal last month. The offensive lineman played under Shanahan when he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He had another stint under Shanahan's instruction during his lone season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, where he appeared in all 16 games during their Super Bowl run.

"I had a chance with them in Atlanta for a year, and it was awesome," Compton added. "I've just always wanted to be a part of this system, no matter how it comes about. And to get the opportunity, I tried to jump on it as fast as I can."

Compton is re-immersing himself into Shanahan's offense virtually, as clubs are forced to undergo distance learning this offseason. Compton has already begun to recall many of the similarities, as well as the progression of Shanahan's complex playbook over the last three seasons.

"Luckily for me, I've been in this offense before so it's basically remembering the nuances that come with it. But I remember all the terms, the calls and all that, so that definitely makes it easier," Compton explained. "The foundation is the same – how they go about attacking with the outside zone. To see how it's evolved is pretty wild. The things that they added with fullbacks, tight ends, the wide receivers in motion. It just adds so much to the playbook. It's pretty cool to see how it's evolved."

Despite his familiarity, Compton isn't guaranteed a starting spot. He is among a number of offensive linemen competing at the right guard position. Following the departure of Mike Person this offseason, the position is up for grabs with Daniel Brunskill and fifth-round pick Colton McKivitz also in the mix.

"The plan is to compete for the right guard position. They're obviously not just going to hand it to me," Compton said. "It's definitely something that has to be earned, so my mindset is that I'm competing for the right guard spot. A nice thing about me is that I've played basically every position, so I'm also very versatile when it comes to that. During meetings, my focus is at guard."

It's worth mentioning, beginning this year under the new CBA, the gameday roster is set to increase from 46 to 48 players, provided they have eight offensive linemen dressed. Compton's versatility and experience playing multiple positions across the offensive line could put him at an advantage heading into the 2020 season.