OC Geep Chryst: 49ers 'Not That Far Away' from Playoffs

We know there are "philosophical" changes coming to the San Francisco 49ers offense.

How so? General manager Trent Baalke told us that at the start of NFL free agency.

So what are some of the big adjustments that will take place under the watch of first-year offensive coordinator Geep Chryst? For starters, the team's former quarterbacks coach of the past four seasons, will look to simplify San Francisco's offensive playbook.

"We know that these rosters are churning more and more than they ever have," Chryst told 49ers Studios before the start of NFL free agency, a period in which the offense added play-making veterans like wide receiver Torrey Smith and running back Reggie Bush. "In 2015, we're going to have a new roster compared to what we had in 2014. So how I see my role within that, is having a system that they can easily digest in our shortened offseason, nine weeks, seven with the coaches out on the field.

"That's not much time to try to have a major overhaul, but we've got to teach the young players how to fit in with our veterans."

Chryst has taken over a 49ers offense that finished 30th in passing yards (191.4 yards per game), fourth in rushing yards (136 yards per game) and 25th in scoring offense (19.1 points per game). With Colin Kaepernick at the helm as the team's starting quarterback, and seven other starting returning in 2015, Chryst spoke confidently about San Francisco's chances of returning to the postseason.

"We're not that far away from getting back to the playoffs and winning a few more games," Chryst said.

So what makes the offensive coordinator confident in his unit? It's the coaching staff's familiarity with the team's personnel. Head coach Jim Tomsula, defensive coordinator Eric Mangini and Chryst have all worked with the majority of the roster for the past two seasons.

In Chryst's case, the offensive staff has additional carry over with running backs coach Tom Rathman and offensive assistants Ronald Curry and D.J. Boldin remaining on the staff.

"We feel fortunate, especially the guys who have been here for the past four years, that we can work with Jim and maybe help the transition for the new guys on the staff," Chryst said. "And of course we love our team, the players that we have coming back."

Newcomers to the offensive staff include quarterbacks coach Steve Logan, offensive line coach Chris Foerster (who worked for the 49ers from 2008-09), tight ends coach Tony Sparano and wide receivers coach Adam Henry, who will share receiver teaching duties with Curry.

Logan's presence will allow Chryst to work with more position groups than just the signal-callers.

A breakdown of the 49ers 2015 coaching staff in photos.

"Steve Logan will be just great with Kap and the rest of the quarterbacks," Chryst said. "That frees me up to walk around, but we'll expand our vision on the field."

With the ability to roam the practice fields, Chryst can set the expectation for the entire offensive unit. As the creative coach pointed out, the OC role will afford him the opportunity to change the way 49ers prepare on a weekly basis.

"We'll have some uptempo practices," Chryst said, "and I'm looking forward to that already."

Another big component of Chryst's promotion is his new leadership position on offense. Chryst said it's not the first time he's been involved with leading a full meeting room of offensive personnel with the 49ers.

"We've had some nice opportunities to stand in front of the group and install various forms of the game plan over the last four years," Chryst said. "So it's not the first time at the podium, but I'm looking forward to spending time at the podium a little bit more." Chryst's vision for the 49ers offense will start to truly take shape once the coaches are allowed to work with players in the third week of the offseason program. Players can voluntarily report for offseason workouts on April 6.

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