That Baltimore-to-San Francisco pipeline sure gets a lot of use. The 49ers today hired Chris Foerster to coach the offensive line alongside George Warhop, whose job seemed to be in peril shortly after the team's disappointing 2007 season. Foerster (pronounced FUR-ster) has been the Ravens' offensive line coach since 2005 and had the additional title of of assistant head coach last season. The 46 year old also has coached for the Vikings, Buccaneers and Colts and was the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator in 2004.
Shortly after the the 49ers' season ended it became clear that the team would part ways with offensive coordinator Jim Hostler, whose unit finished last in many critical categories. The thinking was that Warhop, whose offensive line struggled badly early in the season, would suffer the same fate. But when Mike Martz was hired as offensive coordinator last month, Warhop got a reprieve. Martz had worked with Warhop in the past and felt comfortable retaining him as the 49ers' offensive line coach. Foerster's hire, however, is a signal that Mike Nolan was not happy with the status quo at the position. Foerster is the second assistant Nolan has plucked from his former squad this offseason. The team hired Baltimore's running backs coach Tony Nathan last week to coach the same position.
Having two assistants at one position certainly isn't unheard of. The 49ers, for example, have had two secondary coaches in past seasons. Last season, offensive assistant Mark Nori helped out with the offensive line. The 49ers parted ways with Nori last month. A team spokesman said the two offensive line coaches would work togther. One man is not above the other on the assistant flow chart and one will not coach guards while the other coaches tackles. Both Warhop and Foerster were interior offensive linemen in college.
-- Matt Barrows