New 49er Thomas explains why working with Shanahan has been eye-opening

New 49er Thomas explains why working with Shanahan has been eye-opening originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Logan Thomas has a decade of NFL experience, but joining the 49ers has been an eye-opening experience for the tight end, primarily because of coach Kyle Shanahan.

The 32-year-old Thomas shared his initial impression of Shanahan while speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area at Tight End University, the two-day camp hosted by 49ers All-Pro George Kittle, Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce and NFL alum Greg Olsen.

“It’s very different,” Thomas said. “He sees it in from the inside out, and from the outside in. He sets things up. He’s like there are a couple of plays that might not hit big, but setting it up for something else.

“You really respect that as a player because you know he’s grinding the same way you’re grinding and he wants to get the best out of you and we’re going to get the best out of him and that’s what’s most important.

Thomas joined Kittle at TEU along with fellow 49ers free-agent signee Eric Saubert and San Francisco rookie Mason Pline not only to work on fundamentals but to get to know his new teammates a little more. The Virginia Tech product brings a pass catching element that could supplement the production of Kittle as a receiver.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity,” Thomas said. “Obviously I’m not George. I’m not the guy that’s running the show every single day, but I’m ready to be the support guy and carve out a role for myself and be the guy they need me to be.”

Thomas had multiple options to choose from as a free agent but prioritized joining an organization that had a winning culture, and where he felt he could could contribute. Still, he is ready to do the work to earn his spot on the offense.

“They are a well oiled machine,” Thomas said of the 49ers’ offense. “They know what they are doing, and don’t care if you know what they are doing. Still got to stop it. That comes from doing the same thing for years and years. Kyle is obviously a brilliant mind and I’m excited to really get to work with him.”

While Thomas has been in the NFL since being the Arizona Cardinals‘ 2014 fourth-round draft pick, his best season was in 2020 when he joined the Washington Commanders and caught 72 of his 110 targets for 670 yards and six touchdowns.

Thomas only was on the field for six games in 2021 and caught 39 passes for 323 yards in 2022, but he bounced back with 496 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2023.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know everybody, earning a spot on the team, and getting into the season and playing some games,” Thomas said. “The last couple of years for me have been kind of up and down. I’m excited to be part of something that could be really big.

“I haven’t really had an offensive head coach, especially not one like Kyle. I’m really excited to see how it goes.”

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