Charlotte 49ers football coach Brad Lambert hasn’t had a chance to fill a few key vacancies on his staff. Thank the new early signing period for that.
“It’s tough,” Lambert said Wednesday. “I’ve been on the road every day since (the season ended). I think Saturday was my first day off.”
Now that Lambert has the first portion of his class of 2018 signed (the 49ers landed 18 players on Wednesday, with another signing period in February) he said he can now more fully concentrate on hiring new offensive and defensive coordinators. He’s also looking for quarterbacks and wide receivers coaches.
Those positions came open in November, days after the 49ers completed a 1-11 season, when Lambert fired defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, quarterbacks coach Jeff Mullen and receivers coach Damien Gray. He also moved Greg Adkins from offensive coordinator to offensive line coach.
Lambert said there is no timetable for hiring the new coaches, but that it would be “before long.” He also said he is concentrating on finding the offensive coaches first.
“There’s been a ton of interest,” he said. “We’re working through that process now. The nice thing is that people want to come to Charlotte.”
Lambert said he wants to find coaches who fit into what he wants to do at Charlotte, not the other way around.
“It’s what I want to do offensively and defensively,” Lambert said. “I want to make sure we get the right guy who knows how I want to approach the game. That’s the key. He really has to know what I want to do.”
Lambert said he wants to find an offensive coordinator first. Whoever that is – as well as the defensive coordinator – will need to help figure out why the 49ers were so inconsistent last season. Lambert pointed to Charlotte’s paltry 25.48 percent third-down conversion rate on offense and 44.23 percent rate on defense. The 49ers also completed 46.8 percent of their passes, with the opposition completing 69.1 percent.
“Passing efficiency on both sides of the ball,” Lambert said. “We’ve got to more effectively throw the ball better and do better defensively. Those are the two main emphases moving forward into the spring.”
A lot of that will fall on the shoulders of Hasaan Klugh, Charlotte’s dual-threat quarterback who often struggled in the passing game, throwing 11 interceptions and nine touchdowns.
“He’s got to be more efficient throwing the ball,” Lambert said. “We need more completions, less picks.”
As Lambert prepares for next season, his main takeaway from the one-victory 2017 season was how close the 49ers came to winning games against teams like Florida International (a 30-29 loss) and Old Dominion (a 6-0 defeat). Different outcomes in those games, he said, might have produced a different culture as the season wore down.
“Just how close we were,” Lambert said. “But I thought we were prepared for things, especially in August. We had opportunities to win those games and we didn’t. It started there.”
David Scott: @davidscott14