John Morton, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant

Jim Harbaugh has made one of his first hires for the San Francisco 49ers that extends beyond his Stanford Cardinal roots, although he is well acquainted with former USC Trojans wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator John Morton. Harbaugh worked with Morton back when they were both under the rule of Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders, with Harbaugh working as the quarterbacks coach with Rich Gannon from 2002-03. Morton's tenure in the East Bay lasted longer (from 1997 to 2004), and he was the receivers coach for several seasons before being a senior offensive assistant in the years Harbaugh coached the signal-callers.

It's unclear exactly what Morton's role would be, although you'd bet he'll be working with the offense and primarily with the passing game. The Raiders were a pretty successful pass offense during Morton's years as receivers coach under Jon Gruden, and there is definite talent with tight end Vernon Davis and wide receivers Michael Crabtree. Can he help revive the Niners as a legitimate West Coast offense?

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