Niners hire veteran assistant to coach offensive line

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers hired veteran NFL assistant Chris Foerster on Friday as their offensive line coach, a job he'll share with embattled incumbent George Warhop.

Foerster spent the last three seasons as the offensive line coach and assistant head coach under Brian Billick in Baltimore. He has been an offensive coordinator with Miami and Minnesota during his 15 seasons in the league, and spent four years as an assistant at Stanford.

Warhop's unit was criticized last season after the 49ers allowed a league-worst 55 sacks, losing three quarterbacks to injury by the end of the season.

Coach Mike Nolan fired offensive coordinator Jim Hostler and running backs coach Bishop Harris last month. Now Warhop apparently has lost some of his power under new coordinator Mike Martz.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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