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49ers notes: S.F. has good way to prepare for read-option

Published: Saturday, Jul. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 - 6:52 am

SANTA CLARA – When the 49ers looked at their schedule a year ago, only one quarterback – the Jets' Tim Tebow – was capable of running the read-option attack. Because of that, San Francisco didn't prepare much for it on defense.

This year is different.

The 49ers will face Seattle's Russell Wilson twice, Tennessee's Jake Locker, Carolina's Cam Newton and Washington's Robert Griffin III. All are capable of gobbling up yards on the ground.

Luckily, the 49ers have an excellent way to warm up.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he envisioned a lot more scenarios this season in which the 49ers' No. 1 defense will be pitted against the team's No. 1 offense and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"We didn't waste our time working on it against our own offense with our first-team defense," Fangio said of the 2012 season. "This year we will, obviously. So it does help having an offense that knows how to run it."

The 49ers have other weapons as well. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman once received a tutorial on the read-option and pistol formation from the latter's inventor, former Nevada coach Chris Ault. They also hired Eric Mangini in the offseason as an extra set of eyes on the coaching staff.

Finally, Kaepernick is not the only quarterback on the roster capable of giving the 49ers' defense a good taste of the read-option. Seventh-round pick B.J. Daniels ran it in college and is similar to Wilson in size, scrambling ability and arm strength.

Divens returns – For the first time since their well-publicized and thoroughly investigated June 8 fracas, Lamar Divens and Ahmad Brooks shared the same practice field Friday.

The 49ers removed Divens, a backup nose tackle, from the non-football injury list, clearing him to join practice.

Divens' non-football injury presumably was the 2- to 3-inch gash on the side of his head that, according to court records, was opened when Brooks struck him three times with a beer bottle.

The Santa Clara district attorney investigated the incident for more than a month, put one of its top assistants on the case and ultimately concluded that a jury would not convict Brooks for assault and dropped the case.

The 49ers had a mandatory minicamp in mid-June. Divens, 27, was absent for the first day. He arrived on the second day but did not participate.

Divens landed on the team's practice squad last year and is one of several nose tackles on the summer roster. Others are Ian Williams, Glenn Dorsey and undrafted rookie Mike Purcell.

One of the reasons the district attorney declined to pursue charges against Brooks is Divens allegedly demanded $1 million from Brooks as recompense.

When Brooks refused, Divens, who had said he didn't want to press charges, changed his mind.

Injuries – Every 49er was accounted for when practice began this week.

Rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton wore a no-contact jersey but still participated.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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