49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 1, 2008
JTO in sharp focus; Brooks to play 'Mike' linebacker

J.T. O'Sullivan gets a little more interesting every time we talk to him. Today we found out he's an English major (huge brownie points), was a catcher in high school and still lives at the team hotel. "I'll ride the hotel as long as I can until they kick me out," he said. It's hard to see O'Sullivan being overwhelmed by the limelight of being an NFL quarterback, either. He is the personification of focus, and has been excellent at filtering out anything unrelated to being an NFL quarterback. "Anything that's not going to benefit my profession - I'm not interested in doing it," he said.

Ahmad Brooks will fill the role Dontarrious Thomas had before he was released. That is, his primary duty will be to play "Mike" linebacker behind Patrick Willis. Brooks was getting briefed today on his new defense - expect him to be nonfunctional for a while - and wasn't available to the media. One guy who vouched for him, however, was Vernon Davis. Both grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and Davis played against Brooks in high school (Brooks' team won) and in college. One of Brooks' best games came in 2004 when his Virginia team beat Davis' Maryland squad 16-0. Brooks had two interceptions in the game, which he got while covering Davis. ... Brooks will wear No. 55, which was most recently worn by Dennis Haley, another former UVA linebacker.

Both Jonas Jennings and Adam Snyder will be back at practice today. Jennings wasn't wearing a cast on his right hand in the locker room but said he'll have protection over it on the field. He has some practice in that regard. Before the 2005 season, he broke a bone in his left hand and had to start the season with a bulky plastic contraption. At the time, Jennings said he felt like a "one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest." Jennings agreed that that episode helped him prepare for the current one. "But it's still a hindrance. You want to be able to grab." The silver lining: Fewer holding penalties. ... The 49ers expect everyone to be healthy by Sunday's game. Parys Haralson and Aubrayo Franklin will re-join practice mid week.

The 49ers rounded out their practice squad with OT Joe Toledo and WR Chris Hannon. Hannon has spent time with the Chiefs and Panthers. Presumably, he has some familiarity with Mike Martz's offense because a version of Al Saunders' offense was being used in Kansas City.

It's official. My guy Jason Jones says the Raiders have signed Ashley Lelie. Al Davis loves speed .. and ex-Bronco receivers ....

-- Matt Barrows

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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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