49ers Blog and Q&A

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

March 14, 2009
Q&A: Niner receiving corps incomplete

Question: Hey. Love the blog. Do you think the 49ers should sign Torry Holt?
Weaver, San Jose

Answer: I'm hearing that the 49ers are very wary of Holt's history of knee injuries
- Matt

bruce.jpg

Question: Hi Matt, do you see the 49ers maybe making a trade for Anquan Boldin to help them out at WR.
Cory, Lebanon, Pa

Answer: The 49ers would love Boldin, but I don't see the Cardinals dealing him to a division rival. Having Boldin outside the division, however, still would be a win for the 49ers...
- Matt

Question: Matt, why is Isaac Bruce taking so long to figure out what he wants to do? Do you think he will come back for another year?
Dan, Latham, NY

Answer: MM reported today that Bruce will not take part in the March 20-22 minicamp. Bruce is still deciding whether he wants to return. You have to wonder whether the same offensive outlook that convinced Kurt Warner 45 minutes into his visit that San Francisco would not be a good fit also has given Bruce pause. Bruce has played 15 seasons in the NFL, and with that he has earned a bit of wiggle room in making his decision. But at some point, you can't avoid the fact that he is hurting the team with his indecision.
- Matt

Question: HI Matt, hope you're well. As more of a smash-mouth team now, is it likely we may only carry 5 WR's, and if so, do you think that Ziegler is worth a spot as the fifth (assuming Bruce does not return)?
Toby, London, Ca

Answer: I think the 49ers will draft a receiver whether Bruce returns or not. Zeigler may have the best pair of hands on the team. But his has the physique of a stick figure, and I can't imagine he's much of a downfield blocker. That is, I'm not sure you can rely on him at this point to be a regular contributor.
- Matt

Question: Matt -- In your opinion, is there too much history for Alex Smith to overcome in SF at this point? (Said differently, three straight incompletions and how loud are the "boo birds" who have already given up on him?)
Mike, Montclair, NJ

Answer: Well, I think you're making a good point. Alex Smith is not a fast starter, never has been. In order for him to be successful both he and his coaches will have to have the resiliency to overcome rough patches at the beginning. ... That being said, I envision Shaun Hill heading into the season as the starter but having a short leash. That makes Smith the backup, and the backup QB typically is the most popular player on the team in the fans' eyes.
- Matt

Question: We all know that Smith has the physical tools to be a very good QB but his issues have always been inside his head, in my opinion. He struggles to find the open receivers and often throws behind them. Is this something that can be fixed? Do you think it had anything to do with his injured shoulder? As for Hill and his lack of "a big league arm", couldn't he get stronger and become a bigger down field threat. Let's not forget that one of the knocks on one Joe Montana was that he didn't have a strong arm.
Paul, Lodi

Answer: Smith most definitely was throwing behind his receivers last offseason. However, I chalked that up to the onus of digesting Mike Martz's dense offense. In 2006 and pre-injury 2007, Smith was accurate. If Smith's shoulder is indeed back to normal as Smith expects, and if Jimmy Raye's offense is as similar to Norv Turner's as everyone says it is, then I think Smith's accuracy ought to return to its 2006 form. ... As for Hill, big muscles don't translate to arm strength. That's why Tim Lincecum is a major league pitcher but Lou Ferrigno is not.
- Matt

Question: Hey, Matt. I keep reading in blogs that the niners will select a OT w/ # 10. May I ask why? The prospects out there are good, but not Clady good. And isn't the key to the 3-4 defense a dominant rush linebacker? Last time I checked we didn't have one? Will a decent RT be available at # 43?
Marc, Los Angeles

Answer: If I had to make a $100 wager at this point, I'd put $60 on the 49ers taking an OT and $40 on them taking a pass rusher. I still don't think Andre Smith gets past them at no. 10. I also think there will be better pass rushers available at pick No. 43 than there will be pass protectors.
- Matt

Question: Matt - The idea of a shared stadium between the 9ers and the Raiders has very little chance, but why not a shared stadium between the 9ers and the A's? I know the 9ers disliked playing 3 or 4 games on an infield when they shared with the Giants, but the entire friggin stadium floor in Arizona moves outside for sun, why couldn't they make a field that slides one way for baseball, the other for football? And with all the innovations in stadium architecture they ought to be able to make a design that suits both games?!?!
Scot, Yukon, Ok

Answer: A little creativity - I like it! That arrangement would put the A's right off of 880 and a stone's throw from the Alameda County line. You would now have two teams forking over money. And the City of Santa Clara would be more inclined to chip in because the number of games jumps from 10 a year to more than 100. However, there is a 36,000-seat discrepancy between the stadiums the two teams ideally would want. I'm not sure even the best architects in the world could get around that. That's an awful lot of empty seats for the A's-Royals games ...

- Matt

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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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