49ers Blog and Q&A

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

May 9, 2009
Q&A: Brooks, Williams interesting case studies

As you may have noticed, Barrows is taking a little blog break. I've actually been in Hawaii (what recession? What pay decrease?) since Tuesday. You might assume that means I'll be relaxed and energized upon my return. Not so. The childhood friends I'm staying with don't realize Barrows has become half man/ half sloth in his old age. We've been going non-stop - basketball, golf, spearfishing - and my body, amorphously shaped by watching "30 Rock" reruns and NHL playoffs while supine on a sofa, is beginning to revolt. I feel like I've tumbled down a hill inside a metal trash can while Manny Ramirez whacks it from the outside. I need a vacation from my vacation, which is why I'm writing this post ...

During slow periods, I typically lean on the Q&A portion of this blog. Alas, that function isn't working correctly as it has been inundated with thousands upon thousands of spam e-mails offering me everything from cheap prescription meds to girls with thick thighs. (No, but thanks for asking.) That issue should soon be cleared up. In the meantime, here are some Qs I imagine you're asking ...

Question: Matt - love the blog, bro. Which players are you most interested in watching this offseason?
Kyle, Tupelo, Ms

Answer: Two players with similar pasts - Ahmad Brooks and Jimmy Williams. Both have off-the-chart talent, but have been hurt by off-the-field issues and lack of motivation. I'm wondering if the Mike Singletary magic will work on these guys. If it does, and Singletary can get Brooks and Williams to realize their potential, then the 49ers suddenly have excellent depth at OLB, where they are thin, and at strong safety where Michael Lewis isn't getting any younger. It also might embolden Singletary to take chances on other so-called high-risk players ...
- Matt

Question: Matt, you got everyone all jazzed up about a possible trade for Julius Peppers and then nothing happens? What the hell, dude?
- Ronald, Oakland

Answer: Patience, Ronald. Patience. I don't imagine anything would happen too soon. The Panthers and Peppers are currently engaged in a staring contest. Those situations typically don't get resolved until training camp at the earliest. If the Panthers end up blinking and look to trade Peppers, the 49ers have as much ammunition as any team to make a deal. That's all I was saying in the original post ...
- Matt

Question: The 49ers used a third-round pick last year on Reggie Smith so he could be their press cornerback of the future. So why the heck is he playing strong safety?
J.D., Falls Church, Va.

Answer: It's a great question. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky recently said that Smith was playing safety in order to get a good understanding of the defense and that it didn't preclude a return to cornerback. In my mind, however, it's not good when a team moves a player from the position at which they originally drafted him. It's like an offensive lineman who is drafted as a tackle and moved to guard. (Gallery's Law). As far as a move from cornerback to safety, there have been some past successes. Ronnie Lott comes to mind. But there have been even more failures. Mike Rumph comes to mind.
- Matt

Question: Matt, you showed tremendous clairvoyance in your pre-draft predictions. Can you use your special ability to predict which rookie will surprise people this year?
Charlotte, Boston

Answer: Well, if I said I thought Michael Crabtree would be good, that wouldn't be much of a surprise. So I'll go with the team's final draft pick, Ricky Jean-Francois. RJF played right defensive end exclusively in the recent rookie minicamp. With Ray McDonald recovering from ACL surgery, RJF promises to see plenty of repetitions this summer and has a golden opportunity to earn a spot on the team and to perhaps Wally-Pipp McDonald for the role of back-up right defensive end.
- Matt

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus


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.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Monthly Archives

Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.


49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words

Your IP Address has been recorded as and will be included with this submission.