49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 17, 2009
Niners primavera

Nine days of minicamp and 12 of OTAs. What did we learn about the 49ers this spring?

... That they have a true quarterback competition when training camp begins. Does Alex Smith's resurgence change the pecking order at quarterback? No. It still goes like this: Shaun Hill = No. 1, Alex Smith = No. 2, Damon Huard = No. 3, Nate Davis = No. 4. But it does mean that Mike Singletary's hope for a competition that squeezes the best out of both players, Hill and Smith, is a reality.

ASmith.jpg morgan.jpg vd td.jpg

... That the 49ers are loaded at wide receiver. If I had to vote for an MVP of the spring practices, I might write down Josh Morgan's name. While the rest of his mates were either nursing injuries or working out at home, Morgan was all over the field, catching passes in April, May and June at multiple positions and from multiple quarterbacks. It was also significant that Morgan took the bulk of his snaps at "Z" after primarily playing "X" last season. My guess is that when the season begins, Isaac Bruce will be the starter at "Z" and Morgan will be back at "X." When Michael Crabtree is ready to step in, however, he'll likely do so at "X," giving the 49ers the option of playing either Morgan or Bruce at "Z."

... That Vernon Davis will be a bigger part of the passing game. Outgoing 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz was on NFL Network the other day. Asked about Davis, Martz called him the consummate tight in the NFL and the league's best in-line blocker at his position. Martz, however, seemed to use Davis as either an offensive tackle or a wide receiver. His role under Jimmy Raye promises to be more tight end-like - catching short and intermediary passes and turning up field.

... That the 49ers should have more interceptions than they did last season when they finished with 12. Both Dashon Goldson and Dre' Bly (who either will be a starter or a nickel cornerback) are ball hawks. Linebacker Manny Lawson, who promises to be on the field far more in 2009, also has shown a knack for getting his hands on the ball. Over/under on 49ers' INTs this season: 17.

**********************************
I already nominated Josh Morgan for spring MVP. The position group that deserves kudos? How about the offensive line? Chilo Rachal was excused for a few practices to be on hand for the birth of his child and Barry Sims sat out a few plays with an injury, but other than that the attendance of the biggest group (both numbers and size) was excellent.

Rookies tend to look lost in May and June. Two who stood out were tight end Bear Pascoe, who showed good hands, and linebacker Scott McKillop, who showed better-then-expected coverage skills. It might not begin this season, but prepare yourself for a McWillis linebacker corps over the next decade or so. (I expect Crabtree and Glen Coffee to be the rookie stars of training camp).

The way I see it, 50 roster spots are locked up heading into training camp, leaving three up for grabs for enterprising young players. Keep an eye on... QB Davis, S Lewis Baker, S Curtis Taylor, RB Kory Sheets, RB Thomas Clayton, T Alex Boone, T Barry Sims, LB Mark Washington, LB Justin Roland, WR Michael Spurlock, WR Maurice Price.

-- Matt Barrows

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


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.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Categories


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.

Name:
City:
 State:
E-mail:

49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words


Your IP Address has been recorded as 152.52.255.247 and will be included with this submission.