49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 19, 2009
Green added to surging secondary

If you ask the Oakland Raiders, they'll tell you the 49ers secondary doesn't need any help. After all, the 49ers handed JaMarcus Russell and his teammates seven interceptions on Wednesday. Still, the 49ers bolstered that unit by agreeing to terms with four-year veteran cornerback Eric Green on a one-year deal, according to the National Football Post. Green, a former Cardinal, visited the 49ers in early March but was snapped up by the Dolphins. He reportedly struggled in training camp and Miami cut him earlier today.

How does that affect the 49ers' cornerback situation? Remember that they lost one of last year's corners, Donald Strickland, to free agency, another, Walt Harris, to injury and converted Reggie Smith to safety. They added Dre Bly to replace Harris but could still stand to bulk up that unit. **To make room for Green, the 49ers will release Zak Keasey with an injury settlement. Keasey broke his arm making a special teams tackle Friday and would have missed eight to 10 weeks. **

You'll read a lot of reports tomorrow -- including one from me -- about how good the defense looked today. Really, it was the secondary that stood out, jumping into passing lanes and making it difficult for the Raiders quarterbacks to find open receivers. That was also partly because Russell did not have a good outing. He has tremendous arm strength but does not throw a very catchable ball. At one point, he drilled Manny Lawson in the side of the helmet as Lawson was trailing a receiver 25 yards down field. "Way to use your head, Manny," one of his teammates called from the sideline.

After grabbing five interceptions this morning, there were two more in the aftrernoon. Smith caught one off a deflection. Linebacker Marques Harris got the other on a Charlie Fry pass that was intended for the tight end. The Raiders improved on their dreadful morning performance, but they still made a lot of mistakes. They were missing two starters. The 49ers, meanwhile, were missing Justin Smith, Aubrayo Franklin, Parys Haralson, Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes and Michael Lewis. Smith, Franklin and Spikes were given a veteran courtesy. The team has two light days of practice before saying hello to the Raiders again Saturday.

Davis Baas is close to returning from his foot injury. He'll miss Saturday's game against Oakland but could be back the following week against Dallas. The 49ers want him to play in at least one preseason game.

-- 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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