San Francisco 49ers

49ers Q&A: Jimmie Ward back to cornerback in 2018?

Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert all have looked good at free safety. That said, should Ward move back to cornerback next year?
Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert all have looked good at free safety. That said, should Ward move back to cornerback next year? The Bee

Jagmeet Singh Jagga‏ @JSJagga Any chance we see Colbert and Tartt at safeties next year with Ward at CB? That would immediately upgrade our dbs.

ANSW: It's an interesting scenario considering that Ward played cornerback -- and played it well -- last season and one that certainly will come up between now and the beginning of the 2018 offseason. Under that scenario, Ward and Ahkello Witherspoon would be the likely starting cornerbacks (Dontae Johnson is a free agent) with Colbert at free safety and Tartt at strong safety. The downside is that poor Ward would have been treated like a yo-yo -- a different position every year -- the year before he goes into free agency. The 49ers also would not have any obvious backups at a position, safety, that has proven to be taxing on their depth. You could argue that Ward has been injury prone over his career and that it makes sense to remove him from the rough-and-tumble-safety spot. But keep in mind that the 49ers ask their cornerbacks to make a lot of tackles, too. Ward ended the 2016, the one in which he played cornerback, on injured reserve as well.

ANSW: It's always about money when a player is about to become a free agent. The team thinks he's worth X amount. His agent thinks he can get Y on the open market. I don't know what the numbers are, but purely from a "fit" perspective, I think Hyde should come back. He's become much better in the passing game as the season's gone on. He and Matt Breida complement each other well. And perhaps most important, the 49ers alsready have a lot of holes to fill. Why add running back to the list when there's a perfectly good one here?

Michael Ingram‏ @MikeSpeedIngram At the next press conference you should ask why haven’t they resigned Lorenzo Jerome for FS? He knows Defense, and played ok.

ANSW: Jerome's only issue is that he isn't fast. But that's a big issue. I was told after he was waived that he was a bit of a dud on special teams, which is something at which a backup safety must excel. Also, you recall the sideline plays Adrian Colbert has made in each of the last two games? It's questionable whether Jerome can get from the opposite hash marks to the sideline in order to make those plays.

Sebastian B.‏ @baschi00 Do you think it would send a negative message to the locker room if KS decides to pull CJ now after his best game and inserts Jimmy G, who has been a part of the team for only a few weeks? Cheers from Switzerland!

ANSW: I certainly think that's a consideration. Look at the hearty congratulations Beathard received from teammates in the end zone after he scored his touchdown. They like him, respect him, appreciate his grit, want to see him succeed. The same with the fanbase. If I were Shanahan I'd wait until the offense struggles again -- there's bound to be more up and downs -- which would be a natural, less controversial, point to insert Garoppolo. #patience.

Pompous Barbarian‏ @PompusBarbarian Beathard has looked pretty good for a rookie. What’s his future hold with JG in town?

ANSW: Remember, Jimmy Garoppolo started two games in New England. He finished one. That is, you always need at least two quarterbacks in the NFL. And if Jimmy G turns out to be awesome, the 49ers always can pull a Belichick and trade Beathard for a second rounder before they lose him to free agency.

John Philip Freeman‏ @johnpfreem Did Eric Reid save the game by knocking Colbert sideways to prevent a taunting penalty after his great defensive play in Q3?

ANSW: Yes. I saw that, too. I've always said that Reid is the "Dad" of the defense -- calming the kids down after they pop off. I wonder if it wouldn't be wise to re-sign Reid in the offseason, especially if his market is flat. (And we all know that is possible).

Matt forsyth‏ @MatticusForsyth39s39 seconds ago Is there any recent development regarding solving the sun/heat problem for fans sitting in the unshaded part (75% of fans) of Levi's stadium?

ANSW: Heard they were looking at everything from awnings to changing the fabric of the seats there. Dunno if there ultimately will be any changes to three-fourths of the stadium -- how many games a year are too hot? Two? -- but solutions are being discussed.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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