Roster Roulette

Last year, the 49ers returned all 22 starters on offense and defense. Ergo sumatra, there was no place for any of the 2012 rookies to squeeze into the starting lineup. That’s not the case this year. There are three vacancies on defense and one on offense.

2013 first round pick Eric Reid is either going to be the new starting Free Safety this year or be the subject of bust talk all year long. Free agent Glenn Dorsey is apparently the front runner to take over at Nose Tackle, with Ian Williams the expected backup.

The other defensive opening is the D-line rotation guy formerly represented by Ricky Jean-Francois. That position is a crap shoot encompassing the surprising and versatile Demarcus Dobbs, second round pick Tank Carradine who may not be ready by the season opener, fifth round pick Quinton Dial, discus thrower turned footballer Lawrence Okoye, and perennial roster fringer Will Tukuafu.

If the team keeps the normal six D-line guys, then only two of the above contestants can make the squad. If Carradine opens the year on the PUP list, three can make the team. And if we go with seven D-liners, only one contestant will be shown the door.

The 49ers went all last year with only one backup OLB guy, but that’s not likely to happen again. With Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith entrenched as the starters, there would appear to be two backup spots open for the taking. The contestants: a fading Parys Haralson, 2012 rookies who spent the year on IR Cam Johnson and Darius Fleming, and 2013 third round pick Corey Lemonier. Lemonier would have to be a mega-bust to not make the team, so the other three guys will have a dog fight for the last spot.

With Reid moving into Dashon Goldson’s old FS spot, the rest of the secondary seems likely to remain the same. Donte Whitner is the QB of the group at SS, Tarrell Brown was our best corner last year, and Carlos Rogers was the slot CB as well as the starter on the outside last year. Chris Culliver was the nickel back and played very well until his unfortunate melt down in the Super Bowl.

So why did we sign Nnamdi Asomugha? There’s no guaranteed money in his contract, so that isn’t a problem. But it doesn’t make sense to stifle Culliver’s young career. And Asomugha doesn’t play in the slot. The best he could do would be to oust Rogers as the starter, but who would then play in the slot? This is one camp battle that will be interesting to watch. In a hypothetical sense. In reality, none of these guys is a lock down corner and none of them can cover Percy Harvin. Or maybe Tavon Austin of the Rams.

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52 comments on “Roster Roulette
  1. tonyNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs….you may be right about not having a truer lock down corner…but it appears the Niners are focusing on the pass rush…and it looks to be yery good….with the additions of Tank, Dial and Lemonier …scary

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    IMO, there is no such thing as a lock dowm corner without a decent pass rush. No corner can cover forever.

  3. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, the best pass defense is the other guy’s quarterback lying in a bloody heap. Hopefully Lemonier can contribute there. Early reports from mini-camp were encouraging.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe we should call these elite CBs “4 second corners” instead of lock down. Our guys are only about 3 second CBs.

  5. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    What the Niners should do is take a page from Seattle’s playbook and get aggressive at the line of scrimmage. Knock the WRs off their routes early, and get the pass rush into the opposing QBs face to disrupt timing and thus screw things up.
    Granted, missing at the point of attack can lead to problems (re: 80 yard TDs), but that’s what our new safety is for.

  6. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Seattle has specifically draft big corners to play that style. So long as the league lets them get away with it, they will give everyone fits. If the league cracks down this year, though, and forces corners to play the more flag football style of the last twenty years, they could be in a world of hurt. I just wish the league would make it clear what is okay and what is not.

  7. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    What is clear is make them money and don’t get them sued.

  8. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Reports are A.J. Jenkins has “muscled up” this offseason. Too bad A.J. didn’t do this in college. He would have been wide open all the time AND big.

  9. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    A muscled up A.J. Jenkins. Translation: Niner fans able to see A.J. more vividly as he drops passes this year.

  10. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Can’t wait to see what our defense is planning, we went and got some DE’s that will surely be OLB some of the time. The name of the game seems to be speed, Justin Smith is not only good because he’s as strong as a horse but he’s also fast as one.

  11. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I thought the no contact rule was after 5yds. F’ing Seattle seems to be exempt from that. Maybe Petey’s got something on the refs.
    dennis – U gonna run the league again? It is a tradition now you know.

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Del- Did you notice how open, all the time, AJ Jenkins was in college?

  13. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’ll run the leagues again this year. Who am I to break up a tradition? What that tradition is, who the hell knows. But I’m not breaking it up.

  14. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I had my collarbones broken playing amateur, playground football so many times I lost count.
    No pads, no gear.
    It hurts less in the mud after a good rainstorm.
    I always played against bigger and faster and stronger guys.
    I broke another guy’s collarbone once by accident. Probably broke a couple legs, too.
    We all injured each other at one time or another. We went to Catholic School and that’s what you do.
    We all got older and smarter and started writing about it instead of playing it.

  15. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    This week is football school part 2.
    OTAs start officially next Wed as scheduled.

  16. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Patrick Willis’ new commercial that’s gone viral

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Seahawks announce Bruce Irvin suspended four games for performance-enhancing drugs violation. Tsk, tsk.

  18. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Commissioner Goodell

    Do you see a pattern here?
    Seems like the Seahags are addicted to Adderall.
    The problem appears to be systemic within the organization.
    Maybe Lynch is not passing out Skittles.

  19. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Cheaty Petey and the troups.
    It’s a good day to be a Niner fan.

  20. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    You are so FOS, Bullit, you can be seriously funny sometimes.
    You copy and post. That’s all you do.
    I post my experiences playing amateur athletics and you drop off your rocker.
    Go to Catholic School for 12 years and see how many injuries you get.

  21. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I think I’ll go to watching movies.
    I’m so tired of Bullit’s BS I’m laughing so hard I almost had a coronary.

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The Seahag pattern of drug violations per ESPN:
    “Irvin joins John Moffitt, Allen Barbre, Winston Guy and Brandon Browner as Seattle players suspended since 2011 under terms of the performance-enhancing drug policy. Richard Sherman avoided a four-game ban by winning his appeal last season. Sherman was also cited under the policy banning performance-enhancing drugs.

    Reports linked Moffitt, Browner and Sherman to Adderall. Moffitt later said he took medically prescribed Adderall back in 2011, his rookie season, without knowing it violated the policy.”

  23. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Who is FOS here?
    “I had my collarbones broken playing amateur, playground football so many times I lost count.
    No pads, no gear.”
    We must not confuse that with Professional, playground football should we?
    If you keep breaking your collarbone doing anything you’re basically damn stupid. but hey it’s your collarbone and it’s a free country.

  24. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Did we sign another fullback today? We can never get enough fullbacks.

  25. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    In today’s 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.

  26. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    WTF? That comment did not properly align the way I intended.

  27. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, why are we signing more fullbacks? Maybe the Niners intend on having them trying to cover A.J. Jenkins. After all, he was wide open in college all the time. Or so you keep telling me.

  28. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Weather update: it’s now raining in Maryland. No problem for ORB. He won the Derby in the slop. I wonder if A.J. Jenkins still gets wide open all the time in the rain?

  29. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Del- Did you notice how AJ Jenkins was always open in college!

  30. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    OK, I know Berger likes ORB today. I LOVE ORB today. Where’s Rob to add his approval? don’t you dare jinx the horse today. I’ll speak for Rob…
    Go ORB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Put the R in ORB in front of the O, and what’cha got?

  32. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:


  33. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit, I’ve written that I was never big enough, and though I was pretty fast, not quite fast enough.
    At least I played.
    Football, baseball (2 Championships).
    Basketball (2 Championships).
    Raquetball, squash, lots of tennis.
    Skiing, they once had to stop the lift at Squaw so they could get me off of the slopes.
    Turned to academics when I got older and wiser.
    What have you done?
    As I wrote, you’re FOS.

  34. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Started having shin splints from practicing running until I dropped.
    Now I stick to hiking a little bit in the mountains when I get a chance.
    I’m in New Mexico and you’re not.
    Have a good night.

  35. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, and Bullit.
    I have never once pretended to be a professional athlete.
    Why do you simply copy and paste from ESPN and pretend that you are a professional writer?
    The Oakland Invaders were the greatest. I think that was the name of the women’s tennis team that used to practice at my old stomping grounds.
    I bet anyone of them could teach you a lesson in football or anything else.
    My buddy and I just played for fun, but when they found the place and practiced, we pretended to play so we could just watch them.
    It’s about winning in life and keeping sports part of it.

  36. bullitNo Gravatar says:


  37. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I was writing about athletics, Bullit.
    Not from ESPN, but from a personal perspective.
    Huh? is your answer.
    You never played; just admit it.

  38. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I wrote this once already, so I don’t know if I’m double posting.
    Memorial Park in Cupertino where I grew up.
    For awhile, nobody knew where the courts where, but it’s impossible to hide courts that great.
    That’s why the women’s team used to practice a couple courts down from where my buds and I played.
    And they were world class.

  39. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Just torrents of BS from you.

  40. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Yep. and all tne facts from you.
    Or did you not know that that the Saich’s family practically built those courts.
    Good reporting, Bullit.
    I think you have you talent and you’ll get it some day.

  41. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    If you ever do anything but blog all day about a sport you never played.
    Or any other sports while we’re at at.

  42. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    When you laugh at somebody for living in California while you live in New Mexico that destroys all your creditbility.

  43. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Why is that, Bullit?
    Are there not 50 States in the Union?
    I’ve driven in 46.
    There are Niner Fans all over New Mexico.
    Just because you don’t get it…

  44. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    May even be 45.
    I lost count after awhile.
    I just love America and business made me see parts of it I didn’t want to see.
    I learned to love how beautiful the strangest places in the country are.

  45. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    I finally got around to reading your rebuttal.
    Why would I laugh at someone other than you living in CA?
    Childish, Bullit.
    If I could afford it, I’ve move to HMB

  46. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    What I copy and paste are from all media outlets and I only do so to share with my fellow Niner supporters in case they missed it.
    Can’t help it if this offends you.

    I pretend to be a professional writer you say? Then where the heck are my checks and royalties?
    This coming from the guy who says all the Niner beat writers steal his material and ideas and take credit for it.

  47. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    You’re so 12, Bullit.
    You think that I accused the Niner beat writers of plaguiring my material.
    Hah! Some joke.
    We all know how to read, and you’ve never had friends, that’s really not my problem.
    Kevin has corresponded with me when he had the chance.
    Matt Maio put me down bigtime when I suggested in an online chat that the Niners try to bring Mike Holmgren home.
    They all know where this blog is and Chucksters’, too. That’s there job.
    Sometimes the best ideas come in small packages from the least likely people.
    They know that as well as I do.

  48. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Plaguarizing. I hate this new computer setup.

  49. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Going to watch “Forbidden Planet” again tonight.
    The greatest Sci-Fi movie of all time based very loosely on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.
    Have a good night, guys.

  50. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

  51. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Well, the tornado missed us THAT MUCH.
    You could tell it was coming from the clouds and the birds.
    Good night, guys.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17