Category Archives: Player-by-player reviews

Checking in with 49ers’ defense after OTAs

The 49ers – or most of them, anyway – stepped on the practice field Monday and Tuesday for the first time in preparation of the 2010 season.   Yesterday, we provided looks at the 49ers’ offensive players. Today, we look at the defense. Because the practices were noticeably less than game speed, as well as […]

Checking in with 49ers’ offense after OTAs

The 49ers went through two days of practices – aka, organized team activities – Monday and Tuesday in Santa Clara. These workouts took place without pads, and the plays were certainly not run at game speed.   So, please, keep all that in mind. Over the next two days, we’ll check in with all 61 […]

Position profile: Offensive line

With two scheduled draft picks within the first 16 or 17 slots, the 49ers are expected to emerge from April 22 with a starting offensive lineman.   The 49ers’ offensive line is almost assuredly going to receive some help in 2010, as that unit was a major disappointment for coach Mike Singletary. He and offensive […]

Position profile: Quarterbacks

Alex Smith should’ve known what he was getting into when the 49ers made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft.   People around these parts grew up with Joe Montana. Even Steve Young did not get overwhelming support until the 49ers’ defense improved enough for the team to win the Super Bowl […]

Position profile: Wide receivers

The 49ers have five players under contract who will be fighting for roster spots/playing time at wide receiver next season. They will unquestionably add some players to the competition – such as a draft pick with return ability and/or some undrafted free agents.   The organization seems very happy with the top part of this […]

Position profile: Defensive line

A lot of people talk about how difficult it is for NFL teams to scout, evaluate, draft and develop quarterbacks. What’s even more difficult, it seems, is finding quality defensive linemen in the draft.   In the 2008 draft, there were five defensive linemen chosen in the first eight picks: Chris Long (Rams), Glenn Dorsey […]

Position profile: Outside linebacker/defensive end

Dynamic pass-rushers are difficult to find. Look around the NFL, and you’ll discover only 14 players recorded 10 or more sacks in 2009. The last time the 49ers had a double-digit sack artist was 2002 when Andre Carter had 12.5.   But all is not lost in this area for the 49ers.   After all, […]

Position profile: Special teams

The 49ers were very good in all areas of special-teams coverage last season. But their returns were awful.   Coach Mike Singletary said he places a lot of importance on special teams. And, he added, “some of the things we’ll do this offseason will reflect that.”

Position profile: Inside linebackers

When the staff here at Instant 49ers ranked the 49ers’ offseason priorities, inside linebacker rolled in at No. 11. That is to say that it’s a need, all right. But it ranks behind offensive tackle and return specialist, and ahead of Candlestick Park public-address announcer on the list of organizational priorities.   So, then, why […]

Position profile: Tight ends

A year ago, the 49ers spent a sixth-round draft pick on a blocking tight end. But Bear Pascoe struggled in camp, and the 49ers’ coaches were not impressed with the way he competed. When the final cuts arrived, the 49ers decided to stick with two tight ends on the 53-man roster.   Moreover, they opted […]

Position profile: Defensive backs

Shawntae Spencer started every game at right cornerback. Dashon Goldson started every game at free safety. The 49ers can look at those players and pencil them into the starting lineup in 2010 and beyond.   Strong safety Michael Lewis will enter his ninth NFL season. Cornerback Nate Clements begins his 10th season. Those are the […]

Position profile: Running backs

Today we begin a position-by-position breakdown of the 49ers with a look at the running backs.   A year ago, the 49ers were definitely in the market for a running back in the draft. Coach Mike Singletary and GM Scot McCloughan clearly stated that preference. Sure enough, the 49ers invested a third-round pick in running […]