SANTA CLARA – Last year undrafted free agent Demarcus Dobbs made the Niners as a reserve defensive linemen. This year he’s also playing tight end. He discussed his new job this afternoon, and here’s what he said.
Q: There have been a couple of different heights and weights listed for you. What are you?
DOBBS: I’m 6-3, 285 (pounds).
Q: What was your reaction when you first heard you’d be getting snaps at tight end?
DOBBS: I was excited. I haven’t played tight end since high school, so I know it would take some getting used to, and it still is, but I’m excited that the coaches even thought of me to play that position. That just shows that they believe in a lot of things that I can do.
Q: Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said that you’re walking a thin line because you don’t want to take away from why you’re here in the first place, which is to play defensive line. Is it a tough balance for you trying to learn both?
DOBBS: Yeah, it is tough. You have two playbooks that you have to learn. You flip flop – one day on offense, one day on defense – so you constantly have to be in your books, but that’s what we’re here for. We have all this time to study, we have all the practice time to get better and to learn the system. It’s a learning process but I feel like I’m on the right track.
Q: Was yesterday the first day you’ve used the JUGS machine?
DOBBS: No, it wasn’t the first day. I was actually on the JUGS machine in our minicamps and OTAs. I try to do that when I don’t get a lot of touches after practice.
Q: It’s not going to be a routine after every practice?
DOBBS: It is, definitely.
Q: Were you a two-way player back in high school?
DOBBS: I was, I played linebacker and tight end.
Q: How did the conversation with Harbaugh take place about you playing tight end?
DOBBS: He just came to me and said, “Hey, we’re going to try you at tight end, so get ready.”
Q: You’re the same weight as you were last year, but would agree that you’ve changed physically somewhat?
DOBBS: Yeah, I had to this past offseason. I knew I was going to be playing tight end also, so there was a lot more running I had to do to get used to that, but I think I’m in pretty good shape.
Q: Your stamina is better this year than it was last year?
DOBBS: Yeah, I would say so. I was not as much prepared to be on every special team as I am this year.
Q: Has preparing for tight end helped you as a defensive end, just in terms of better stamina?
DOBBS: Yeah, better conditioning. On defense you have to run to the ball all the time, you’re getting off of blocks. Being able to run all day helps a lot.