Grab bag: RB Dixon longs to be a do-it-all back

Niners running back Anthony Dixon believes he has an important advocate: Jim Harbaugh.

This and that from Day 3 of the 49ers’ players-only offensive minicamp at San Jose State:

• At 233 pounds, Anthony Dixon resembles a power running back.

But he longs for another title.

“I’m focused on being an all-around running back,” Dixon said. “I want to be able to run inside. Outside. Catch screens. Run routes. Pass protect. Downfield blocking.”

Dixon, who has nimble feet for his size, did too much dancing for coach Mike Singletary’s taste last year. And even veteran running back Brian Westbrook said Dixon needed to learn to do less juking and jiving.

It was probably sound advice – Dixon averaged 3.4 yards a carry as a rookie. But he’s optimistic he’ll be able to strike the right balance under Jim Harbaugh.

“When I met (Harbaugh) when they first hired him, he told me he liked my running style,” Dixon said. “He liked my game. So I feel like he’s going to give me freedom to be me and get comfortable. I know I’m a good football player. I know I can play football. I know I can go out there and run the football, especially when I’m comfortable.”

• Dixon’s totals in the final two games of his rookie season: 17 carries, 39 yards, 2.3 yards a carry.

There was a reason for those pedestrian numbers, he said. He was beat.

“All of it was new last year,” he said. “Sixteen weeks. Four preseason games. Man, I got tired. It got a little frustrating.”

• Adam Snyder and Joe Staley, the incredible shrinking linemen, have lost close to a combined 40 pounds this offseason.

Snyder revealed today that he is the biggest loser, so to speak. The versatile offensive lineman, who was listed at 325 pounds last season, said he weighs right around 300 pounds.

The last time he’s seen 299? He said it might have been his freshman year at Oregon.

Snyder said he hasn’t been working out significantly harder this offseason. They key, he explained, was portion control.

“Big guys usually eat until they’re full,” he said. “I guess I just stopped doing that – protein shakes, that kind of stuff.”

Staley, who was listed at 315 pounds last year, said this week he weighs around 305.

• During his six-year career, Snyder has made 56 starts at every position on the line, with the exception of center. But Snyder is getting prepared – just in case he’s asked to man his fifth position.

Center David Baas is an unrestricted free agent and Eric Heitmann’s future is uncertain due to a neck injury. As a result, Snyder could be the only true candidate for the position, assuming the Niners don’t fill the potential need in free agency.

“That’s something that I’m doing as a precaution for not having a center on the team,” Snyder said. “I mean, I’ve been snapping with Alex (Smith) all offseason – just because of the uncertainty of all the other guys, I’d like to have that in my back pocket if I can do it.”

Rookies Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person are expected to see time at both guard and center, but both were tackles at Division I-AA colleges.

• For the second straight day, wide receiver Michael Crabtree took part in the morning classroom session, but did not participate in the practice. Crabtree missed Tuesday’s practice with sore feet.

Tight end Delanie Walker did not attend today’s practice after participating the first two days.

• Alex Smith will speak to the media Thursday, the final day of the minicamp.

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