Latest 49ers hire is quite The Catch

Dwight Clark does not have an office at 49ers headquarters, but he has returned to the organization after being away for a decade.


Clark is best remembered, of course, for “The Catch.” But he also presided as de facto general manager over the 49ers’ continued run of success through most of the 1990s. He left the 49ers during the 1998 season to follow Carmen Policy to the expansion Cleveland Browns. Now, he’s back in a non-football role. He has been hired as a business operations consultant for the 49ers.


Clark will work alongside 49ers chief operating officer Andy Dolich and vice president of football affairs Keena Turner. He will focus on special projects relating to sponsorship development, corporate hospitality, community investment, premium seating and the new stadium sales effort.


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As posted on my Twitter account yesterday, the 49ers placed rookie safety Curtis Taylor on injured reserve with a slightly torn hip flexor muscle. They promoted fullback Brit Miller to the active roster. The former college linebacker’s lone role will be on coverage units.


Also, the club replaced Miller on the practice squad with former San Jose Sabercats receiver Rodney Wright.


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And now we go to Twitter to answer some questions (and I might even splurge and use more than 140 characters):


Q: Can you tell us in English what Clark‘s role will be? Is it going to be based around getting a new stadium? @global_9erfan

A: His role has nothing to do with the football side of things, if that’s what you’re asking. His job is to use his Southern charm in ways that will benefit the organization from a financial standpoint.


Q: are Clark and Rathman the only link to the glory years, currently with the 9ers organization?


A: Of the players from that era, Tom Rathman is RBs coach, Keena Turner is vice president of football affairs, Guy McIntyre is director of alumni relations; and Steve Bono, Jesse Sapolu and Eric Wright are alumni coordinators.


Q: can the Niners afford to keep both Vernon Davis and Patrick Willis? @AFNinerFan

A: Can they afford NOT to keep both of them, but it’s definitely going to cost them a lot of money. When Davis and Willis sign their next contracts, they are likely to become the highest paid players at their respective positions. But this is why the 49ers brought Clark on board. The 49ers are a low-revenue team, and they need the money flow from a new stadium that can help them hold onto these kinds of players.


Q:  If total salaries are controlled by a salary cap then excess revenue form a new stadium would be just excess money, right? @eyeliketurns

A: Teams, such as the Redskins and Cowboys, that generate a lot of money through club seating and luxury boxes simply have more available cash to throw at free agents and their own players. Those teams can spend more than the salary cap but structure deals in ways that make them compliant.


Q: Why can we not afford our players like we did in the 80’s n early 90’s? @_R_A_Y

A: Because every team in the league, except the 49ers, is playing in a new stadium and have surpassed the 49ers in that area.


Q: Do you think the relationship between Singletary and VDavis/Willis will have implications on contract negotiations? @KatanPatel

A: Probably not. The NFLPA would strongly discourage any players taking less than their market rate. That has an affect on every player in the league. Plus, these players know their careers can end at any second. Unless they’re set for life, they owe it to themselves and their families to make as much as they can while they can.


Q: Is there a chance Vernon misses the pro bowl even if he gets 13 or more TD’s? @matthanc

A: Sure. The Pro Bowl does not necessarily go to the best players. The NFC features Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and Jeremy Shockey. Davis is not going to get the fans’ vote, it doesn’t appear. And how will players vote? Does Davis rub the opponents the wrong way? Will he struggle to get their votes, too? Perhaps.


Q: What’s Smith’s contract status? Is the rest of the season an audition for his #49ers future? @FantasyLion

A: He signed a two-year, $7 million deal in the offseason. So he’s signed through 2010.


Q: what’s going to happen to Nate Davis I hate to see him get traded. @Amedina84

A: Don’t lose any sleep over that scenario. The 49ers drafted Davis late in the fifth round. Who knows when he would’ve been taken if the 49ers had not selected him them. He does not have an kind of trade value, and the 49ers like him. They’re going to keep him around for a while to see how he develops.


Q: What’s the deal with the LB nicknames? Will? Mike? Ted? Sam? John? Paul? George? Ringo? @shawndearmond

A: The 49ers sure want a Fab Four of linebackers in their 3-4 scheme. Yes, those nicknames are something. Most of them are easy to follow. “‘Middle” starts with an “M”, therefore Mike. Weakside = Will. Strongside = Sam. But the big one is Ted? This is the strong inside position. I suppose that means he lines up on the inside spot close to the tight end. So maybe that it: Tight end = Ted.


Q: Has Jason hill been officially promoted to the number 3? @omargonzales

A: The 49ers used a third-receiver (instead of a second tight end) just 14 times in Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Jason Hill played all of those snaps, so I suppose your answer is yes.


Q: Will Brandon Jones catch a pass this season? @KevboCAli

A: Probably not. His first reception might come next year. Remember, the 49ers signed him for five seasons, so he still figures into their plans.


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