Nolan on Jackson: ‘We liked the two players we took’

Coach Mike Nolan just met with the scribes (and a few cameras) for his typical Wednesday morning media briefing.


One of the topic was the 49ers’ passing on DeSean Jackson to select Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal. (Actually, the receiver the 49ers considered taking in the second round was Limas Sweed.)


Anyway, this is what Nolan said about the Cal product:


“We liked the two players we took. We did like him as well, though. I don’t want to take anything away from him. He’s a very good player. He was over here. We met with him. We spoke with him. He was pleasant. He was good. I remember it was a good experience in speaking with him. At the time we had a couple other players we felt we – not necessarily need – but we thought would help us more quickly. But he’s a good player. He’s done a good job. He’s the explosive player we thought he’d be.”


(I’m sure that remark is going to raise some eyebrows. In fairness, how much would Jackson be playing if he were with the 49ers? He was forced into action with the Eagles due to injuries to Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis. It’s probably similar to what happened with Josh Morgan in the exhibition season. When Morgan was pressed into action, he played well. But when the veterans got healthy, he became the No. 4 wideout.)


Q: Were you wary of his size?


Nolan: “I wouldn’t say wary, but we thought he’d fit a specific role, as far as where he’d line up in the slot and all that. That is an important role. We at no time diminished his importance just because of his size, because he is an explosive player.”

* * *


Here are some other highlights of Nolan’s press gathering:


–The Eagles use the same West Coast system they’ve run for quite a while. Defensively, under coordinator Jim Johnson, they do a lot of blitzing. (The Eagles lead the league with 20 sacks.)


–When asked if the 49ers like to face a team that does a lot of blitzing because of the potential of hitting on some big plays, Nolan said, “Be careful what you wish for.” He said the philosophy is to react to what’s being dished out. (After all, the Saints didn’t do a lot of blitzing, and they got to QB J.T. O’Sullivan to the tune of six sacks.)


–Nolan said he has a lot of respect for Johnson’s work as a coordinator. He said that Johnson is an innovator in the way he brings blitzes from all different angles.


–Nolan said the offensive line played a game last week worthy of a winning effort. That unit will certain have its hands full against the Eagles.


–With RB Brian Westbrook nursing two broken ribs, Nolan said that is not something that is pointed out in defensive meetings. He said the game is a physical game, and players tackle with aggression. He said he has never mentioned injury situations to his players.


* * *


The 49ers’ walk-through practice is in progress. Later today, they’ll practice. The following players are not expected to practice:


RB Frank Gore and CB Walt Harris (coaches’ decisions), LB Roderick Green (stomach virus), S Michael Lewis (elbow), LB Manny Lawson (hamstring), T Jonas Jennings (shoulder) and CB Shawntae Spencer (knee).


Nolan said he hopes to have all those players (with the exception of Spencer, who is out for the year) available for Sunday’s game. Jennings and Lawson are very iffy, though.


* * *

The 49ers signed LB Eric Bakhtiari to the practice squad to take the spot vacated when they released Larry Birdine. Bakhtiari (6-3, 285) was originally signed by the Chargers as a rookie free agent out of San Diego University, He was waived by the Chargers prior to the start of the regular season and then was signed by the Chargers to the practice squad where he spent the first two weeks of the season.


* * *

From the community relations desk . . .


The Foundation announced $1.5 million will be distributed in grants and contributions this year to various non-profit agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the second year in a row the 49ers Foundation has donated $1.5 million totaling over $7 million over the past six years. . . .


Isaac Bruce teamed up with international hunger relief organization Feed The Children to provide 400 families with a 25 pound box of food and a box of personal care items.  The distribution took place at Willow Oak Elementary in Menlo Park. For more information on the Isaac Bruce Foundation call 314-291-1880.

* * *