49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 10, 2006

Question: Matt, what's up with Jennings? Can he stay healthy or what? What a waste of money and cap space! Is he really hurt or just collecting a paycheck? Larry Allen, is he heading in the collecting a paycheck mode? We could have got that dude from Seattle for the money Jennings and Allen are making! Nolan, do you notice these two players! Looking at the D, what do you think is the Niners' weekist link, and who outside of M. Lawson, B.Y. and T. Parrish have real starter skills?
-- James, Murrieta

Answer: Wow, James is bringing the heat this morning. It looks as if Jennings won't miss any games with his latest injuries (finger and wrist), but it was a bit puzzling that mere days after he was voted a team captain by his peers he missed all but six plays with what amounted to a sprained wrist. The way he reacted to the injury, everyone in the press box thought he had separated his shoulder or broken his arm. Following a long-established 49ers' pattern, the team's highest-paid players (Jennings, Allen, V. Davis) are the ones getting hurt.

As for the defense, I'd throw the two cornerbacks into that mix. The cornerback-needy Redskins must be kicking themselves for letting Walt Harris get away, and Shawntae Spencer, despite some inconsistency, promises to be -- if not great -- very good. The biggest problem is definitely the pass rush. Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Damon Huard, even Andrew Walter -- they all had way too much time to throw. With that kind of time, even a run-of-the-mill guy (for example, Huard) will look like a 10-time Pro Bowler. If you ask me, the 49ers should settle on a 4-3 defense and go shopping for two true defensive ends in the offseason whether in free agency or the draft. Get those and everything else falls into place.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: What are the 49ers' draft picks for 2007, whether real or rumored?
-- Michael Lajigian, Rocklin

Answer: The Niners have all their own draft picks in rounds 1-6, plus two additional picks in round 4 (Washington's from the Brandon Lloyd trade and the New York Jets' from the Kevan Barlow trade). They have one pick in the seventh after adding one in the Cody Pickett-to-Houston trade and losing one in the Dorsey-for-Dilfer trade. They also have a chance to pick up some compensatory picks for Julian Peterson and Andre Carter. Those, however, won't be sorted out until the end of the season.
-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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