49ers Blog and Q&A

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

October 9, 2006

Question: On the great screen pass from Alex Smith to Maurice Hicks, Smith dropped straight back into the pocket, then let the screen develop by rolling to the right so that Hicks could get in the clear. My question is whether the play is called for Alex to drop back and then roll to the right, or was rolling to the right improvisation on Smith's part?
-- Mark, Stockton

Answer: It was improv. Hicks stumbled out of the backfield and Smith said he rolled to his right to buy a little more time. Turns out, the stumble was a perfect touch. Hicks was all alone when he got the ball, then tucked in behind pulling linemen Justin Smiley and Eric Heitmann on his way to the end zone.
-- 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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