49ers Blog and Q&A

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

December 27, 2006
NOT in defense of tackles

Question: I told anybody who would listen that the 49ers would lose to the Cardinals because the lack of talent at defensive tackle. It is a very bad matchup for us. There is no pressure on quarterbacks from the interior. Opposing quarterbacks have over a 90 rating on us this year. Quarterbacks have all day to throw on us. It is not the defensive back's fault, it is the defensive tackle's. I want Branch or Okam with our first pick. Remember passing on Wilfork for Woods? Picking another position will not have the same impact on next year. What do you think?

- Berger, Reno

Answer: Hi Berger. I like the Dallas Cowboys' circa-1990 approach for rebuilding a football team - take care of your offensive and defensive lines first, and the rest will take care of itself. After concentrating on the offensive line his first two years, Mike Nolan is halfway there. There are really only two players on the team right now - Ronnie Fields and Melvin Oliver - who figure into the 49ers' long-term plans as far as the defensive line, so look for a considerable upgrade in the offseason.

- 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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