49ers Blog and Q&A

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

March 12, 2007
Oliver in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense

Question: How does Melvin Oliver fit in, if the 49ers actually pull off the long awaited switch to a 3-4 defense? Considering the fact that Oliver had one sack while playing defensive end in a 4-3 front, should I care?

Nick, Sacramento

Answer: Oliver will be one of several players competing for one the defensive end positions. As you astutely noted, Nick, Oliver's not much of a pass-rush threat. But he is big enough to hold up well against the run and occupy blockers, which are the primary responsibilities of a 3-4 end. Let's say the 49ers draft Nebraska's Adam Carriker with the No. 11 pick. It would seem like he and Bryant Young would split time at left defensive end, while Ronnie Fields, Marques Douglas and Oliver would compete for time at the right end spot.

- 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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