49ers Blog and Q&A

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

April 26, 2007
Sopoaga's issue is technique

Question: Isaac Sopoaga has not quite panned out yet as a 3-4 nose tackle - thus we got one via free agency. And he's also height/weight-wise built along the same lines as Anthony Adams, who we let go. From being around him up close, is Sopoaga, in your opinion, athletic and strong enough to make the slide out to defensive end?

- Sammy Moore Jr., Sacramento

Answer: Size and strength are not Sopoaga's issues. If he's not the strongest guy on the 49ers, then he is a close second behind Bryant Young. The problem is that he is too strong for his own good. He has been able to get away with using brute strength and hasn't mastered technique, much to the 49ers' frustration. I'm not sure if he's quick enough to play end in a 3-4 scheme, but the 49ers likely will test him out there in the preseason. If he does begin to master the position, he will be a handful for opposing linemen.

- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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