49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 20, 2007
Battles on the offensive line

Question: Matthew, what are the chances, in your opinion, of Patrick Estes actually winning the starting job from Jonas Jennings at left tackle? Since Estes has been receiving all the minicamp/OTA reps, do you think he could pull it off? Same thing with David Baas and Justin Smiley. Who has the leg up on the JOe Staley/Kwame Harris competition?

Justin, Palo Alto

Answer: I don't see Estes taking Jennings' starting spot. However, I'm sure we're all familiar with Jennings' injury history. The coaching staff would love it if Estes becomes proficient enough to step in when - I mean if - Jennings goes down again. That also would allow Adam Snyder to concentrate on being the team's left guard of the future. As for Baas and Smiley, I really have no idea how that will turn out. History, however, would suggest Smiley wins the starting nod. Considering he hits the free-agent market at the end of the season, he has a lot to play for.

- 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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