49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 24, 2007
Coaches high on McDonald

Question: It seems to me the '06 49ers' biggest limitation was their passing attack and their inability to pressure the opposing team's passing attack. I was looking forward to hearing great things concerning the play of Jason Hill and Ray McDonald during OTAs. Too many darn three-and-outs, while the other teams are able to stay on the field. These are the only two issues that separate the 49ers from teams like the Chargers, Patriots, and the Cowboys of the '90s. Love to see Bryant Young get one more ring.

Ladale, Memphis, Tenn.

Answer: Hey, Ladale. It's hard to evaluate anyone during noncontact OTAs, but it's especially hard to evaluate defensive ends. That being said, I know the coaching staff feels as if McDonald was one of the steals of the draft. And the fact he was practicing a lot with the first-team defense ought to tell you he made a very nice impression early. As for Hill, I addressed him in an earlier answer. I thought he, too, looked very good but that it might be awhile before he sees meaningful playing time. If B.Y., who began his 49ers career with a Super Bowl, ends it with his second, it would be pure poetry for one of the classiest guys in the game.

- 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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