Question: I'm curious about the outside linebacker situation. We have heard about Jay Moore but how are Manny Lawson, Tully Banta-Cain and Parys Haralson doing? Is Roderick Green getting any play? Do you like Greg Manusky's style of 3-4? Is he attacking the offense and sending 'backers from all angles or is it too early to tell? Keep up in the good work, Matt. You rule!
Jason, Los Angeles
Answer: Manusky seems to be a great guy to play for. You can tell there's a lot more swagger to the defense this year. Part of that can be attributed to the players the 49ers added (Nate Clements and Banta-Cain in particular) and part is because of key players such as Manny Lawson feeling more comfortable. But I think Manusky allows them to play loosely as well. By all accounts, the defensive meeting room is a pretty lively place.
Remember, the OTA practices were noncontact (mostly), so it's hard to say how much more aggressive the defense will be this year. But with Lawson, Banta-Cain, Brandon Moore and Michael Lewis all capable of rushing the quarterback on any given down, you can bet the pressure will be much improved. I thought Banta-Cain looked better and better as OTAs went on. Haralson and Green had backup duty. I'm not sure how many linebackers will make the final roster, but you have to believe Green is on the bubble.
- Matt Barrows