49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 7, 2007
Fairly full at fullback

Coach Mike Nolan said today the 49ers didn't have any interest at the moment in Cardinals fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo, who was released this week by the Arizona Cardinals.

Nolan is familiar with Ayanbadejo from their days with the Baltimore Ravens. He said the 230-pound fullback has skills similar to two players already on the roster, Michael Robinson and Zak Keasey.

"Right now, with the competition we have, we're not going to do anything (at fullback)," he said.

Though the team has only one true blocking fullback, Moran Norris, on the roster, several players could line up in the backfield in case of an injury. The 49ers also conceivably could call upon a player from last year's roster, Chris Hetherington, in case of an emergency. Hetherington is a free agent.

Arnaz Battle (hamstring) was held out of practice for the second time this week, but Nolan said he expects Battle back on Friday. Fellow receivers Darrell Jackson (toe) and Ashley Lelie (quadriceps) also sat out the practice, making Bryan Gilmore and Taylor Jacobs the top two receivers. Cornerback Donald Strickland (knee contusion) also sat out.

The defense seemed to get the better of its offensive mates during Thursday's sessions. Cornerback Nate Clements twice knocked the ball from tight end Vernon Davis' hands in the end zone, and safeties Dashon Goldson and Keith Lewis also batted down passes. Backup cornerback Marcus Hudson picked off a Trent Dilfer pass, and linebacker Colby Bockwoldt came down with another interception off a deflected pass. Of all the rookies, Goldson, a fourth-rounder out of Washington, has made the most immediate impact.
- Matthew 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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