49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 20, 2007
Lelie must show something soon

Question: Nolan is not the only one getting testy and antsy with Ashley Lelie. Since the first week of March, he has done what? Zip! At this rate he'll be virtually useless to Alex Smith. How much of a hit would we take unplugging him and plugging in Marcus Maxwell from Europe? Please, please, Matt, tell me Lelie is not another Jonas "I stubbed my toe so I can't play today" Jennings type, please. Another blog mentioned Derek Smith still has some visual limitations - is that so? How's he looking to you?

Sammy, Sacramento

Answer: Nolan definitely seemed a bit peeved with the receiver's slow recovery during OTAs. If that continues in training camp, I don't see Lelie lasting beyond cutdown day. As for Maxwell, I'm very excited to see how he does this summer. The guy tore up NFL Europe; it'll be interesting to see if he can continue that momentum in training camp. Smith said he has permanent damage in one of his eyes. However, it hasn't seemed to slow him down in OTAs. He's got a lot of pride and a lot to prove. I'm expecting to see the Derek Smith of 2005 this season, not the Derek Smith of 2006.

- 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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