Mike Nolan said today that Bryant Young (back), Aubrayo Franklin (knee), Frank Gore (hand), Patrick Estes (ankle) and Walt Harris wouldn't play in the team's preseason opener tomorrow evening against Denver.
Asked about Harris, Nolan said it was "preferential treatment." Harris turned 33 years old on Friday and his veteran status - as well as his outstanding play last season - merit a little time off here and there. The same might be said of Young, who has rarely practiced this summer while he works through a back injury. The 49ers don't believe the situation is serious and they are being extra careful with Young to make sure it doesn't become serious.
With Harris and Young out, it means that only six of the defensive players who started the team's rousing Dec. 31 win over Denver will play in tomorrow's game. Shawntae Spencer will start in place of Harris.
Receiver Marcus Maxwell (hamstring) practiced Sunday and will play. Maxwell has been a bit of a forgotten man in training camp and needs to play well this preseason in order to secure one of the five or six spots on the 53-man roster.
In other training camp news ...
Nolan has two new coordinators who will be calling plays for the first time. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will be in the booth tomorrow while offensive coordinator Jim Hostler will be on the field. New quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti will be in the booth along with tight ends coach Pete Hoener. Next week against the Raiders, Cignetti will be on the field while Hostler is in the booth.
Nolan said the 49ers considered drafting Jarvis Moss, the Broncos' first-round draft choice out of Florida. Denver has Moss playing right defensive end. The 49ers, however, likely would have switched him to weak-side linebacker, an area that became less of a need when the team signed free agent Tully Banta-Cain.
Larry Allen has more basketball jerseys than Imelda Marcos has shoes. But he must have dug deep, deep into the closet for Sunday's attire - a Fennis Dembo jersey from Dembo's days at Wyoming. Who is Dembo, you ask? He is to basketball what Joe Dudek was to football. Obscure.
-- Matt Barrows