49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 23, 2007
Harris, Harris in 49ers' starting lineup

The 49ers had their first post-training camp practice Thursday. They'll meet tomorrow morning before flying off to Chicago for Saturday's 5 p.m. game against the Bears. As far as playing time, cornerback Walt Harris is scheduled to play a quarter -- his first preseason action of the year -- at which point he will be replaced by Shawntae Spencer. At right tackle, Joe Staley said the plan is to rotate with Kwame Harris every two series. That is, Harris will play the 49ers' first two offensive series, Staley will play the next two, etc. Staley is no longer wearing a cast on his right hand but will have another one put on before the Chicago game to protect his ailing thumb. At running back, Maurice Hicks and Michael Robinson will alternate with the first-team offense into the third quarter. After that, they will be replaced with rookies Thomas Clayton and Arkee Whitlock.

The players who will definitely not suit up are Bryant Young (back), Frank Gore (hand), Aubrayo Franklin (knee), C.J. Brewer (knee) and Dashon Goldson (elbow). Nolan said that Franklin, who suffered an MCL sprain early in training camp, is ahead of schedule but probably wouldn't play in the preseason finale in San Diego. Franklin said his plan is to resume practicing the week prior to the Sept. 10 regular-season opener against Arizona. It is unlikely that the 49ers' starting defensive line - Marques Douglas, Franklin and Young - will play together before the Cardinals game. Is Nolan concerned? "Sure, but there's nothing I can do about it," he said.

Nolan said he plans to cut 10 or 11 players following Saturday's game against the Bears. All teams must reduce their rosters to 75 players by 1 p.m. Pacific on Tuesday. They have to reduce the roster to 53 players by 1 p.m. Pacific on Sept.1.

Nolan had some very interesting things to say about Frank Gore and some of the other players on the team with dyslexia. He said the 49ers have brought in experts who have instructed the 49ers' assistant coaches in how to teach players with dyslexia. Nolan said there are several players on the team who fit that category, Gore being the most well known. "It can be overcome," said Nolan, adding that have been no issues with Gore as far as learning plays and picking up the playbook.

The 49ers won't practice again until Monday. It's a good thing. The team's grass practice fields have taken a beating over the last three and a half weeks. On Thursdays, there was a large rectangular patch of bare earth on each field. The 49ers are digging them up and laying new sod. The team therefore held practice on its artificial field.

-- 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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