49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 13, 2007
Wherefore were thou, Al Davis?

Question: Hi Matt, I've been reading a lot about Bill Walsh's memorial lately. Puzzled as to why Al Davis has not been mentioned in any of what I've read. Did he attend? Maybe he's sick? If he did attend, why wasn't he asked to speak?

Paul, Manteca

Answer: Al Davis did not attend the service, although he and John Madden visited Walsh at his home shortly before he passed. No one knows why he didn't come. He certainly gets a pass at his age. But maybe he didn't care to rub shoulders with all the league officials who were on hand.

-- Matt Barrows

Question: Matt: Would Kwame Harris project as a better guard than tackle (and as a replacement for Larry Allen)?

Cal, Sacramento.

Answer: It's an interesting thought. One of Harris' biggest shortcomings is lateral movement, which would be minimized at guard. However, he's also very tall, and guards need to play lower (with more leverage) than tackles. As far as Allen's replacement, the 49ers have Adam Snyder earmarked for that role. I don't expect Harris to be re-signed.

-- Matt Barrows

Question: I have heard members of the 49ers say Vernon Davis is an energetic, excitable guy (it was noticeable during his NFLN interview). In reading what happened between he and Moore, it seems like aside from pushing each other physically, they're trying to push each other mentally; in this case Moore helping VD to learn to keep his composure and not cost the team when the blood's pumping. Would you agree, and would you say Vernon is receptive to these little "lessons"?

Joel, St. Louis, Mo.

Answer: Yes - I'd say that most of the back-and-forth between Vernon Davis and the defense is psychological in nature. And yes, I thought that's what Moore was getting at when he said "Don't spike it" - that spiking the ball would incur a penalty in a real game.

-- Matt Barrows

Question: Matt, Here's a question. What's wrong with the following sentence from your recent blog, "Now I understand why it's so important for players to way themselves every day."? Other than the above, you're doing a fine job.

Mark, Dallas

Answer: No weigh! How could I be so stoopid? That shows you the difference between what appears on a blog and what appears in the paper. The newspaper stories are read and re-read by many sets of eyes. They undoubtedly would have caught the "weigh/way" error. The blogs do not receive the same attention to detail. I read over them a few times before posting, but as you can plainly see, don't catch every mistake. Mea culpa.

-- Matt Barrows

Question: With Willis looking so good already in camp, I just think back to last year's draft and the Niners liked A J Hawk. If both players were in the same draft together, who do you think the team would choose and why?

Rod, Hayward

Answer: Wow - that's a tough question. Remember that the 49ers were prepared to take Hawk with the No. 6 pick in 2006 if the Packers had taken Vernon Davis at No. 5. Is Hawk five selections better than Willis, who was taken with pick No. 11?. Probably not. But you also have to consider that the 49ers would have made Hawk a weakside linebacker whereas Willis is a middle linebacker. It seems that outside linebackers are a bit more valuable than inside linebackers in a 3-4 defense.

-- Matt Barrows

Question: As a long time 'Niner fan, one of my all time favorites was Dave "The Intimidator" Wilcox, No. 64. While I don't necessarily have an issue with Dwight Clark's No. 87 being retired (or even Charlie Krueger's No. 70), I simply do not understand why Wilcox's No. 64 is not. He's in the Hall of Fame, played his entire career as a 'Niner, was a Pro Bowl performer something like 8 times. Additionally, he's considered one of the best strong side LB's to ever play- something you can't say about Clark or Krueger at their spots... What gives???

Chris, Elk Grove

A: It's a great point and unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. You could make the same argument about a number of players. Y.A. Tittle was a two-time MVP and yet Jim Druckenmiller and Vinnie Sutherland are among the many to have worn his No. 14.

-- 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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