49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 23, 2007
Hannibal Haralson (not a typo) to start for Lawson

Mike Nolan is still playing hush-hush regarding Manny Lawson's replacement. Today's inactive list says Hannibal Navies or Parys Haralson will start. Haralson is more of a pass-rush specialist while Navies is probably better in coverage. He'll have his hands full today with Steelers tight end Heath Miller, a player the 49ers coveted in the 2005 draft. If Pittsburgh hadn't nabbed him at the end of the first round, the 49ers would have at the beginning of the second. Instead, they took David Baas.

When you grow up on the east coast like I did, you quickly learn to dump on the east coast cities near yours. Philadelphia? A sewer. Baltimore? Even worse than Philly. New York? They have rats the size of German Shepherds. So I'll admit I had preconceived notions as I headed into Pittsburgh yesterday. The truth is that it's pretty nice-looking town that seems to shine even more on a beautiful day like today. To get here, M2 and I took a cab to the city's new baseball stadium and then walked along the Allegheny River to Heinz Field amid Steelers fans tailgating ... from their yachts. Not a bad set-up at all.

Speaking of Steelers fans, I have never seen so many team jerseys. We estimated that 90 percent of the folks arriving were wearing the team's gear with Hines Ward's No. 86 a top seller. There are also a fair amount of 49ers' jerseys. In fact, my plane from San Jose to Chicago and Chicago to Pittsburgh was teeming with Niners' backers. Before taking off in Chicago, they began a "Niners! Niners!" chant from the back of the plane. The front of the plane then erupted in "Steelers! Steelers!" Eventually the Dallas-based Southwest flight attendant got on the intercom and said, "Go Cowboys!" Everyone started booing.

The 49ers inactives are cornerback Donald Strickland, safety Dashon Goldson, guard Tony Wragge, tackle Kwame Harris, defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison, receiver Jason Hill, defensive end Ray McDonald and quarterback Shaun Hill.

-- 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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