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

November 25, 2007
What I'm seeing in Arizona ...

It's now 12:34 P.M. local time. I'm at the Uiversity of Phoenix Stadium, which looks like a big, silver inflatable bed from five miles away. I'm looking at some of the players warming up and this is what I see:

Alex Smith, Jeff Ulbrich and Derek Smith are chatting with Cardinals linebackers coach Billy Davis, who, of course, was the 49ers' "defensive coordinator" last year. I put that in quotations because it was actually Nolan who was calling the shots. I haven't seen Alex Smith throw any passes and maybe this is telling, maybe it isn't -- Ulbrich and Smith are in their gold game-day pants, Smith is in shorts.

12:53 p.m. ... Davis is now surrounded by five 49ers assistants. they seem to be having a good time. I keep waiting for Mike Nolan to stroll out and join the party. So far I don't see him. On the 49ers' sideline, Nolan's wife, Kathy, is hanging out with the Yorks' twin daughters. Joe Nedney is nailing FGs from 41 yards out.

1 p.m. ... One of the Cardinals employees just passes out the inactive list. Alex Smith is on the list, so is poor LeRon McCoy, a former Cardinal who hasn't been able to satisfy the Gatekeeper and get on the field. The others are CB Tarell Brown, S Dashon Goldson, T Patrick Estes, DT Atiyyah Ellison, WR Jason Hill and DT Aubrayo Franklin. It looks as if Shaun Hill will be Trent Dilfer's back-up. Smith won't even dress. For the Cards, S Adrian Wilson is out with an injury. That's good news for Vernon Davis.

1:06 p.m. ... Just watched Nedney hit a 55 yarder with plenty of room to spare. His counterpart, Neil Rackers, just hit one from 59 yards out. Both kickers are feeling mighty confident.

1:16 p.m. ... Michael Robinson is chatting it up with the Cardinals' Bryant Johnson. They both went to Penn State. Maybe Robinson is telling Johnson to sign with the 49ers in March. Shaun Hill (broken finger) is taking snaps and making a few throws. What happens if Dilfer gets hurt???

1:32 p.m. Nolan and Jim Hostler are watching Hill pretty closely as he warms up. His index finger in bandaged and he's not getting a lot on his throws. What are Nolan and Hostler (Nostler? Holan?) thinking? Please, Trent, don't get hurt.



MATTHEW 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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