49ers Blog and Q&A

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

February 23, 2008
Q&A: Tampergate

Question: I think the league should let San Francisco perform its own investigation and report back to them. If the San Francisco investigation produces any documents or depositions to support a tampering charge, the Niners should give the information to the league. At that point the league should destroy the documents and studiously avoid suspending any responsible individuals. Ohhh. I forgot. We're not the San Francisco Patriots.
Bill, La Canada

Answer: Biting. Sarcastic. Irreverent. Couldn’t have written it any better myself.
- Matt

Question: It was announced that the Patriots have chosen NOT to place the franchise tag on Randy Moss. Is there any chance in hell that Martz (or Nolan) would be even remotely interested in trying to snatch him up (even though he's a malcontent)? I know Moss has proven to be happier and work harder for a winning team, but Martz's offense and a ton of cash might make him think twice...Thoughts?
Kevin, Sacramento

Answer: Moss doesn’t exactly have fond memories on the Bay Area. I think he’s much more interested in a Super Bowl ring (soon) than he is an extra million or so. The word “rebuilding” scares players of Moss’s age.
- Matt

Question: Matt, who are the free agents that the 49ers are most likely to sign in 2008?
Preston, Las Vegas

Answer: I’m guessing …QB J.T. O’Sullivan, DE Justin Smith and WR Bernard Berrian.
- Matt

Question: Matt-hindsight being 20/20, where do you guess the 49ers would be if they had drafted Shawne Merriman instead of Alex Smith in 2005 and waited to draft Jay Cutler or Matt Leinart instead of Vernon Davis in 2006? Would Merriman have been worth a first pick of the draft? Thank you. I enjoy reading your blog.
Bob, San Francisco

Answer: Remember, Cutler and Leinart have won just as many playoff games as Alex Smith despite better surrounding casts. … As far as the revisionist history No. 1 pick of 2005, Merriman’s a good choice and so is Braylon Edwards.
- Matt

Question: Glad the Niners traded last year's #1 pick. There is a lot of depth in this year's draft but not any elite talent, so at #29 they are getting a good price. My feeling is they address O-line, D-line, depth at linebacker now that Derek Smith is gone, and receiver, receiver, receiver, receiver. How many draft picks do the 49ers have this year?
David, Antelope

Answer: They have six picks. And I would adjust your priority list to D-line, O-line, receiver, receiver, receiver.
- Matt

Question: Has there been any talks about possibly making a deal with New England for Donte Stallworth? He is from Sacramento and, I believe, is not a starter. I feel he would be a real plus (and no off-field baggage/Bryant).
Jim, Sacramento

Answer: That’s a good question. I have not heard any Stallworth scuttlebutt, but he makes sense for a few reasons: He’s young. He’s local. He’s fast. And he’s available – it looks like he’ll be a free agent. The 49ers also have had a good relationship with Stallworth’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, although that relationship might be a tad frayed after the Lance Briggs controversy.
- Matt

Question: Matt, here's my question: Despite the fact that WR position is of great concern, do you see it being the greatest of concerns? If not, then where? Personally, I would like to see Nolan address the absence of 2-gap defenders on our defensive line and our ailing offensive line with our first and second picks. Also, do you think we'll be addressing the "Ted" position through the draft?
Greg, Vallejo

Answer: Yes, I also see the 49ers addressing OL and DL immediately not only because they are thin positions on the team but because there should be some quality players available at pick No. 29, especially at OT. Like I wrote before, unless Dan Connor drops to them, I don’t see the team drafting a Ted until rounds 4-6.
- Matt

Question: Hey Matt, Jeff Ulbrich played well when given the opportunity last season. What are the team’s thoughts on letting him start next to Willis? He isn’t afraid to take on blockers and doesn’t mind not getting glory. Thanks.
Tyler, Chico

Answer: I’m a huge Jeff Ulbrich fan. No one plays with more love of the game than No. 53. He certainly has the ability and the will and the lack of ego to play that position. The question is whether his body, which got beat up pretty badly in a limited defensive role last season, can withstand the rigor of the position. Ulbrich plays with the reckless abandon of a 21-year-old. As it happens, he’s 31 years old.
- Matt


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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