49ers Blog and Q&A

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

April 5, 2008
Q&A: Groves has too many suitors

Question: I noticed that all the teams that are interested in Groves pick ahead of the Niners. What are the chances we'll get him? Thanks!
Paul, Sacramento

Answer: Well, I think some of the teams that are sniffing around Quentin Groves – Miami, for example – hope he slips into the second round. If the Dolphins don’t take Chris Long No. 1 overall (big mistake imo) they may want Groves to play that pass-rush linebacker position. Who knows – maybe that strategy will prompt the Dolphins to trade with the 49ers, thus giving San Francisco more picks. In other words, I think the chances of landing Groves are slim for two reasons. 1.) He probably won’t be around at pick No. 29. 2.) If he is around, other teams will want to jump forward to pick him. And with only six selections, the 49ers would listen very carefully to the offers they get.
- Matt

Question: Well, I’m at a point were I can’t wait for the draft to get here, but I think that this team is in for a breakout season and my question to you is how much will this team concentrate on defense, which I believe to be the most important part of football.
Lee, Sacramento

Answer: Well, the 49ers finished last in just about every major offensive category last season and they have big needs at offensive tackle and receiver. But they also have needs at linebacker and defensive line. So in the end, I think the split will be 50-50 between offense and defense.
- Matt

Question: I, like many others, wonder how the 49er team will play this year. Does anyone besides me think Mike Nolan has done a poor job of clock management? It seems to me like he needs someone standing next to him to take on that task during games.
Clayton, Rancho Cordova

Answer: You’re not alone, Clayton. Nolan’s in-game weaknesses are clock management and what do in third-and-one and fourth-and-one situations. He needs to give both of those duties to someone with a long and respected offensive background, someone who possesses offensive creativity, someone who can manage an offense. If only there was someone who fit that description …
- Matt

Question: The niners brought in Isaac Bruce. He is winding down. Bryant. Johnson was a third option in AZ but he performed well given the chance. Arnaz Battle was a career #2 option in SF. They seem to have a log jam at the #2 with no clear-cut #1 WR. With Martz in town, where is the Torry Holt/Roy Williams caliber player? Can Martz succeed with his current personnel? Before he had great talent with quick underneath guys now he has neither.
Scott, Elk Grove

Answer: This question has been asked of Martz on several occasions and each time he answers the same way: There is plenty of talent already on the roster. Remember, this is a guy who squeezed excellent production out of Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald. He doesn’t need a 6-4, 215-pound wideout who runs the 40 in 4.3 seconds and leaps 40 inches. I think it’s obvious that he likes Ashley Lelie (or Lelie would be out of here) and he’s recently said nice things about Arnaz Battle. The 49ers acquired Bryant Johnson, and they wouldn’t have done so without checking in with Martz first. And we know how he feels about Isaac Bruce. Your comment about a quick, underneath guy is well taken, however. I expect the 49ers to select that type of player (Va. Tech’s Eddie Royal or Louisville’s Harry Douglas perhaps?) in the third or fourth round.
- Matt

Question: Have you heard anything about Gore having a bone degenerative condition in his right hip? Realfootball365 reported it but I haven’t seen any one else report anything about.
David, San Jose


Answer: I have no problem with April fool’s jokes. In fact, some of the April 1 “stories” over the years (Jason Taylor pursuing a dance career; Taco Bell buying the naming rights to the Liberty Bell) are hilarious because they’re so outlandish. But a story about a young athlete with a career-ending injury? Wow. That’s pretty low. Maybe next year they can do an April 1 story about a terrorist attack or about a prominent football player being diagnosed with cancer. No wonder young David swallowed the story hook, line and sinker – who would joke about a degenerative hip condition?
- Matt

Question: I caught that 2003 comeback against the Giants, too. Who knew it would be the last really great memorable moment for a once proud franchise? Anyway, here's my question: I saw where Kraft and Belichick apologized to owners and coaches at the NFL Meeting on Tuesday... In your opinion, is it premature for Kraft to be apologizing when the additional Matt Walsh evidence has yet to be reviewed? Do you believe this was done because the Pats are confidant Walsh has nothing truly damaging, or could it be a potential attempt to influence others' viewpoints early in the process?
Mike, Montclair, NJ

Answer: I agree. I have a hard time believing that the Rams representative at the owners meeting got up and gave Kraft and Belichick a standing O. I understand why the owners might want to put this messy affair behind them. But if their gunslinging commissioner truly wants to clean up the town, he won’t let go of the issue so easily. Matt Walsh needs to talk.
- Matt

Question: Can you please tell Nolan to trade for Pacman. I know he is trouble but I think Nate Clements could keep him on the straight and narrow. He would shore up our CB issue and is a dynamic return man. He would make us just that much more dangerous. I know Nolan isn't wild with "problem children" but maybe he could make an exception just this once. What do you think?
Sean, Sacramento

Answer: No thanks. I don’t want to be fielding phone calls at 3 a.m. telling me there’s been an incident at the Pink Poodle.
- Matt

Question: I wanted 2 know if the 49ers would consider in trading there 1rst round pick 4 a well named linebacker that can play the ted spot good and get a OL in second cuz isn't this years draft filled with good OL.
Cris, Fresno

Answer: First of all, I weep for your English teacher (who should be fired) and for the future. Second, I don’t see the 49ers trading away any picks. They’re still in rebuilding mode and need all the picks they can get. If they do any trading, it will be trading down.
- Matt

Question: Hey Matt--Looking into the future, how is the 49ers free agency situation in 2009 going to affect their 2008 draft? What impact players will become free agents after this year that might create holes that the team would look to fill now? Thanks for all of your hard work!
Eric, Springville, UT

Answer: Well, remember that Bryant Johnson only signed a one-year deal, so he could be a one-and-done guy. Others whose contracts end in March 2009 are Eric Heitmann, Tony Wragge and Ronald Fields.
- Matt

Question: How similar is Martz's offensive system to the one that Alex Smith ran under Urban Meyer at Utah?
Justin, Manteca

Answer: It’s similar in that it uses a lot of receivers and exposes the quarterback to a lot of hits. But as far as the verbiage, it’s more similar to Norv Turner’s. I think the biggest challenge for Smith and Shaun Hill will be learning new mechanics.
- Matt

Question: Hey Matt, Love the job you are doing. With all of the questions about whom T. Spikes will sign with, I was wondering about J. Trotter as a possibility for the Ted position. He is old and slow in coverage, but he is great at eating up blockers and is an intense leader. What do you think?
Andy, Sacramento

Answer: The 49ers have passed on Trotter when he was available in the past, so I don’t think they’re interested. But I probably would have said the same thing about Spikes before I learned he was visiting with the 49ers …
- 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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