Question: Has there been any discussion of using Treasure Island as a possible site for the 9ers new stadium? As far as I know most of it is either government owned or section 8 housing. Wouldn't a redevelopment of the island bring jobs & money there while developing the small community that is there? Plus it could be yet another landmark for the city and keep the 9ers in SF. In addition they could expand ferry service (in doing so create additional income for the city while preventing drunken drivers from driving home from games), and it already has freeway access. Just a thought, maybe you should start a campaign...
JN, San Francisco
Answer: Nice thought and I have to admit I've noodled the idea, too. But I concluded that the only thing worse, traffic wise, than having a stadium on a peninsula (Candlestick) is having one on an island.
Question: I have been reading some interesting articles about the election on Tuesday and the impact on the 49er stadium plans in Santa Clara, San Francisco, and possibly Brisbane. Comments?
Robert, Long Beach
Answer: Well, the Brisbane revelation is both intriguing and frustrating. Remember when the Santa Clara site first was raised in July 2006? The 49ers at the time said they'd only had very preliminary talks with Santa Clara and that they were still gung ho about the Candlestick site. Now they're having very preliminary talks with Brisbane while claiming to be full-speed ahead on Santa Clara. See a pattern starting to emerge?
Question: Just finished reading "The Blind Side". Michael Oher is a fascinating person, and his story is interesting on so many levels, not just football. He clearly has the talent and natural ability to be a man-mover in the NFL. But (1) do you really believe he will be available when the 49ers pick in 2009, and (2) given his background and mental capacity, don't you think that the positive support system he has surrounding him would be imperative if he were to come to the NFL? A person with his wealth potential could really get distracted.
Answer: Remember, Oher nearly came out for this year's draft, but decided to return for his senior season because he wasn't sure whether he'd be taken in the first round. Which is to say that perhaps Oher isn't the sure-fire Top 10 prospect Nick Saban (in the book) once predicted he would be. You also seem to be assuming that the 49ers won't have a very high draft pick, which, given the state of the franchise the last five years, isn't a very safe assumption. As far as his support system, the book ends as Oher is heading off to college. It's hard to say whether Oher still needs the fierce family support he received as a younger man. Again, if you haven't read this book, pick it up. It's pretty thought-provoking, even if you're not a football junkie.
Question: Was it just me, or did you think Linda Cohn was flirting with Maiocco during that recent ESPN News segment? Kind of disturbing, don't you think? Also, any chance you'll grow your hair in the off-season and change you nickname to Corn-rows? Seriously, thanks for the great work. Hope the vacation was a good one.
Mike, Montclair, NJ
Answer: I missed the ESPN segment, but it wouldn't surprise me. Maiocco is a big favorite among 49er Cougars. He is the David Cook to my David Archuletta. As for your second question: Um, what hair?
Question: Sounds to me like Dashon Goldson had an excellent mini camp. Does Goldson have a real shot at taking Mark Roman's job? I was very disappointed when we drafted Reggie Smith. I do not see any need for him. Where does this leave Tarell Brown?
Webster, Atlantic City
Answer: I think Goldson is superior to Roman from an athletic standpoint. The question is whether he is better at the mental side of the game than Roman. That will be key to earning Nolan's trust and thus the starting job. As I've written before, I think the fact that Roman got the first crack at wearing the new defensive radio receiver is a good signal (pun intended!) that he is entrenched as the starter. As for Smith, you need three good cornerbacks these days. Perhaps the 49ers envision Clements, Smith and Brown being their future triad ...
Question: Matt, what do you think the chances are of us having another OC next year? My feelings are that Nolan is gonna be gone because the offense is going to fail again. I keep hearing how difficult Martz's offense is to pick up in the first year. Will Martz be in line for HC or stay OC? I'd love to keep Martz at OC and get Cowher as HC next year.
Sean, Rohnert Park
Answer: At this point, I think you can look at the situation very simply. If Martz does well this year, he and Nolan will be back next season. If he doesn't, both will be gone. Under the latter scenario, I can't see the 49ers then turning around and hiring Martz as head coach. Mike Singletary on the other hand? Now that's a different question ...