Question: Matt, great work. Hope you enjoyed the vacation. Do you have any info on who Martz believes has the inside edge at QB? Has Martz given any indication that there is a lead horse in this race?
Answer: No. In fact, he and Nolan have been careful to say that the race is anyone's to win. They're throwing three cats in a sack and figuring the strongest one will emerge. Nolan believes he can accelerate his quarterback's learning curve - whoever that may be -- by giving the quarterbacks as much competition as possible. That's why it was a shrewd move to bring in J.T. O'Sullivan, a quarterback already well-versed in Martz's system, during the offseason. These upcoming OTAs, which in the past have been fairly relaxed as far as position competitions, will be critical as far as who goes into training camp with the edge.
Question: Matt, in light of your comments regarding the CBA and new stadiums, other than the community economic boon of a Super Bowl, what do the owners of the host stadium receive? If it is financially beneficial to the stadium ownership to host a Super Bowl? Or is it predominantly a PR boon? Given the ticket prices, we know that the league makes out like bandits. But if/when the 49ers build the new stadium, and if/when the 49ers are chosen to host a future SB, what will it mean for the team/ownership financially?
Answer: Well, you're assuming a Super Bowl bid would come with a new stadium. While the league has talked about cold-weather cities hosting a Super Bowl (we're a cold-weather city, right?) they still haven't made that plunge. Indy, which was awarded the 2012 SB, has a retractable roof; the 49ers' stadium would be open air. To answer your question, I don't know whether the host team gets a cut unless they actually play in the Super Bowl. The boost goes to the host city. In fact, a recent study by Ball State estimated that Indy would get a $365 million economic boost from the event.
Question: Where are you? Your posts help me get through my miserable days here in Iraq. So needless to say I look forward to consistent 49ers news and lately you have not posted much. One can only hope you're spending your time away from blogging protesting this war.
Answer: Wow, I feel like a punk admitting this to someone dodging bullets and IEDs in Iraq, but I was dodging sea urchins and blowfish in Hawaii. I promise to pick up the pace, especially when OTAs begin on June 2. Hate the war; love the warrior.
Question: Do you and Maiocco take your vacations together? Don't you see enough of him during the season?
Answer: I was riding waves; Maiocco was riding Teacups at Disneyland. ... But Maiocco does have a hil-AR-ious story about taking a vacation with a fellow beat writer many years ago. Bug him to tell it. It's pretty good.
Question: Matt, since the 49ers did not draft a tackle in this year's draft are there any possibilities coming out of next year's draft? I figure we will draft around 31 or 32 in 2009 (Very wishful thinking, but always positive), so who would be available around that time?
Jim, Walnut Creek
Answer: The name that jumps out is Michael Oher of Ole Miss. If you haven't read it already, check out the book, "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis of "Moneyball" fame. Oher has a really fascinating background. He could be a guy who's available when the 49ers are picking.
Question: Hey Matt- is there any interest in Odell Thurman? I understand his previous character issues, but it looks like he isn't Jones or Henry in repeatedly getting into trouble.
Answer: I asked the 49ers about Thurman but got no response. My guess is that, no, the team wouldn't want someone with his checkered past.
Question: Hey Matt - What kind of impact do you see Joe Cohen and Jay Moore having this year? Do you think either of them (or both) can become solid contributors or even starters in the near future? At the very least I'm optimistic that having these guys back, along with Lawson, can provide a nice (if not substantial) boost to our already improved defense. Thanks.
Answer: Well, I think Moore will have a bigger impact because he is farther along in his injury rehab and there isn't as much of a logjam at his position. Cohen not only is still recuperating from a wicked knee injury, he has several players in front of him at nose tackle. Aubrayo Franklin is the starter. Ronald Fields appears to be the back-up. And there are several others - Isaac Sopoaga, Kentwan Balmer and Atiyyah Ellison - who have the ability to play nose as well. And remember, Cohen did not look all that sharp before he got injured last preseason. I really think he has an uphill battle to make the 53-man this season ...
Question: Does the Niners coaching staff REALLY consider Duckett to be a viable starter if/when Jennings loses PT to injury? Duckett is a real mystery man to Niner fans. Any comments on the "mystery man" Duckett?
Amrik, Yuba City
Answer: He's a mystery to me as well. I agree it was puzzling that the 49ers didn't draft an OT or bring in a veteran during FA. The one silver lining, however, is that it will give Duckett plenty of playing time this offseason. In fact, with so little depth at OT, he stands to play the majority of each of the preseason games. As I've written before, Duckett is tall, long-limbed, powerful and bright. That is, he has all the intangibles of an offensive tackle. The downside: He is severely lacking in experience.
Author's note: My Q&A basket is backed up because of my recent holiday. My penance for abandoning you is that I will be doing an extra Q&A this week. Then, hopefully, we'll get back to the regular Saturday sked ... So keep the Q's coming
- Matt Barrows