49ers Blog and Q&A

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

July 5, 2008
Q&A: Desperately seeking Harris' successor

Question: Hi Matt, I was wondering how did Walt Harris look in OTA'S? I know that they did not have pads on but usually you can tell if a player gets burned on the outside. I know he is a year older and if he indeed has lost a step. Who do you see as stepping in to replace him? The rookie or Spencer? Thanks!
Roni, Walla Walla, Wa.

Answer: Who will be Harris' eventual replacement? That's a good question, Roni, and one the 49ers are asking themselves. I figure it's a three-way race between Shawntae Spencer, Tarell Brown and Reggie Smith. The 49ers are hoping one of those guys takes a big step forward this season. ... As for Harris, he didn't jump out one way or another during OTAs. I don't recall him getting burned on any deep plays, but then again, there weren't a lot of go routes this spring ...
- Matt

Question: I remember when the Rams won the super bowl a couple of times Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt had really good years and the wide receivers were a huge part of that. How will Bruce be used this time and what is goin' on with the receiving corps? How's it going to look this season?
KC, Sacramento

Answer: I'm sticking to my guns on this one ... I think that Bryant Johnson will do more damage this season than Bruce, who benefited from A.) playing most of his games on artificial surfaces and B.) playing opposite Holt. Johnson, meanwhile, is trying to parlay one year in SF into a huge payday in March. That is, he has a lot of motivation to go along with his considerable talent.
- Matt

Question: Do you have any new information on the potential Takeo Spikes deal? Thanks a lot.
Jason, Baghdad

Answer: No movement for a while. Take solace in this, though ... When Scot McCloughan and Paraag Marathe have a player in their sights, they usually bag him.
- Matt

Question: Alright Matt, over/under for the 2008-09 season...Frank Gore: 1,400 yards rushing/900 yards receiving. Alex Smith: 25 TD's. Dashon Goldson: 10 games started. Justin Smith: 10 Sacks. Nate Clements: 10 INT's.
Glenn, Sacramento

Answer: You should work in the 49ers' ticket office. I would be slightly more conservative on each of those stats, especially J. Smith's and N. Clements'. Goldson could start some games, but only when the 49ers open in a nickel package. I see Roman as the starter at FS.
- Matt

Question: My family had a great time last summer when we made a stop at Lambeau Field and unexpectedly arrived at an open practice session with events set up for the kids and tours of the stadium, etc. It was great. Are there any practice sessions open to the public for the 49ers in Santa Clara that are even just to watch the players? I remember something about limited tickets in previous years, but I can't find any information this year regarding that. Thanks for any assistance!
Michele, Santa Clara

A: The 49ers usually allow fans to attend 10 of their training camp practices. Which 10? They haven't decided yet, but I believe they'll be announcing that info very soon ...
- Matt

Question: I'm interested in trying out with the 49ers at the "dirk" linebacker position. I'm a 27 year old rookie out of Sonoma State. I go 6'0 170 lbs. I can bench something like 120 lbs. I can also eat a whole bag of Doritos in like three hours. Does the team still hold training camp in Rocklin? Because that would help save on gas, rather than driving to the Bay Area. Thanks,
Dirk, Sacramento

Answer: Yes! Please report to Rocklin on July 24 ... By the way, I'd be interested in knowing your Wonderlic score.
- Matt

Question: dear matt, longtime 9er fan [gave up season tickets 3 yrs ago because my arthritis hurt in old seats but had season tickets 49 years and had been going since 1948] wanted to send a statement not a question. i was going to put a curse on the chi bears because of their chicken----action in lance briggs affair but i guess they are cursed enough with rex grossman at qb. Thanks, niner ed.
Ed, SF

Answer: I'm assuming the missing word in your post is "liver." ... The 49ers should give a long-time fan like you an honorary "cushy" chair when they open the new stadium ...
- 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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