49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 13, 2008
Experience matters in 49ers secondary

Those who wonder why Dashon Goldson can't seem to displace Mark Roman at safety should read the following statistic. It comes courtesy of 49ers PR staffer Ryan Moore who looked at the opening day starting secondaries - two cornerbacks, two safeties - of all 32 teams. What he found was that Walt Harris, Nate Clements, Michael Lewis and Roman are the most experienced unit in the NFL by a fairly big margin. They have a combined 499 games played. The next team on the list is Denver with 477 games played. The 49ers's secondary also has a combined 426 starts. Second place in that category goes to Baltimore with 368 games started. It's indicative of how much stock Mike Nolan - who was very particular when building his secondary -- puts in experience. Roman has played in 115 games, starting 86. Goldson has played in 11 games and started zero.

The 49ers probably won't hold the title for too much longer, however. Harris, 34, has the most experience of the group with 178 games played and 157 starts. That's second only to Atlanta's Lawyer Milloy who has 188 games played and 182 starts.

What is every wannabe scout of self-described draftniks doing at 5 p.m. today? That's right, parking themselves in front of Ye Olde Tube and watching Ohio State and USC go at it. Who's draft-worthy? The short answer is 'everyone' but here's who Scot McCloughan and his men are especially eyeing:


#17 QB Todd Boeckman
#75 T Alex Boone Note: Is 6-7; likely will be a right tackle in the NFL
#1 OLB Marcus Freeman
#2 CB Malcolm Jenkins
#33 ILB James Laurinaitis Note: "Laurinaitis" is Greek for "Ted linebacker"
#80 WR Brian Robiskie


#10 OLB Brian Cushing
#4 SS Kevin Ellison Note: listed at 226 pounds. Brother is a LB for Bills
#7 CB Cary Harris
#58 ILB Rey Maualuga Note: "Maualuga" is Polynesian word for "Ted linebacker"
#75 DT Fili Moala
#1 WR Patrick Turner

Allen Rossum has been added to the injury report with a tight hamstring. He is listed as probable.

-- Matt Barrows


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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