Here's the beauty of the bye week: It not only allows teams to recharge their batteries and heal nagging sprains and pulls, it gives them a little freedom to experiment. "It gives us a chance to really put players in situations where maybe if it were a regular practice we wouldn't have that time to make those changes ...," Mike Singletary said today.
One of those players being worked into a new position is Ahmad Brooks. When Brooks first arrived early in the season, the 49ers mostly played him at "Mike" linebacker behind Patrick Willis. They then moved him to "Ted' linebacker when Takeo Spikes seemed to struggle early in the season. Spikes, however, started to excel once he mastered the defense, and now the 49ers are trying to find other ways of working Brooks, inactive for the first half of the season, into the game.
At 6-3, 260 pounds, Brooks is among the team's biggest linebackers and also one of the most athletic. "He could be an outside linebacker, he could be rushing," Singletary "But we'll figure that out. We're figuring out the best way to get him out there and to make sure that he enhances (the defense) and we don't have to take anybody else off the field that's helping us right now," Singletary said. The coach said Brooks is currently being eyed as a defensive end. "We put him out there and he looked pretty good. But we'll see where he's most comfortable."
When Delanie Walker injured his elbow Sunday, he said he was worried that the injury was similar to the dislocated shoulder he suffered his rookie season. It's not. Walker is out of the sling he was wearing early in the week and said he'll definitely be ready for next Monday's game in Arizona.
-- Matt Barrows