49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 17, 2009
Q&A: Splashing into the free-agency pool

Question: The wonderful thing about the positions which Singletary is looking to fill is that there are plenty of free agents to fill them. I was mainly looking at Terrell Suggs who already has experience with a 3-4 defense and has been the Ravens' dominant pass rusher. Very durable and the Ravens can't hold on to all their linebackers so I think he'll be available. Another player is Jordan Gross from Carolina. If we could put him at right tackle we could move Snyder in at guard where i think he'll succeed. What do you think of free agency this season?
KC, Fair Oaks

Answer: The thing about the free-agent oasis is that it dries up rapidly in advance of free agency. That is, some of these would-be free agents will be crossed off the list by 9 p.m. Feb. 26. I think Gross will be tough to snag because the 49ers will be hesitant to pay left-tackle money to someone they would put at right tackle. If he hits the market, Gross will have many suitors. Suggs seems more realistic given Singletary's history with him. But remember, Suggs had eights sacks this season. Parys Haralson had the same total and, unlike Suggs, he did not start every game and did not have as good a surrounding cast.
- Matt

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Question: It seems that it would be a mistake to hire Linehan. I understand that he had a wholesale revolution on his hands in St. Louis along with a very poor win-loss record. The 49ers would be right back where they have been for the past 5 or 6 years. I have been excited about the roll they have been on under Singletary and I fear that would be reversed under Linehan.
Dean, Rancho Murieta

Answer: Some guys are great tacticians but not great managers of men. But since that's where Mike Singletary excels, I don't see any locker-room revolts in the 49ers' future. Isaac Bruce? Now that may be a different story ...
- Matt

Question: hey matt, just wondering if youve heard any rumblings regarding russ grimm as a possible oc. i know he dosnt have any play calling experience but from what ive read he would bring a pretty tough physical presence to the offense. he also has alot of playoff experience that would be great for a young team.
Chris, Dallas

Answer: hey chris, what happened to capitalization and apostrophes? ... I think Russ Grimm's next move would be as head coach, especially if his Cardinals make it past Philly tomorrow.
- Matt

Question: Mr. Barrows: With all the new coaching moves & interviews, is there a chance coach Singletary would entertain the notion of bringing in some old 49ers (such as Ronnie Lott) to coach the players. Maybe if this crop of players could hear what it was like to win they might catch on. Thanks.
Jimbo, Sacramento

Answer: It seems that ex-Bears, not ex-49ers, have Singletary's ear. However, I wonder if Bryant Young will join the staff as an assistant at some point.
- Matt

Question: Yo Matt, I feel as if being a 49ers faithful is starting to pay off! On that note what do you think is Singletary's highest priority this offseason? (Franchise qb, OC position, Good Draft, Free Agents......etc..)
Matt, San Diego

Answer: The biggest priority for the franchise is finding continuity on offense. That starts with the OC. Once that's set, I see Singletary, Scot McCloughan and the OC - ostensibly Linehan - sitting down and talking about the quarterback. Are they happy with Shaun Hill? Do they make a play for Jeff Garcia? Do they keep Alex Smith? Do they target a quarterback in the draft? When they settle that, then they start to look at the offensive line, beginning with right tackle.
- Matt

Question: Matt, thanks for all the hard work buddy. I keep hearing people say that the 49ers offensive line is a perfect fit for Singletary's hard-nose running attack. Just wondering, did anyone bother to watch the games this year? The line couldn't convert on third and short all year long, and were even worse trying to run in the red zone (even under Singletary's rule). Can Rathman, Foerster and the new OC solve this problem? The majority of that same line will be back next year.
Marc, Tempe, AZ

Answer: I hear what you're saying - even though the 49ers will have new coaches and a new attitude, their personnel at the most critical spot, the o line, will be virtually the same. The bottom line is that we'll have to wait and see, but there are few things that should give fans hope. One is that Chilo Rachal ought to really take off in 2009. He has the potential to be the best run blocker - both plow-ahead blocking and pulling - on the team. Two, there promises to be an upgrade at right tackle. And three, the 49ers certainly will have a legitimate fullback leading the way.
- Matt

Question: Hey Matt, Huge Niner fan on the east coast. What are the prospects for niners drafting a QB, specifically Chase Daniels? He runs a complex offense and seems to have the arm and release needed by an NFL QB. Thanks!
John, Plainville, CT

Answer: Daniels definitely seems to have the brains for the next level. But he plays in that s-p-r-e-a-d offense and is usually in the shotgun. He also seems a bit Flutiesque in terms of stature. That being said, he could be a mid-round selection the 49ers would have to develop. And if they take Jeremy Maclin at No. 10, who knows ...
- Matt

Question: What on earth makes you think the 49ers would even consider using the 10th pick in the draft on Rey Maualuga? Don't you think that they have so many more pressing needs than a 2nd inside linebacker, especially considering how well Spikes played this year?
Jason, Stockton

Answer: Spikes isn't a long-term answer and the 49ers have no one waiting in the wings at that position. And remember, the 49ers nearly drafted Curtis Lofton in the first round last year. If McCloughan thinks Maualuga is the best player on the board at 10, he'll grab him.
- 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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