49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 20, 2009
Senior Bowl: All eyes on d-linemen

The North squad had its practice today and I'm now at the Panera Bread Co. - don't knock it, they have free wifi - off of Airport Road in crisp, cold Mobile to relay what I heard and saw. Mike Singletary was on hand today, leaning against the chain-link fence that lines the practice field. Singletary has refused to talk to me this week - Won't do it! - but I can report that he was watching intently as the defensive linemen went through their drills. Boston College's B.J. Raji, who would project to nose tackle in the 49ers' scheme, is the best of the bunch, and he had another impressive practice today.

I am remiss in not relaying that Ziggy Hood had a good practice yesterday. I watched him in drills and thought, "Wow, that Penn State d-lineman is pretty good," then couldn't find him on the roster. That's because Hood went to Missouri not Penn State. His helmet went missing yesterday and he had to wear a plain white one, just as Joe Flacco had to do last year here. Anyway, Hood measured in at 6-3 and 298 pounds. He projects as a prototypical three-technique defensive tackle.

Speaking of defensive linemen, I caught up with Al Harris, who was recently hired by Singletary to be the pass-rush coach. Johnson, a teammate of Singletary's in Chicago, will coach both linebackers and defensive linemen. As you might expect, Johnson also was concentrating on the d-linemen today.

Phil Loadholt, who is a massive offensive tackle from Oklahoma, had a mixed outing yesterday. Today, however, he was much better. Loadholt is the second biggest man at the Senior Bowl behind Herman Johnson. He measured in at 6-8, 343 pounds yesterday. He projects to right tackle, where - ahem, ahem - the 49ers are looking to upgrade. Others who looked good today include Louis Delmas, a safety from Western Michigan, and receiver Jauquin Iglesias from Oklahoma.

As for the 49ers' search for an offensive coordinator, no interviews have been set up, although that could change by this afternoon. Stay tuned ...

-- 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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