49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 24, 2009
Senior Bowl: South better on both sides

The Senior Bowl just wrapped up with Jack del Rio's South squad winning pretty handily. One of the story lines of the game was West Virginia quarterback Pat White, who along with Sam Houston State's Rhett Bomar, was the best of the quarterbacks. Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell really struggled. The good news for Harrell is that Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan looked just as awful a year ago, added weight and strength in the offseason, and turned in a pretty good preseason for the Redskins. In other words, don't bury the kid just yet.

I wrote about N.C. State running back Andre Brown earlier in the week and now I'm feeling like a genius. (Look out, McCloughan). Brown seemed a little hesitant on his first two carries but took off after that. At 224 pounds, he's a big guy, but he showed he also has nice hands out of the backfield and is a nifty open field runner.

Speaking of running backs, during Monday's weigh-in, there was a murmur when Virginia running back Cedric Peerman's hand measurement was announced - 7 7/8 inches. To put that in perspective, tiny Utah kicker Louie Sakoda - he fits in your breast pocket - had 8 3/8-inch hands. Scouts like big hands on running backs for ball security, and wouldn't you know it, Peerman fumbled in the first half.

Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers' solid week of practice also carried over into the game. Ayers had an end-zone sack that jarred the ball loose and was recovered for a South touchdown. I thought he and Ole Miss DT Peria Jerry were the two best defensive linemen in the game.

Other guys who looked good and who could play positions of need for the 49ers: LSU fullback Quinn Johnson, LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith, Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas, and Ohio State WR Brian Robiskie.

Where was B.J. Raji? The unblockable North defensive tackle was a non-factor today as was his Boston College teammate Ron Brace. Maybe the South offensive line was better than previously thought. I didn't think my guy from Virginia, Clint Sintim, looked very good dropping into coverage. His best fit is probably as a rush linebacker - hint, hint - in a 3-4 scheme.

-- 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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