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February 23, 2009
Combine: Linebackers blazing away in the 40

The linebackers are currently running the 40 on NFL Network, and we have another casualty. USC linebacker Rey Maualuga fell to the turf after running a 4.83 unofficial 40 time. Maualuga got up and limped to the sideline with what turned out to be a hamstring injury. Maualuga said he originally hurt the hamstring while preparing for the combine. He said he felt it pop while running today. Texas DE/LB Brian Orakpo also injured his hamstring this morning. Missouri wideout Jeremy Maclin got nicked Sunday. ... Niners outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver has been orchestrating some of the drills for the DLs and LBs.

There have been some fast, though unofficial, times so far for the LBs ...

- Wake Forest's Aaron Curry ran a 4.54 and a 4.57.
- USC's Clay Matthews, III, who has the best pass-rush skills of the USC LBs, ran a 4.59 and 4.64.
- USC's Brian Cushing ran a 4.64 and 4.71
- Ohio State's James Laurinaitis ran a 4.81, something he'll look to improve on his second run ... Lauranitis ran a 4.80 the second time. He also looked stiff in the change-of-direction drill but was smoother dropping into pass coverage.
- Virginia's Clint Sintim ran a 4.78 and also came up walking gingerly...
- LSU's Darry Beckwith, perhaps a candidate to play Ted, ran a 4.70

Here are the top official times for LBs:
Curry, Aaron 4.56
Arnoux, Stanley 4.61
McRath, Gerald 4.61
Matthews, Clay 4.67
Phillips, Jason 4.69
Brinkley, Jasper 4.72
Cushing, Brian 4.74
Freeman, Marcus 4.74
Follett, Zack 4.75
Fokou, Moise 4.76

-- 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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