49ers Blog and Q&A

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

September 20, 2010
Niners promote CB Brock, cut OLB Briggs

The 49ers shuffled their roster hours before facing the Saints and their high-flying passing attack. The team brought rookie cornerback Tramaine Brock up from the practice squad and released outside linebacker Diyral Briggs. Brock, however, will not be active for today's game.

Why elevate Brock and not activate him for the game? It has to do with another cornerback, Phillip Adams, who is questionable with a hamstring injury. Adams suffered the injury Friday and practiced Saturday. However, he was truly a game-day decision right up until warm ups. The 49ers felt they had to have the option of going with Brock in case Adams couldn't play.

With Ahmad Brooks set to make his debut, the 49ers had an abundance of outside linebackers, but are low on cornerbacks. The 49ers likely will add Briggs, a second-year player, to the practice squad tomorrow if he passes waivers.

The other inactives are:

QB Troy Smith
WR Kyle Williams
WR Ted Ginn
CB Will James
G Chilo Rachal
C Eric Heitmann
OT Alex Boone

Adam Snyder will start at right guard for Rachal; Look for Adams or Dominique Zeigler to handle punt returns.

Inactives for the Saints:
RB Chris Ivory
CB Patrick Robinson
S Chris Reis
LB Anthony Waters
T Zach Streif
TE Tory Humphrey
WR Adrian Arrington
DE Junior Galette

As expected, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye will remain in the coach's booth for today's game. Raye has stated his preference for being in the booth. Quarterback Alex Smith will wear a wristband designed to expedite the play-calling process.

By now you've probably heard that Ronnie Lott -- yes, that Ronnie Lott -- gave the Saints a pep talk after the team's practice Sunday at Candlestick Park. Lott also spoke twice to the Saints last year.

The first occurred in the preseason before the team played the Raiders. The talk was so inspirational that the Saints printed t-shirts with Lott's words, "Smell Greatness." They also invited him to New Orleans to speak to them again before the NFC Championship game against the Vikings

The common denominator is sports agent Mike Ornstein, who represents Saints coach Sean Payton and is friends with Lott. The Saints also contemplated giving Super Bowl rings to the three people who spoke to the team last season -- Lott, Jon Gruden and former NBA coach Avery Johnson. Lott and Gruden ultimately were not given one because they had Super Bowl rings of their own.

-- 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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