49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 12, 2011
Twitter Tuesday: Concern that Fangio's defenses regress?

@mattbarrows Matt is it true Vic Fangio is now the DC for the 49ers? Reports aren't clear.less than a minute ago via web

A: I think Fangio is Harbaugh's first choice. There is no deal yet, but all indications are that he will join Harbaugh in Santa Clara. The reason why we haven't heard of any hires yet is twofold: One, Harbaugh is first interviewing the assistants from Singletary's staff before he makes any decisions. Two (and more important), whom Stanford hires as its head coach - Fangio is being considered for that position, too - will have a big bearing on Harbaugh's 49ers staff. The Stanford decision will have a domino effect, and we'll see the 49ers positions starting to fall in place. I do know, however, that the 49ers current assistants aren't sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Many of them are interviewing for other jobs. "You snooze, you loose," one of them said to me.

@mattbarrows is there a concern that Vic F's defenses seemed to regress statistically each year he was DC?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

A: I think there was a distinct lack of defensive talent on many of the teams Fangio coached. The 2002 Texans, for example, were as devoid of talent as any team over the last decade. (Along with the 2004-05 49ers). I think the bigger question is whether Fangio has the right personnel to run the aggressive, blitz-from-every-angle, 3-4 defense he'd like to run. He needs better outside linebackers.

@mattbarrows What's the chances the 49ers might look at some of the declaring Stanford players as serious options?less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

A: I would think that seniors Owen Marecic, a fullback, and nose tackle Sione Fua will be considered.

@mattbarrows IF the League doesn't get the contract mess resolved quickly,how can teams with new HC's possibly get ready for the new seasonless than a minute ago via web

A: They can't. It's a huge, largely under-reported issue. Once the league year ends, Harbaugh can't even meet with his team. That includes the players he picks up in the April draft. If the labor mess lasts until, say, August, that would put a team like the 49ers (and Browns, Broncos, Panthers, etc.) at a real disadvantage. It's also why the 49ers almost have to find a veteran quarterback, likely one who has played in the West Coast offense before. A rookie is going to struggle to run the offense after a full offseason, much less a few weeks.

@mattbarrows What is there stopping say, the 49ers WR's all practicing together in say, somebody's large back garden during a lockout?less than a minute ago via web

A: I believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to assemble. I seem to recall Joe Theismann gathering his Redskins teammates together at a Virginia park during the 1982 strike so they could practice. The Redskins won the Super Bowl later that season.

@mattbarrows How similar will the offense being installed by Harbaugh be to WCO's being run by old niners coaches or any their disciples?less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

A: The verbiage and the plays are the same ones that Joe Montana and Dwight Clark ran way back when. But Harbaugh has focused them to be more power-based. The easiest way to think of it might be like this: A West-coast offense but with power-based personnel.

@mattbarrows If the 49ers do trade for a QB, what do you think the asking price would be for Kolb, Orton, Flynn, and Johnson?less than a minute ago via web

A: I can only take a guess. Last year, the Chargers moved up 20 spots in the second round and got a third-round pick from the Seahawks for Charlie Whitehurst, a guy who had never attempted a pass in a regular-season game. I would think that Kolb's price tag - at a minimum - would be a second-round pick plus another pick (a second rounder in 2012?).

@mattbarrows Due u think Newton hurt his draft stock w/ play Mon.& U think Harbaugh follows his bro 2 Delaware(Flacco) & drafts P. Delving?less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

A: No, I think every college quarterback - even Andrew Luck - had a bad game or two this season. I don't think Newton's performance sunk his draft stock. He's tall, athletic and throws the ball well. The biggest knock from a performance standpoint is that he mostly operated out of the shotgun. But most of the QBs in this year's class are in that boat. As for Delaware's Patrick Devlin, yes, I think Harbaugh will take a long look at him. Devlin will play in Saturday's East-West Shrine game. Incidentally, I will be attending the week of practices at the Senior Bowl Jan. 24-27. The quarterbacks that will attend: Iowa's Ricky Stanzi, FSU's Christian Ponder, Alabama's Greg McElroy, Washington's Jake Locker and TCU's Andy Dalton. Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke will be there, too.

-- 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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