49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 30, 2011
Goodwin, Brown to start 49ers' preseason finale

There will be at least one change in the lineup Thursday when the 49ers close out the preseason against the Chargers. Jim Harbaugh today confirmed that Jonathan Goodwin will line up at center instead of Adam Snyder, who started the first three games. Goodwin and Snyder have been platooning with each other in the first-team offensive line.


"Like I said before, I really do believe we have seven starters on our offensive line," Harbaugh said. "We're going to look at combinations, find out what the best one is as we move forward."

Goodwin said he hasn't been told directly that he'll start the game but he acknowledged he's been working with the first group more this week than he has in recent weeks.

At cornerback, meanwhile, Tarell Brown is in line to start his second straight game at cornerback. Fellow cornerback Shawntae Spencer today said that he didn't expect to play Thursday in San Dioego. That likely means that Brown will start the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against Seattle.

Braylon Edwards said he hasn't met with Commissioner Roger Goodell or even heard from the league office regarding a possible suspension stemming from a DUI last season. "I've had no contact whatsoever," Edwards said.

Asked if he thinks that's good news, Edwards said, "Everybody asks me the question. I don't know. I don't know what's going on. It's pretty much on the league. I'd prefer if people don't ask me that question because I don't know."

Asked if there was anything to report regarding possible disciplinary action for Edwards, a league spokesman, in an email, wrote, "No. Nothing to report on that."

Harbaugh and the 49ers clearly were upset about reports yesterday that wideout Michael Crabtree was practicing with the team while still on on the physically unable to perform list. (He was removed from PUP this morning)

"There's absolutely no malice by the team to try to break any rules or steal practice reps for Michael Crabtree," he said. 'I mean, did he or did he not practice? I can answer that question: He did not practice. That was obvious. I mean, reports that he ran five-yard routes. He didn't run any routes. He was walking around. He played catch. So the malice wasn't on our part. I think the malice is the way it was written and the way the question is being portrayed."

Crabtree indeed played catch with Alex Smith during warmups Monday. But he then had a more formal throwing session with all four quarterbacks in which he took two steps forward and then turned for the ball. Harbaugh was told by general manager Trent Baalke on Monday to halt that session. Today the team removed Crabtree from the PUP list and he went through the same routine as Monday.

Asked if Crabtree would play Thursday, Harbaugh said, "We'll see. We'll see how it comes along. Like I said the other day, how quickly he can reacclimate into playing shape, football shape. Back into the flow of playing." Crabtree declined interviews today in the locker room, promising that he would talk when he's cleared for a full practice.

-- 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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