49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 23, 2011
Why Taylor Mays is no longer a 49er

If Taylor Mays were a movie, you wouldn't go see it based on these reviews.

• A little stiff
• Did not play fast
• Not a quick-twitch athlete
• Not sudden, has "build-up" speed
• Did not play the ball as a deep safety
• Played in slow motion
• Not a good wrap-up tackler


Those are some of the notes NFL Films' Greg Cosell made on Mays prior to the 2010 draft. Cosell said Tuesday he watched all six of Mays' starts for the 49ers last season and saw each of the issues he highlighted come to bear. The bottom line, said Cosell: "The NFL game is about lateral movement and change of direction, and he doesn't have that. ... I thought he was a overall a big-time stiff, and I thought he was very lucky to be picked in the second round."

Cosell said he rated Mays as a fifth or a sixth rounder. What the 49ers received from the Bengals in yesterday's trade is still unknown. Cincinnati has two fifth-round choices after trading receiver Chad Ochocinco to the Patriots earlier this year.

"It's a positive thing for Taylor," coach Jim Harbaugh said today. "I've got a lot of respect for Taylor. I've been around him for about three or four weeks now, and he's a good football player and respect him as a person. He's been a hard-working guy out here. I think it's a better fit for him in Cincinnati, and he feels the same way."

Safety also is the 49ers' deepest position. Harbaugh would not divulge how many safeties he would keep on the active roster - Vic Fangio said Monday it could be five - and the team does not have an official depth chart. However, if I were asked to rank them based on what I've seen at training camp, it would go like this: Donte Whitner, Dashon Goldson, Reggie Smith, C.J. Spillman, Madieu Williams, Curtis Taylor, Chris Maragos, Colin Jones and Anthony West. Taylor, Maragos, Jones and West all are eligible for the practice squad.

Et cetera -

* Harbaugh said he wanted his starters to play into the third quarter of Saturday's game against the Texans. "We want to get them into two-minute drive situations, coming out after the half, third-down, short-yardage goal-line, backed up - as many situations as you possibly can," he said. "Traditionally that's the way it's been, and that's our approach.'

• Receiver Dominique Zeigler (knee) took part in individual drills yesterday but not warm ups. He said he didn't know whether he'd play in Saturday's game.

• Punter Andy Lee (hip) is walking without a limp and was attempting punts - albeit not at full exertion - during warm ups today.

-- 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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