49ers Blog and Q&A

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

October 25, 2011
Twitter Q&A: Will Aldon Smith start at outside linebacker?

@dmadan81 AKA Deep Madan
Do you see Aldon Smith getting the start over Haralson, even if he is fully recovered from the hamstring injury?


A: For this answer I had to parse Jim Harbaugh like I used to do Chaucer. (If you weren't an English major, don't try to understand this joke but know that it is hilarious.) Yesterday Harbaugh said he was looking forward to getting Haralson back because the team needs him on first and second downs. That, to me, implies that there is no change in the status quo at the position. Haralson will continue to start and Aldon Smith will come in for relief and on third downs. That dynamic seems to be working out pretty well. Smith's 5 ½ sacks lead the 49ers.

@steveOflat, AKA Jake Flatley
what position should the Niners target in the draft?

A: Unless they go nuts at wide receiver in free agency (Dwayne Bowe?) the 49ers likely will be short at that position in 2012. Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams are the only wideouts signed beyond this season, although I see a contract extension in Joshua Morgan's future.

@westofthedial, AKA Jim Kujawa
Which area of team had the lowest expectations for this season and provided the biggest results?

A: The special teams looked pretty lousy in the preseason and I figured that with the offense and defense straining to get as much practice time as possible this summer, the special teams would get short shrift. But every aspect of special teams has been rock solid, and those units have been a big part of the team's 5-1 record, especially wins against Seattle and Detroit. Special teams coordinator Brad Seeley previously coached in Cleveland where he was/is beloved. He promises to be a big topic in the Cleveland papers. The Browns have seen a big decline in special teams this year.

@chaseparker22, AKA Chase Parker
ya think harbaugh has revisited 2009 atl debacle, coming off bye flyin high? Many of same players

A: I don't know what Harbaugh's method/material is, but I'm positive he's wary of a post-bye lapse and he's doing everything possible to fend off an invasion by Frederick P. Soft. During his KNBR radio show this morning, Harbaugh noted that teams coming off their byes this year are 3-9. You can bet your car that that stat is being mentioned one or 20 times to the players this week.

@BlastBeezo, AKA Brent Bishop
if the Rams end up with the 1st pick in the NFL Draft, would they trade that pick to division rival 9ers?

A: Negative. For one, they'd never trade a potential star inside the division. Two, other teams will be more desperate to land Luck and thus willing to give away more to get him. The 49ers have to be hoping the Rams win a few games this season. If they don't, St. Louis potentially could get very rich via Luck.

@TraubinHD, AKA Eric Weintraub
Think the NFL will do anything about the pathetic national games going forward?

A: Like being able to flex Monday night games? I don't know about that. Changing a game from one day to another isn't as simple as moving it back a few hours. ... I look forward to Sunday during the bye week like a 5-year-old looks forward to Christmas. At 10 a.m., I was nestled on my couch - waffles, orange juice, coffee within arm's reach. How did the NFL reward me? With a lump of coal. Even NFL Red Zone wasn't compelling. They kept switching over to a game just in time for a false start or a timeout. It seemed that the best game was Jets-Chargers with Vikings-Packers somewhat interesting at the end. (Don't bring up Broncos-Dolphins; that was 56 minutes of crapola). Not the NFL's best effort.

@richcn, AKA rich c
hi Matt. If A Smith wins 1 playoff game, should 9ers give him a new contract? Or is CKap the guy next yr regardless?

A: If Alex Smith wins a playoff game, I see a multi-year contract in his future. He wants to be here and Harbaugh loves him. It's hard to reach any other conclusion.

@byoung73, AKA Brian Young
Dinner party guest, road trip, beer pong partner: vernon, alex, pat willis?

A: Dinner guest: Smith. I'm assuming his wife, Elizabeth, is coming. She's a great talker. Vernon Davis would have interesting things to say, too, but he'd show up two hours late.
Road trip: Davis. The guy's an experienced world traveler. He'd also be up for anything. Hey, Vernon, want to go rock climbing in Kyrgyzstan this afternoon? Sure, why not.
Beer pong: Willis. I dare you to make a clutch shot with Patrick Willis staring you down from across the table. I dare you.

Ands the winner of the Bee T-shirt (ladies xtra Small, right?) is ...@LanderFilm, AKA Michael Lander
If Roadhouse was a 9er player, which player would it be?

A: Justin Smith, and I didn't hesitate.

-- 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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