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Saturday, January 24, 2009
Mailbag: The 49ers, Vick and trade scenarios

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

JPP from the United Kingdom writes: Even though it is early days as far as Singletary's head coach tenure goes, the latest rumors are somewhat worrying. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that its almost like a continuation of the sick joke of the York family ownership. Of course we 49ers fans are/were spoiled by the high standards of the past, but the Dan Reeves news -- despite his good career -- doesn't fill me with either hope or excitement for the team's future.

And Michael Vick is surely the dictionary definition of a moron. The face of his franchise paid tens of millions of dollars and a supposed role model to his fans who gets deeply involved in dogfighting and also somehow ends up bankrupt. Who in their right mind would place their offense in the hands of someone so 'old-school' that he appears in black and white and a criminal who hasn't played for a couple of years? I may well be an unrealistic idealist, but I think that a crummy team should go with youth to move forwards instead of retreading yesterday's men and continuing to spin their wheels.

Mike Sando: I understand your trepidation and agree, in general, that Dan Reeves does not represent the long-term future of this or any franchise, despite his stellar career in the NFL. He is an older coach and he has not worked in the league for five seasons. Is he an outstanding NFL coach? The record says so. Is he on the cutting edge of what teams are doing offensively? I do not see how that could be the case, although one of his associates e-mailed me to say otherwise (I am awaiting permission to use that email on the blog).

We should not yet judge the 49ers on anything relating to Vick because we have only a lightly circumstantial case suggesting the 49ers would even consider going in that direction. The Bay Area does not strike me as a community that would embrace a convicted dog killer as the face of a sports franchise, to say the least. At this point, the 49ers have merely spoken to a few coaching candidates with ties to Vick's career in Atlanta. We are not approaching a reasonable-doubt standard here.


Joseph from Phoenix writes: Aside from the recent developments and the anticipated Super Bowl game, there is brewing an interesting trade rumor, over the airwaves with Anquan Boldin not wanting to stay with the Cardinals. It has become apparent when he does not speak to the local sports writers in Phoenix. The offense of the Cardinals has demonstrated more potency with a running game, no matter how meager the results. It translates into more possession time and a rested defense. That's obvious.

And the talk is Ward from the Giants could make it to the West Coast for Boldin. What I haven't heard is a trade for LaDainian Tomlinson in exchange for Boldin? The two teams will end up with what they need most for the upcoming season without giving away their draft choice in the process. It is a good fit for both teams all the way around.

Mike Sando: I would rather get younger at running back than pay for a player whose best years are behind him. I watched first-hand what happened with Shaun Alexander in Seattle. We have seen other backs tail off at this point in their careers. The Cardinals are in the Super Bowl with Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower. They are also in great position with Boldin. They own his rights for the next two seasons, and at a reasonable price, and they have proven they can have success without him. If I were to trade Boldin, I would want draft choices in return.


Charlie from Lexington writes: Hey Mike, in regards to the 49ers OC search, why don't they consider Steve Mariucci? I mean considering this guy had the 49ers ranked in the top five in rushing back when he was head coach!

Mike Sando: I think Steve Mariucci is having too much fun working for NFL Network.


Chris from Richmond, Va., writes: Mike, it would seem to me as long as the sideline issue with Boldin is truly a non-issue, and with as much attention as Fitz is garnering with good reason, that now would be the perfect time to game plan around Anquan. Overall, in the playoffs AZ has brought balance to their offense, but I would think they can be even more dangerous if they get Q the ball in space, but also I would think getting Breaston more involved can really stretch that great D of Pitt to its breaking point. It just seems AZ has so too many weapons if they use them all. Your thoughts?

Mike Sando: Boldin's health would be the key variable there. How well can he run? If he can run well, then I think the Cardinals would try to use him frequently, just as they did during the regular season. In fact, given all the attention Fitzgerald will command early in the game, throwing to other receivers could work to the Cardinals' advantage psychologically. For if they came out throwing to Fitzgerald, only to have the Steelers break up a few passes, the Steelers might draw positive energy from that. Plus, Boldin is a very good player.


Rich from Bellevue, Wash., writes: So, Mr. Mike, what big play is assistant offensive coordinator St. Pierre going to call next week?

Mike Sando: Ha, the Steeltown Special, perhaps? I'm really looking forward to see what kinds of tricks these coaches unveil. You know Ken Whisenhunt and Todd Haley will want to use one or two in the game.


Ryan from Vancouver, B.C., writes: Hey mike, love the blog always good to read. Now as a die-hard Seahawks fan, i'm looking forward to see if the Hawks improve on the running game, now i was wondering cos i think many other people are as well, What are the Chance the hawks try and acquire LT if the chargers let him go or Darren Sproles.. The LT thing is iffy cos we don't know if he would be available, but i still think LT has got a lot of game left in him and it would really help the hawks to have an impact guy like LT if presented the chance. What do you think?

Mike Sando: I think the Seahawks have learned their lesson after paying Shaun Alexander for past production. The Seahawks appear more likely to draft a running back, perhaps even early, than to pay big money for an older one.