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Thursday, August 19, 2010
Mailbag: Support for 49ers' Nate Davis

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Tim from Costa Mesa, Calif., writes: My question is more of an observation than a question. Nate Davis; I understand he plays against second- and third-team defenses, and we have all heard about his learning disability. He always looks so good, though! He throws such a clean ball, seems to have great accuracy -- in and especially out of the pocket. What am I missing? Why hasn't he commanded more respect as the No. 2 man or had other teams interested in him? Call me crazy, but he looks better than Alex Smith and David Carr, and Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan and Trent Dilfer! I could go on! What am I missing here Sando!?

Mike Sando: It is important to trust our eyes here and give Davis credit where it is deserved. That said, the exhibition season is not about game planning or making adjustments or reads. It's about going out and playing the game. Those circumstances probably play to Davis' natural abilities (and all players' natural abilities). When you throw in all the other aspects that go along with regular-season football, young quarterbacks have their hands full -- with or without additional challenges related to how they learn. Those are things to keep in mind when trying to project how a couple strong exhibition performances might translate to the regular season.


Jesper from Denmark writes: Hi Mike. Steve Spagnuolo has just named his starting offensive line, and Adam Goldberg is the right guard. I actually thought John Greco would have won that job, so what are your thoughts on Goldberg?

Mike Sando: Goldberg was the projected starting right guard all along, but the line has been out of whack while the team deals with injuries. The projected starting five are just now getting work together, and that means Goldberg is at right guard. Goldberg would ideally be the sixth lineman and a swing player, but the Rams do not have that kind of depth at the position right now. Also, they value the influence Goldberg has on right tackle Jason Smith. Goldberg helps Smith and mentors him.

I've written recently that the Rams miss Richie Incognito -- the player, not the sideshow -- but it's fair to point out that the Rams enjoyed some success on offense with Goldberg at right guard. They had 434 yards and 23 first downs during a 28-23 home defeat against the New Orleans Saints, for example. New Orleans wound up needing a kickoff return for a touchdown to win that game and stay undefeated.

Whoa, time's about up. Gotta board a flight. To be continued.