NFC West: Pannel Egboh

Catching up with the 49ers' cut list

September, 10, 2009
9/10/09
10:55
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


49ers Player Released on Cutdown Pos. Current Team Capacity
Brit Miller
RB 49ers Practice Squad
Kory Sheets
RB 49ers Practice Squad
Alex Boone
OL 49ers Practice Squad
J.J. Finley
TE 49ers Practice Squad
Dobson Collins
WR 49ers Practice Squad
Dominique Zeigler
WR 49ers Practice Squad
Terrail Lambert
DB -- --
Matt Spanos
OL -- --
Pannel Egboh
DL -- --
Khalif Mitchell
DL -- --
Bill Rentmeester
RB -- --
Jacob Bender
OL -- --
Kyle Howard
OL -- --
Jay Moore
LB -- --
Justin Roland
LB -- --
Mark Washington
LB -- --
Joe Toledo
OL -- --
Bear Pascoe
TE -- --
Maurice Price
WR -- --
Eric Green
DB -- --
The tough decisions teams face in reducing their rosters to 53 players sometimes aren't so tough.

"The 49ers released Kory Sheets!" loses some of its drama when Sheets quietly re-signs to the 49ers' practice squad after none of the other 31 NFL teams submit a waiver claim for him.

I've gone through the initial NFC West cut lists -- those players released at the 53-man deadline -- to see which ones have returned to their teams or caught on elsewhere.

The chart shows results for San Francisco.

The 49ers' initial cut list featured only one vested veteran, cornerback Eric Green. The other 19 players had practice-squad eligibility and the 49ers brought back six of them in that capacity.

The remaining 14 players are unsigned.

Offensive lineman Jacob Bender had a tryout with the Seahawks. The Jets showed interest in tight end Bear Pascoe, only to receive another tight end via waivers.

Sheets impressed during the preseason, but the 49ers were stacked at running back with Frank Gore and Glen Coffee. They valued the versatile Michael Robinson far too much to carry a rookie runner on their 53-man roster in his place.

Ex-49ers with practice-squad eligibility

September, 6, 2009
9/06/09
11:12
AM ET
Ex-49ers eligible for
practice squad
Pos.
Jacob Bender
OL
Alex Boone
OL
Dobson Collins
WR
Pannel Egboh
DL
J.J. Finley
TE
Kyle Howard
OL
Terrail Lambert
DB
Brit Miller
FB
Khalif Mitchell
DL
Jay Moore
LB
Bear Pascoe
TE
Maurice Price
WR
Bill Rentmeester
FB
Justin Roland
LB
Kory Sheets
RB
Matt Spanos
OL
Joe Toledo
OL
Mark Washington
LB
Dominique Zeigler
WR

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


NFL teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads once released players clear waivers this afternoon.

Every player the 49ers released on the reduction to 53 players -- minus cornerback Eric Green -- possesses eligibility for the practice squad. Tackle Alex Boone, guard Matt Spanos, fullback Brit Miller, defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell and running back Kory Sheets could make sense as options. The team will presumably keep one of the tight ends it released, Bear Pascoe or J.J. Finley. Cornerback Terrail Lambert could provide another option.

Some 49ers fans have expressed to me surprise over Sheets' release in particular. The depth San Francisco enjoys at that position made Sheets' release likely.

We likewise should not be surprised if backup running back Glen Coffee plays sparingly as a rookie. Like Sheets, Coffee showed promise during the exhibition games. But with offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye having already committed to Frank Gore as the workhorse back, there won't be many carries left over.

As long as Gore is healthy and his usually productive self, I think Coffee would have to break long runs when given opportunities to siphon significant carries in the No. 2 role.

49ers: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
5:40
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Biggest surprise: The 49ers kept only four running backs, two tight ends and eight offensive linemen on the initial cutdown to 53 players, suggesting the team will consider adding players at those positions. This is a power running team, after all. The decision to release both Bear Pascoe and J.J. Finley was a bit of surprise. One of them was expected to serve as the third tight end. Undrafted free agent Diyral Briggs earned a spot at linebacker, edging out Jay Moore. Fullback Brit Miller, running back Kory Sheets and receiver Dominique Zeigler had made positive impressions with fans, but none enjoyed strong roster security. Their releases were not surprising in that context. Coach Mike Singletary had said the 49ers faced few significant roster decisions heading into the final exhibition game. The team did not cut any big-name players.

No-brainers: The 49ers' cut list ran 20 deep and also featured tackle Jacob Bender, tackle Alex Boone, receiver Dobson Collins, defensive end Pannel Egboh, cornerback Eric Green, guard Kyle Howard, cornerback Terrail Lambert, defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell, receiver Maurice Price, fullback Bill Rentmeester, linebacker Justin Roland, offensive lineman Matt Spanos, tackle Joe Toledo and linebacker Mark Washington.

What's next: The 49ers could use a veteran offensive tackle after Marvel Smith retired. They will presumably scan the waiver wire for a fullback. The team will also likely want to add a third tight end.

Practice-squad report: 49ers

August, 21, 2009
8/21/09
11:29
AM ET
49ers eligible for
practice squad
Pos. Perceived Status
Terrail Lambert
DB
Likely cut
Reggie Smith
DB
Keeper
Curtis Taylor
DB
Likely cut
Carlos Thomas
DB
Likely cut
Jahi Word-Daniels
DB
Likely cut
Pannel Egboh
DL
Likely cut
Ricky Jean-Francois
DL
Bubble
Khalif Mitchell
DL
Bubble
Diyral Briggs
LB
Likely cut
Scott McKillop
LB
Keeper
Jay Moore
LB
Bubble
Justin Roland
LB
Likely cut
Mark Washington
LB
Likely cut
Brit Miller
FB
Bubble
Matt Spanos
OL
Likely cut
Cody Wallace
OL
Keeper
Jacob Bender
OL
Likely cut
Kyle Howard
OL
Likely cut
Alex Boone
OL
Bubble
Joe Toledo
OL
Likely cut
Nate Davis
QB
Bubble
Glen Coffee
RB
Keeper
Bill Rentmeester
RB
Bubble
Kory Sheets
RB
Likely cut
Alex Romero
ST
Likely cut
J.J. Finley
TE
Likely cut
Bear Pascoe
TE
Keeper
Mark Bradford
WR
Likely cut
Dobson Collins
WR
Likely cut
Maurice Price
WR
Likely cut
Dominique Zeigler
WR
Bubble

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The quarterback race between Shaun Hill and Alex Smith commands much 49ers-related attention.

The race for the No. 3 job behind them deserves some attention. Veteran Damon Huard has a 15-12 record as an NFL starter. He provides value as an experienced backup. The team also wants to develop fifth-round rookie quarterback Nate Davis.

What to do?

Davis is a project. He will not help the 49ers this season. The question becomes whether another team would sign him to its 53-man roster if the 49ers waived Davis and tried to sign him to their practice squad.

As noted, NFL teams selected 19 quarterbacks in the fifth round from the 2000 through 2008 drafts. Eighteen earned opening-day spots on 53-man rosters as rookies. The Steelers' Omar Jacobs was an exception in 2006, the year Ben Roethlisberger opened on the bench following a motorcycle accident.

The factors that pushed down Davis in the draft -- notably a learning disability that the 49ers see as overstated -- still exist. If teams fear Davis might struggle to learn their system -- and for the sake of this discussion, it doesn't matter if such fears are justified -- the 49ers might have an easier time getting
Davis onto their practice squad.

What would you do?

The chart shows all 31 current 49ers players with eligibility, arranged by position. I left first-round choice Michael Crabtree off the chart because he has not signed with the team.

NFL teams must reduce rosters from 80 to 75 players Sept. 1. They must reduce to 53 players Sept. 5. They can begin forming eight-man practice squads Sept. 6 at noon ET.

As the NFL puts it:

After 12 noon, New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free-agency credit or who were on the 45-player active list for less than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season(s). A player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons.

The 49ers also face dilemmas at other positions, including what to do at receiver while Crabtree and Brandon Jones are not available, but that third quarterback race stands out.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune saw good things from Seahawks offensive lineman Max Unger against the Chargers. Boling: "First-round pick Aaron Curry, who missed eight days of training camp while holding out, showed that he's not entirely up to speed with his responsibilities when he got lost in coverage on a crossing route in the first period. Second-round pick Max Unger had a much more impressive outing. At right guard in the first half, Unger looked solid enough for a first appearance in both run and pass situations. He seemed to know where to go and was able to get the job done once he got there."

John Morgan of Field Gulls singles out winners and losers from the Seahawks' exhibition opener. That would be Nick Reed among the winners.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune offers notes and observations from the Seahawks' first exhibition game. Williams: "The pass defense is still in a work in progress. The Seahawks finished last in the league in pass defense last season, and gave up a league-leading 59 plays of 20-yards or more. That disturbing trend continued on Saturday, with the Seahawks giving up four plays of 20-yards or more through the air. Cornerback Kevin Hobbs was twice victimized, and Kelly Jennings also was beat deep, although he did manage an interception."

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says Matt Hasselbeck's scramble against the Chargers suggests the quarterback has moved past a back injury.

Doug Farrar of Scout.com sees significant changes to the Seahawks' offensive and defensive schemes under new coach Jim Mora.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times profiles Curry, exploring the linebacker's sensitive side.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts offers first-half notes from the Seahawks' opener. Cole: "The defensive line, especially the first unit, has looked quite good. I was most impressed by Colin Cole, who I did not expect a whole lot from him."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers coach Mike Singletary singled out right tackle Adam Snyder for playing well against the Broncos. Singletary also liked what he saw from rookie running back Glen Coffee. Singletary: "I'm really excited about what I saw of him. He's really a tough guy. I thought he did a decent job in pass protection. Glen is going to be a good addition to our team."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Singletary lauded Shaun Hill's game management. Singletary: "He's great at managing the game. You know he can manage a game, but he can also throw the ball downfield. ... How consistent, and on what basis? That's something we still have to look at, but we pretty much know what's there." 

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says 49ers running back Thomas Clayton suffered "major" ligament damage in his knee against the Broncos. Singletary withheld a formal announcement pending MRI results.

Also from Maiocco: The following players "showed nothing" against the Broncos: "Manny Lawson, Marques Harris, Kentwan Balmer, Isaac Sopoaga, Aubrayo Franklin, Demetric Evans, Pannel Egboh, Ricky Jean-Francois."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says results from Steve Breaston's MRI remained a mystery. Also from Somers: "QB Brian St. Pierre didn't play well, obviously, but he didn't have much help, as coach Ken Whisenhunt noted. Oliver Ross moved from right tackle to left because of the injury to Elliot Vallejo. Ross was beaten a time or two. There appeared to be some miscommunication in protection on other occasions."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com offers notes from the Cardinals-Steelers game. Urban: "You've got to love the potential as a return guy of Michael Ray Garvin, but it just seems like he's a long shot given his limited abilities beyond the return game (unless he can become a gunner on punt coverage). He seems like more of a practice-squad candidate, although if he sparkles the rest of the preseason, maybe he'll sneak in. We'll see if Antrel Rolle keeps getting a try as a punt returner; he just doesn't look as comfortable as I would have thought."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Samkon Gado's stock with the Rams is rising after his 77-yard touchdown run against the Jets. Thomas: "[Steven] Jackson took note of the fact Gado's big run came after spending most of the first half playing fullback in place of Mike Karney, who dressed but didn't play because of an ankle injury."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates Rams injuries. Coats: "Quarterback Brock Berlin and guard Jacob Bell will be day-to-day this week after being knocked out of the game with injuries. Spagnuolo reported that Berlin suffered a sprained knee and Bell a mild concussion. Also, MRI exams were scheduled for wide receivers Tim Carter (groin) and Brooks Foster (ankle). Defensive end Adam Carriker (ankle) will be out again this week."

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo pointed to pass protection as one of the areas needing improvement. 

Turf Show Times' CoachConnors sees room for improvement from Rams cornerback Justin King.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- NFL careers generally do not turn on a single training camp practice. With that dose of perspective in mind, here's a look inside my notebook from the 49ers' practice Monday afternoon:

  • Rookie tight end Bear Pascoe had a rough day. He struggled in pass-protection drills and with his route running. Tight ends coach Pete Hoener was hard on Pascoe during the pass-protection drills. Hoener took a lower-keyed approach to helping with the route running. Good coaches know when to ride a player and when to back off. Hoener seemed conscious of the balance.
  • Manny Lawson again beat left tackle Joe Staley to the outside on a speed rush, something to file away as we monitor Lawson's progress. The 49ers need him to have an impact as a pass rusher. Beating Staley twice in the same day counts as a positive given that Staley is an established player.
  • Linebacker Jay Moore made the most of his afternoon. He contributed to Pascoe's problems in pass-rush drills (Barry Sims and Alex Boone were also Moore's victims, while Boone also lost a matchup against Pannel Egboh). Moore picked off a tipped pass. He later cut a finger batting down a pass near the line of scrimmage.
  • Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin almost avoided contact in beating center Eric Heitmann with a quick move off the ball in pass-rush drills. That's the nature of pass-rush drills. You win some and lose some, and sometimes you look silly.
  • Coaches wanted converted linebacker Brit Miller, now a fullback, to watch how veteran Michael Robinson ran pass routes.
  • Tight end Delanie Walker made a stunning left-handed catch on a crisply delivered short pass from Shaun Hill. The ball hit Walker's left wrist area and seemed to stick. Walker tucked away the ball in one swift motion without help from his other hand.
  • Receiver Dominique Zeigler muffed a punt.
  • Free safety Dashon Goldson knifed through to break up an underneath pass. Goldson's speed must be a welcome sight for the 49ers in the secondary. Playing safety requires more than speed, of course, but the 49ers want to become more athletic at the position. Goldson is more athletic.
  • While coach Mike Singletary wants a physical camp, he called for caution after cornerback Marcus Hudson collided violently with receiver Brandon Jones. Both players went down hard and bounced up quickly, with Jones holding onto the ball.
  • Tight end Vernon Davis continues to catch everything thrown to him. I don't want to inflate expectations here. Davis has to show consistency over time. That said, he has certainly caught the ball well this offseason. I noticed it right away during a visit to 49ers practices a couple months ago.
  • Linebackers Parys Haralson, Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes did not practice in the afternoon. Ahmad Brooks filled in for Haralson and caused problems in the backfield. Singletary singled out Brooks for praise following the morning practice. Brooks seemed to provide a few more contributions in the afternoon.
I realize I've been heavy on 49ers stuff today, but the altnerative would be pretending I'm not at 49ers headquarters watching practices. That wouldn't be any fun.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers begin their afternoon practice in another hour or so. A few notes left over from the morning session:

  • These practices feature more high-impact physical contact than what I recall seeing at most training camps. Example: Frank Gore runs across the shallow middle on a pass pattern. He's about to catch the pass when linebacker Takeo Spikes decks him. The pass is incomplete. Gore gets up and runs back to the huddle, ready for more.
  • Manny Lawson stood out to me a couple times. As noted, he defeated Vernon Davis, a difficult matchup, in Mike Singletary's nutcracker drills. I also saw Lawson beat left tackle Joe Staley in a one-on-one pass-rush drill. Lawson celebrated after beating Staley with a quick move to the inside. The 49ers need to see more of this.
  • Also in pass-rush drills, nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin beat center Eric Heitmann, who had little choice but to hold; Kentwan Balmer beat guard Tony Wragge, who also held; defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell convincingly beat center Cody Wallace; defensive end Pannel Egboh eventually prevailed against tackle Kyle Howard with a spin move; guard Matt Spanos fared better in an immediate rematch after defensive lineman Babatunde Oshinowo beat him in the first matchup.
  • Cornerback Dre Bly showed his frustration after receiver Josh Morgan beat him for a short reception. Morgan gained separation with a quick shove near the line of scrimmage before catching the pass from Shaun Hill.
  • Receiver Brandon Jones leapt high to make a catch over cornerback Marcus Hudson on a pass from Alex Smith (update: I think Hill threw that one).
  • Singletary kept urging players to stay off the ground. That is a standard message from coaches, but it's tougher to abide by such rules when the practices are so physical.
  • Smith's shoulder appears to be doing fine. The quarterback threw one pass roughly 60 yards in the air without any trouble.
  • Singletary likes what he's seeing from linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who continues to get work while Parys Haralson rests an injury.
  • Balmer "did OK" when working with the first team at right defensive end while Justin Smith received time off.
I spoke with Staley and Gore after the morning practice. Both seemed genuinely excited about playing for Singletary. More on that as camp progresses.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Anquan Boldin reported late to training camp after doubling back to pick up two teammates' whose vehicle had broken down. Does the collective bargaining agreement allow him to submit for mileage reimbursement?

Also from Somers: All Cardinals players made their weight targets, including Alan Branch. Tight end Stephen Spach has been cleared to practice once a day following ACL surgery.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the mood was light as players reported for camp, with coach Ken Whisenhunt and quarterback Kurt Warner exchanging friendly banter in front of reporters.

Also from Urban: Bertrand Berry missed offseason workouts and practices to conserve energy, not because he was upset about his contract, according to Berry.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind singles out Chike Okeafor, Lyle Sendlein and Gabe Watson as Cardinals players entering pivotal seasons.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts expects Josh Wilson to compete hard for the starting job at right cornerback even though Ken Lucas is the heavy favorite to emerge in the No. 1 role.

Shaun Dolence of 12thmanrising.com thinks Seahawks rookie Deon Butler has the potential to become a good slot receiver. The team envisoins Butler adding speed on the outside.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com examines changes to training camp as the team holds its first one at its new facility.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com checks in with second-round Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, who was happy to sign in time for training camp. Laurinaitis: "You don't want anyone to think of you as that guy holding out. You don't want that label on you and I am just glad it's all over with. A lot of guys do mean it when they say they want to be in camp on time. You are missing a lot of football, a lot of good teaching if you hold out."

Also from Wagoner: audio from his conversation with Bernie Miklasz of 101ESPN St. Louis. Wagoner points to Daniel Fells, Roger Allen, Phil Trautwein and Larry Grant as lesser-known players who could make an impact in training camp.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects the Rams to reach agreement with first-round choice Jason Smith in the near future. That would probably help the Seahawke define the market for Aaron Curry. Smith and Curry were the only non-quarterbacks drafted among the top four overall choices.

VanRam of Turf Show Times points to Mike Karney's addition as an important offseason move by the Rams. Might Karney help in the red zone?

Patrick Hooper of 49ers.com passes along Demetric Evans' thoughts on playing in Greg Manusky's defense. Evans: "[Manusky] told me that the 3-4 they run is not the typical 3-4, where you are just holding blocks. They allow the d-linemen to get up the field and make plays."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle offers Mike Singletary's reflections on missing training camp when Singletary was a player. Singletary: "I'm a guy of principle. I was prepared to sit out for the whole duration. It worked out."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat details the 49ers' roster moves and says the team expects to sign a defensive lineman while Michael Crabtree's absence leaves open a roster spot.

Bob Padecky of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat assesses Alex Smith's chances to right his career. Smith says he's throwing the ball effortlessly, a big change from his injury-plagued past.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers rookie Ricky Jean-Francois is suffering from a stomach ailment. The note allowed Barrows to work in a rare reference to Pannel Egboh.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News poses five questions facing the 49ers this summer. Can the 49ers field a top-10 defense? I think they can with some help from the offense.

Andrew Davidson of Niners Nation assesses the fantasy prospects of 49ers players. Davidson: "Let me begin by saying do not draft Shaun Hill if you are playing in a standard league. ... A player like Shaun Hill won't serve a lot of fantasy purpose, mainly because there are 32 starting QBs in the NFL, and you'll be fighting for one of the top 12. It is safe to say Shaun Hill is not a top 12 quarterback in fantasy football (or the NFL)." Will Hill start?

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was more aggressive than usual in his comments after practice Monday. Smith indirectly said receiver Isaac Bruce and other veteran no-shows need to attend organized team activities (OTAs). Barrows: "That's about as powerful as anything that Smith has said -- to the media, at least -- since he was drafted in 2005. One of the criticisms of Smith is that he is too nice, that he doesn't have that certain jerk-ishness ... that seems to be a prerequisite for running a huddle. Perhaps this is an indication of no more Mr. Nice Guy from Mr. Smith." More edge from a quarterback can help as long as he's playing well enough to have credibility.

Also from Barrows: Jimmy Williams' release means former cornerback Reggie Smith will almost certainly remain at safety.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News thinks Williams' release could help Mark Roman earn a roster spot. Roman's health will be a key variable. 

Also from Brown: Jerry Rice is keeping busy in retirement, if you can call it that.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat provides an overview from 49ers practices. One note: "Two rookies are unable to participate because of a rule that prevents them from practicing with the team until graduation ceremonies are held at their respective schools. The two players are: offensive tackle Alex Boone [Ohio State] and defensive end Pannel Egboh [Stanford]."

The 49ers' Web site provides a transcript to coach Mike Singletary's news conference. Singletary wasn't happy with practice Monday.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind lists where Cardinals players ranked on Sporting News' top 20 lists at each position. Larry Fitzgerald was the top receiver. Anquan Boldin was fourth-best receiver. Kurt Warner ranked eighth at quarterback. 

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says newly signed receiver Edward Gant gives the Cardinals' more depth at the position as OTAs begin Tuesday.  Boldin will not be participating, most likely.

Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com thinks the Rams' radio decision makers made a mistake in moving Jim Hanifan to the pregame and postgame shows. He thinks Hanifan's emotional reactions would work best as the third man in a three-man booth. Klutsarits: "I believe that Rams Radio did make the right decision in moving Hanifan out of the second position and placing D'Marco Farr into that role. Farr is developing into a very good broadcasting talent and is not only insightful, but very good at following the lead of the host and being concise. Hanifan, although very entertaining and very insightful in a different way, was not good at getting in and out in the time constraints of the game."

Dave Mahler of KJR radio in Seattle checks in with former longtime Seahawks receiver Bobby Engram. Engam, now with the Chiefs, says he wanted to finish his career in Seattle.

John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks the Seahawks will have a hard time fielding an elite defense. Morgan: "Jim Mora has never done anything like that as a coach, where his Falcons were average to below average every season. He never did anything like that as a defensive coordinator, where his 49ers were average to below average every season. Gus Bradley is pure Tampa 2, and if you see a Tampa 2 talent on this roster not named Tatupu or Tapp, give me a heads up. ... Maybe Bradley is an undiscovered genius, but there's no evidence of that, and it would be abnormal for a defensive minded head coach to hire a defensive mastermind to work beneath him. Mora, depressingly so, is supposed to be the defensive mastermind."

See also: In 2007, I touched on where Mora's defenses ranked when he was head coach, defensive coordinator, secondary coach and quality control coach. Note that Seattle's defenses ranked 15th (2007) and 30th (2008) with Mora coaching the secondary, although I wouldn't hold him accountable for those seasons. The 2009 season will mark our first opportunity to evaluate Mora as a defensive coach in Seattle.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says rookie receiver Deon Butler continues to impress during offseason practices. Butler also has a new jersey number, switching from 85 to 11 because he wanted a sleeker look.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers failed to address their biggest needs in the draft. Crumpacker: "Circumstances conspired against San Francisco getting an elite player at these vital positions. When the 49ers were up at 10 on Saturday, they saw Crabtree still available, so that meant no Michael Oher, the Mississippi tackle." Said coach Mike Singletary: "We had a head-on issue with Crabtree and Michael Oher." The team also wanted to add a pass rusher, Singletary said, but it did not happen.

Also from Crumpacker: Crabtree will wear No. 15 with the 49ers. His father, who drives a bread truck, can presumably retire if he wants.

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle passes along a pointed quote from Crabtree's college coach, Mike Leach, in regard to reports that Crabtree's attitude had turned off Browns coach Eric Mangini during the scouting process. Leach on Mangini: "How about that guy? There's a bunch of things that I've heard that guy described as that I might start sharing publicly. I mean, let's just point out that Michael Crabtree has been more successful as a receiver than that guy has been as a coach at this point." Leach called Crabtree a team player in every way.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat gave Billy Bajema something to think about when he described the newly drafted Bear Pasco as "definitely" an upgrade over the former 49ers tight end. The 49ers also did not bring back tight end Sean Ryan. The 49ers addressed offense aggressively in the draft.

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers have reached agreements with several undrafted free agents. The list includes Purdue running back Kory Sheets, Ohio State tackle Alex Boone, Georgia Tech cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels, Stanford defensive end Pannel Egboh and South Carolina cornerback Carlos Thomas.

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat thinks the 49ers vastly outperformed the Raiders in the draft. The 49ers were thrilled to find Crabtree at No. 10.

David Fucillo of Niners Nation grades the 49ers' draft selections. Crabtree's selection gets high marks. Glen Coffee's selection gets a C. Fucillo: "The reason I discount this grade so much is that I'd imagine they could have had him a little later, or even gone with some other RB options late in the draft. Running back was a need for this team, in spite of what others might think. However, there were some serious players available here that left me a bit confused. In the end I can live with this pick because I do think the 49ers front office has some clue of what's going on (no snickers please). However, it was one that had me a little bit befuddled."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers like Crabtree for his toughness.

Also from Barrows: A look at the 49ers' new uniforms.

SPONSORED HEADLINES