NFL Nation: Chad Slaughter
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The 49ers confirmed tackle Marvel Smith's retirement Saturday morning. What now?
Adam Snyder is still the starter on the right side. That was not going to change even if Smith tried to continue playing despite back trouble.
Depth is the problem and this situation was predictable, even likely, given what we knew about Smith's health and how the 49ers' neglected to draft a tackle or sign a younger veteran in free agency (as someone suggested they should).
None of this will matter much if Snyder returns from his knee injury to start most of the games. The 49ers could then try to develop Alex Boone and/or target a tackle in the draft. Their thinking in drafting Michael Crabtree with the 10th overall selection hasn't worked out as anticipated so far, but I think the reasoning was sound and No. 10 was too early to select one of the remaining tackles. Right tackle is not a premium position.
Some have asked why I suggested former Eagles tackle Jon Runyan as a possibility for the 49ers without mentioning the Seahawks as a logical destination as well. Runyan is strictly a right tackle. Seattle has two players able to start at right tackle (Sean Locklear and Ray Willis) but only one player (Locklear) able to start at left tackle. Adding Runyan would not improve the Seahawks' depth at left tackle, which is their position of need while Jones is unavailable.
The 49ers need a right tackle for insurance. Runyan is coming off knee surgery. He might not be ready right away. The 49ers do not need him right away. They need insurance. I have no idea if Runyan would even consider moving across the country. But when I think of tough, physical tackles in the 49ers' mold, Runyan comes to mind.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
- According to Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository, Browns quarterback Brady Quinn has looked "erratic" in training camp.
Morning take: Perhaps last week's surprising chants of "D.A.! D.A.! D.A!" rattled Quinn early.
- Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein plans to take charge this year.
Morning take: Can he pass protect?
- Cincinnati Bengals safety Marvin White tells ESPN.com he enjoys trash talking with teammate Chad Johnson.
Morning take: As a former Bengals beat writer, I've seen this happen in practice before, and Johnson always gets the last laugh. Fortunately for White, Johnson will be rehabbing his right ankle for a few more weeks.
- Following injuries to tackles Jared Gaither and Adam Terry, the Baltimore Ravens signed tackle Chad Slaughter to a one-year contract.
Morning take: I've heard of Webster, Enos and Sergeant, but never a Chad Slaughter. We will find out soon if he can play.
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