Fangio: Competition to replace Bowman 'very even'

Fangio: Competition to replace Bowman 'very even'
August 13, 2014, 12:15 pm
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Very even.
Vic Fangio on competition between Chris Borland and Michael Wilhoite

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SANTA CLARA -- With All-Pro inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman slated to open the regular season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, the 49ers are no closer to identifying his replacement.

When asked if there has been any separation in the competition between Michael Wilhoite and rookie Chris Borland, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio answered, "No."

Wilhoite and Borland started the 49ers' exhibition opener Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens. Starter Patrick Willis was given the night off, allowing the 49ers to evaluate Wilhoite and Borland on a level playing field.

"Very even," Fangio said Wednesday when asked to rate the competition.

[MAIOCCO: Willis willing to play either LB role in Bowman's absence]

Willis has been seeing action at the "mike" linebacker position, lining up on the tight end side, where Bowman has started the past three seasons. If Borland wins the competition, however, he would likely play the "mike," with Willis moving back to the "jack" position.

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