Maiocco: 49ers defense -- Player-by-player review

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Maiocco: 49ers defense -- Player-by-player review

Aug. 22, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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The 49ers' defense recorded two interceptions, three sacks and surrendered just 214 yards of total offense in a 17-3 victory over the Raiders in the second exhibition game.Here's a player-by-player look how the 49ers' defense and specialists performed:
Defensive linemen (9)
61-Sealver Siliga: Entered at nose tackle for the third series of the second half and rotated with Ian Williams the rest of the way.
63-Will Tukuafu: Entered the game at left defensive end at the start of the second half. . . . He peeled off a block attempt of Raiders lineman Bruce Campbell to stop Rock Cartwright for a 1-yard gain in third quarter for his only tackle.
64-Ian Williams: Opened the second half at nose tackle, as he took over for Ricky Jean Francois. He split time at nose tackle in the second half with Siliga. . . . Credited with one tackle.(Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95
71-Brian Bulcke: Entered game at right defensive end for the second series of the second half. . . Didn't get blocked and got a big hit on Raiders quarterback Kyle Boller as he was releasing to force an incomplete pass in the third quarter.
78-Demarcus Dobbs: Entered the game at right defensive end at the start of the second half. . . . Completely bowled over Raiders left guard Alex Parsons to throw Boller for a 9-yard loss on a sack. . . He finished with three tackles.
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and played most of the first half, as he returned last week from a hamstring strain that kept him out the first two weeks of camp. . . . Credited with one tackle.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left defensive end and played the first half. . . Got good penetration that freed up teammate NaVorro Bowman to make a stop for just a 1-yard gain in the first quarter.
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end and played the entire first half. . . Although not officially credited with any stats, he was responsible for a sack and forced fumble on Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell in the second quarter.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: Entered the game as part of the 49ers' goal-line defense in the second quarter. . . He got outstanding penetration to help stack up Raiders fullback Marcell Reece for a 1-yard loss on a third-and-goal from the 1. . . Saw action, mixing in with Sopoaga, at nose tackle in the first half. He started second half, but played just one series. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)Linebackers (13)
47-Monte Simmons: Did not see any action on defense.
50-Kenny Rowe: Did not see any action on defense.
51-Blake Costanzo: Did not see any action on defense, but was on the first-team special-teams units for kickoff coverage and kickoff return.
52-Patrick Willis: Started at middle linebacker and played the entire first half . . . He closed quickly to tackle Campbell on a bootleg near the end zone. Willis dropped him for a 1-yard loss. . . . He was in coverage against Michael Bush on a 12-yard reception. . . . He finished with three tackles. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started at inside linebacker and played the entire first half. . . He made his presence felt immediately when he made the first two tackles of the game, then beat the attempted block of Michael Bush to put a hit on Campbell to force a third-down incompletion. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Entered the game at the start of the second half. . . . On a third-and-1, he filled the gap nicely and stuck running back Michael Bennett for a 1-yard loss. . . . He was credited with one solo and one assisted tackle. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant59)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker and played the entire first half. . . His hit on Campbell knocked him out of the game. Campbell was going to the ground to recover his own fumble when Brooks delivered the blow.
56-Scott McKillop: He saw practice time last week but he did not play in the game. (Follow on Twitter @smckillop56)
57-Keaton Kristick: Entered the game on defense at the start of the second half. . . . Came on a blitz and probably would've gotten a hit on the quarterback, if it hadn't been for Cartwright holding him (and getting penalized for it). . . . Credited with one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @KKRISTICK32)
58-Alex Joseph: Did not see any action on defense.
96-Antwan Applewhite: Entered the game at left outside linebacker at the start of the second half. . . . Made a quick move at the snap to get inside tight end Richard Gordon to stop fullback Manase Tonga for no gain in the third quarter. . . . Finished with two tackles.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at right outside linebacker, and played most of the first half. . . Got around Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer to drop Campbell for a sack on a fourth-and-goal from the 2.
99-Aldon Smith: Entered the game briefly in the second quarter, but saw a lot of action in the second half. Had some difficulty working against Raiders tackle Seth Wand initially, but got him with an inside move to hit Boller as he was throwing for an incomplete pass in the third quarter. . . . He finished with two tackles. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs (18)
20-Madieu Williams: Entered the game at free safety at the start of the second half. . . . Had perfect coverage on a fourth-and-2 situation on Tonga to record the interception. . . . He was credited with three tackles, plus another on special teams.
22-Carlos Rogers: Did not play due to an Achilles strain.
23-Taylor Mays: Entered the game at safety with 3:33 remaining in the game, and played final three defensive snaps.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at left cornerback and played the entire first half and one series of the second half. . . . He started in the slot and then ended up at the left sideline to step in front of Raiders receiver Derek Hagan for an interception. . . . He recorded two tackles and two passes defensed.
26-Tramaine Brock: Started at right cornerback and played almost the entire game . . . He was in coverage on back-to-back completions to rookie receiver Denarius Moore for 17 and 11 yards. . . . He would've had an opportunity for an interception had Tarell Brown not gotten in front of him and gotten the pick himself late in the first half. . . . Did a good job of wrapping up to hold receiver Shaun Bodiford to just a 3-yard gain after a quick pass. . . . He finished with three tackles. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: He entered the game early in the second quarter as part of the 49ers' goal-line defense. . . . Came flying up to drop Boller for a 1-yard gain on a third-and-15 situation. . . . Stopped running back Louis Rankin for a 2-yard loss with a good open-field tackle. . . . He also made a tackle on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
28-Curtis Taylor: Entered the game at safety with 3:33 remaining in the game, and played final three defensive snaps.
29-Chris Culliver: Began the game as the 49ers' third cornerback. He failed to turn to look for the ball at the beginning of the second quarter on a play in which Darrius Heyward-Bey made a 22-yard reception to the 49ers' 2-yard line. . . . Also, in coverage against Hagan on a 14-yard gain in the third quarter. . . Came up in run support to help Spillman stop Rankin for a 2-yard loss. . . . Credited with four tackles. (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: Did not play after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Aug. 15. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety and played the entire first half. . . . He was not involved much in the action. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
32-Corey Nelms: Did not play on defense.
33-Phillip Davis: Did not play on defense.
35-Phillip Adams: Got a chance to return punts, and came through with a 32-yard return late in the game. . . . Saw action as the third cornerback in the second half, and moved to right cornerback late in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @phil_adams35)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Sustained left hamstring strain in practice July 31 and has not made it through a full practice since. He did not suit up for the game.
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety, seeing his first action of the exhibition season. . . . Got to the ball a step late and could not prevent Heyward-Bey reception of 18 yards in the second quarter. . . . Finished with two tackles. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
40-Chris Maragos: He saw action on special teams, recording one assisted tackle. Did not play on defense. (Follow on Twitter @ChrisMaragos)
41-Curtis Holcomb: Placed on injured reserve after sustaining ruptured left Achilles on July 28. He does not count against roster limit. (Follow on Twitter @C_Holcomb24)
43-Colin Jones: Played on all the special-teams coverage units. Again, demonstrated speed to be the first one down on coverage, but did not record any tackles.
45-Anthony West: Got into the game for the final play as an extra defensive back.Specialists (4)
2-David Akers: He made a 23-yard field goal and handled the punting chores after Andy Lee was knocked from the game. He had a 44-yard punt on his first try. His second attempt was deflected, as the 49ers had just 10 players on the field and the ball traveled just 13 yards. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: His evening got off to a rough start after he mishandled a low snap on a field-goal attempt. Lee tried to throw a pass up for grabs (it was intercepted) and Stevie Brown planted Lee on his right hip. Lee likely sustained a hip pointer and he was unable to handle the punting chores for the rest of the game. . . . He still managed to hold on kicks. . . . The 49ers will likely look for a street free agent to fill in until Lee is healthy again.
9-Fabrizio Scaccia: He had four kickoffs but managed just one touchback. . . One of his kickoffs sailed 3 yards deep into the end zone, but Denarius Moore returned it out to the 45.
86-Brian Jennings: His snap on the first field-goal attempt was not perfect, but Lee typically handles it with no problem. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)-Rookies

49ers: Thomas capable of playing anywhere on D-line

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49ers: Thomas capable of playing anywhere on D-line

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected defensive linemen with their top picks in the final two drafts under general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers fired Baalke at the conclusion of the team’s 2-14 season, and new general manager John Lynch stepped into a tear-down project.

That complete rebuild began Thursday evening with Lynch’s selection of another defensive lineman. The 49ers traded back one spot and selected Solomon Thomas of Stanford with the No. 3 overall pick.

“We see a special football player, disruptive football player, who has tremendous versatility,” Lynch said. “I think he fits in with the current group that we have because he’s a little different than the guys we have. And when I think of Solomon, I think of speed and quickness and disruption.”

The 49ers expect to play more of an aggressive, attacking style of defense under first-year coordinator Robert Saleh. Perhaps, the team’s biggest need is at the “Leo” position, the weak side end that is considered more of a pass-rusher.

Thomas appears better-suited at the other end or at a defensive tackle position, but the 49ers are keeping an open mind about using him at nearly every spot along the defensive line in the team’s new 4-3 scheme.

“There are four defensive linemen and what’s intriguing about Solomon is he has the ability to play all four of them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “That’s what makes him so unique. That’s why I think John says he’s a little bit different than some of the guys we have, because you can move him around. He has the quickness and speed to play on the outside. He has enough sides to play on the inside, so you don’t want to put him in one spot.

“We don’t think he has to be one specific role. Obviously, he is a defensive lineman, but there’s four spots he can play at and I think that’s going to depend on down and distance, whether we’re expecting run, whether we’re expecting pass and the type of personnel we’re going against.”

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers began Thursday with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

When his first day as 49ers general manager reached its conclusion, John Lynch had selected two of the three top players on his draft board and picked up additional third-round picks for this year and next year.

After Myles Garrett, the 49ers’ top-rated prospect, was the Cleveland Browns’ selection at No. 1 overall, the 49ers traded back one spot with the Chicago Bears. The 49ers still got their No. 2-rated prospect, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

The 49ers started making calls to teams with selections in the teens, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, to inquire about trading up for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. The 49ers finally worked out a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to move up three spots to No. 31.

The 49ers selected Foster one spot ahead of the New Orleans Saints, who were apparently ready to select Foster with the No. 32 pick.

Said Lynch, "Reuben thought that because we were at 34, we made a trade at the end with Seattle and when I was talking to him, he said, ‘Coach, New Orleans is taking me.' And I said, ‘No, we’re taking you.’ It was hard because it happened late in the process and so, he was really excited when he found out that we had pulled off that trade and we were certainly very excited.”

And all the 49ers gave up to make the necessary move was a fourth-round pick acquired from the Bears earlier in the day.

The 49ers got everything the could have ever wanted from Day 1 of the draft.

“In terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said. “We’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. I think these guys have traits that encompass what we want to be about as a football organization.”

Lynch said he began speaking with Bears general manager Ryan Pace more than a week ago. Because the 49ers had picks scheduled next to the Bears in every round, Pace suggested to Lynch that the two teams should be willing to work with each other throughout the draft.

The 49ers had other offers for the No. 2 pick, Lynch said. A source told NBC Sports Bay Area just prior to the start of the draft that the 49ers had fielded three solid offers.

The team’s chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe worked out the details to finalize the trade with the Bears.

The 49ers did not know which player the Bears were targeting at No. 2, but Shanahan voiced his opinion while the trade was going down.

“This guy is a pretty bright,” Lynch said of Shanahan. “He said, ‘That’s not for a defensive lineman. That’s for a quarterback.’ And he was right.”

The Bears made the trade to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. In order for the Bears to trade up one spot, they delivered the 49ers a third-round pick (No. 67), a fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-round pick next year.

Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin, whose team held the No. 4 pick, watched and admired the 49ers' move from afar. 

"To get what you had in mind right off the bat and pick up those extra picks? Pretty nice deal," Coughlin told Jacksonville reporters. "I’ve never seen one of those. . . Oh, my gosh. Nothing like that has ever come my way.”

When asked if the 49ers would have selected Foster if the Bears selected Thomas, Lynch said, “Perhaps. It was very likely.”

Instead, the 49ers waited and waited and waited before finding a trade partner in an unlikely place. The 49ers made a deal with Seattle, giving up the 111th pick obtained from Chicago, to select Foster before the Saints had a chance.

“He’s my kind of player,” Lynch said of Foster. “He plays sideline to sideline, and he’ll hit anything that moves. I think that’s contagious for teammates.”

Foster is recovering from shoulder surgery and his stock was negatively affected by character concerns. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after an argument with a hospital worker during his medical check. He also had a positive drug test due to a diluted urine sample.

Lynch spent a lot of time with Foster during his visit to Santa Clara, as well as a meeting him at the combine. Both Lynch and Shanahan spoke regularly with Foster on the phone and on FaceTime in the past few weeks.

The 49ers also dispatched vice president of football affairs Keena Turner and team chaplain Earl Smith to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to meet with Foster for two days. The team will have a plan in place to help guide Foster as he transitions to professional football, Lynch said.

“I would tell you that his character is what drew us to him,” Lynch said. “When you start talking football with this young man, he lights up a room. He’s a good kid. I believe in the kid. I think he’ll be a great player for this organization for a long time.”