NFL combine notebook: Would Eagles trade Kolb?

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NFL combine notebook: Would Eagles trade Kolb?

Feb. 24, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comINDIANAPOLIS -- The 49ers are keeping open all their options when it comes to the quarterback position.Coach Jim Harbaugh reiterated Thursday that he would like quarterback Alex Smith to re-sign with the 49ers. But the 49ers will look to add at least two quarterbacks to their roster before the start of the 2011 season.RELATED: Harbaugh wishes Smith 'fresh start' with 49ers
General manager Trent Baalke said the 49ers will explore all possibilities to improve the position, including the draft, free agency and trades.One veteran player the 49ers are likely to track is Philadelphia backup Kevin Kolb. He wants to be a starting quarterback somewhere, but it won't be with the Eagles, as long as Michael Vick is healthy.Eagles general manager Howie Roseman on Thursday did not rule out the possibility Kolb could be traded this offseason -- when trades are allowed to happen.
"We're still evaluating all our options and all our positions," Roseman said. "Obviously, we've been really fortunate to have good quarterbacks. There's Michael, there's Kevin, and we've got a lot of confidence in Mike Kafka. So that's a position that we're always going to want to be strong at . . . We don't discuss any (trade) discussions, external or internal."Here are some other notable quotes from the first day of the NFL scouting combine:Mike Lombardi, NFL Network analyst
"I think Jim (Harbaugh) has to change his offense. I mean you can't run Power-O 50 times like he did at Stanford and be effective. So I think he has to change and grow offensively, which he clearly can do. So I think that's the challenge that waits. And then there's the gap between college and pro that has to get obviously made up. Jim's last year in the NFL was 2003. To me, every three years the NFL dramatically changes over and over again and becomes a different league. So I think his work is challenging. It will take him a little bit of time and this offseason you can utilize the time to prepare him to prepare him what he can do."OGC Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State
On whether he has a style similar to his uncle, former Raiders guard Steve Wisniewski: "I certainly try to be. One thing he was known for was finishing blocks and being a nasty guy and that's what I always try to do.I like to finish my blocks and I'm hearing positive feedback about the way I hustle so that's one way I think we're similar." Steve Wisniewski is currently an assistant offensive line coach with the Raiders, and Stefen was asked if he'd like to play for his uncle. "I think that would be awesome. I couldn't think of a better guy to work for. He's an eight-time Pro Bowler. He's my uncle. There are certainly complications when you get coached by a family member. For anyone who played for their father might know what that's like. But, yes, I'd love to play for my uncle."OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
"I know I can play right away. That's my best asset. I'm a draft-ready tackle. . . . I've gone against four potential first-round players this year. I have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more (pro) ready." The four players are Adrian Clayborn (Iowa), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State) and J.J. Watt (Wisconsin).OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
The biochemistry major was asked if he takes more pride in his athletic or academic accomplishments. "That's tough. Football is my first love, so I guess it's got to be what I did on the field. I think I put probably more work into what happened on the field. Academics has always come pretty easy to me. Football is something I love so I pour everything I have into it." And what will he do when he's done playing football? "I'd like to open up some kind of foundation and kind of pursue my biochemistry degree and kind of use it to do some sort of medical research."TE Virgil Green, Nevada
On catching passes from Colin Kaepernick: "His arm is pretty strong and he's actually taken a little juice off his ball the last two years. . . . Back in the day, he would just rocket it. You'd catch it and then have to jump back. Now he's got that nice smooth spiral to his ball and he's worked a lot on improving his talents as a quarterback."OG Stephen Schilling, Michigan
On starting 52 games: "It's definitely something I take a lot of pride in. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of my best accomplishments, being able to stay so durable and play so many years there."OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State
"The SEC is among the best when it comes to athletes and the speed and the physical aspects of the game. You can go in and look at any SEC game and it'll be very physical and you just compete with each other. It's going to be very hard fought. That's the epitome of the league. It's a tough, physical game and I was right there with it."OT Nate Solder, Colorado
On struggling against Cal's Cameron Jordan: "Well, that was a breakdown in technique from me. You learn not to take anyone for granted and that guy played a heck of a game and you've got to give it to him. And no matter who you go against you can't break down in your technique. That was just a fundamental error on my part."TE Luke Stocker, Tennessee
"I think my strengths are the balance I have. I feel like I'm a really good blocker and I'm a really good receiver. As a defense, that's hard to prepare for. You look at the guys that are hard to prepare for -- the Steelers, the Patriots, the Cowboys -- they have dual-threat guys. And the tight ends are essential."Danny Watkins, Baylor
When asked if his age (26) worries him: "Well, I don't have arthritis so (laughs). I'm a little more mature than the other guys. I don't think it's a negative." Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will take center stage at the NFL scouting combine on Friday.

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

The 49ers have graduated back to the phase of the offseason when offense-vs.-defense drills are allowed.

Because of the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers were allowed an additional “voluntary” minicamp before the NFL draft. That meant the 49ers were permitted to skip from the two-week conditioning phase of the offseason straight to what is allowed under Phase III.

But after the three-day minicamp in late-April, the 49ers were forced to retreat back to Phase II, when on-field drills but could not include offense vs. defense.

Beginning Monday – and over the next three weeks -- the 49ers can get back to conducting the standard one-on-one, 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 "non-contact" drills. The 49ers have the maximum number of 10 organized team activities scheduled. The official offseason program concludes with a mandatory minicamp scheduled for June 13-15.

The real competition does not begin until the pads go on during training camp. but here’s a look at the team’s most notable offseason competitions (one position you will not find is quarterback, where the depth chart of Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard appears clearly set):

Running back: Carlos Hyde, entering the final year of his original four-year contract, has a lot of competition to hold onto his role as the featured back. He is coming off his most-productive season, finishing just 12 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark when he sustained a knee injury with one game remaining. Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner lobbied for Utah running back Joe Williams in the draft. They clearly see a fit for him within the system.

Pass-rush end: The 49ers’ pass rush was among the worst in the NFL the past two seasons. Arik Armstead will be given an opportunity to see if he can adapt to the “Leo” position. Aaron Lynch must earn the confidence of the coaching staff and front office. The 49ers added explosive, 243-pound pass Pita Taumoepenu in the sixth round.

Tight end: The 49ers confirmed Vance McDonald was available for a trade during the draft. After finding no takers, the 49ers brought back McDonald and he rejoins the competition among rookies George Kittle and Cole Hikutini, and veterans Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.

Cornerback: Rashard Robinson is the obvious choice to start on one side. And assuming Jimmie Ward remains at free safety, the 49ers have no other player on the roster who has started a significant number of games at cornerback. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, will have a legitimate opportunity to win a starting job, as long as he displays a willingness to stick his nose into the action and play with the requisite level of physicality. Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser and Will Redmond should also be in the mix to replace Tramaine Brock, who was released shortly after his arrest after an alleged domestic incident last month.

Center: Jeremy Zuttah, a Pro Bowl performer, was added in the offseason via a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. Daniel Kilgore has been the 49ers’ center the past three seasons but injuries have limited him to just 23 starts over that period of time. Zuttah has position flexibility. The 49ers could determine the best thing for the offensive line is to move Zuttah to one of the guard positions – to challenge Zane Beadles or Joshua Garnett -- if he is not clearly better than Kilgore.

Weakside linebacker: The 49ers signed veteran Malcolm Smith on the first day of free agency, providing him with $11.5 million of fully guaranteed money. The 49ers ranked Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster as the No. 3 overall prospect in the draft. They traded up to select him at No. 31 overall. Assuming Foster is ready to compete at the beginning of training camp after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, it appears likely he would line up in that position and compete with Smith. The 49ers’ medical staff does not believe Foster will require any additional surgery, and Foster said he expects to be cleared for the opening of camp.

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Barkley continues work with personal coach of Brady, Ryan

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan spent last offseason working with Tom House and Adam Dedeaux on his throwing mechanics.

Ryan went on to set career-bests in completion percentage (69.9), yards passing (4,944), touchdowns (38), interceptions (7) and passer rating (117.1).

New 49ers quarterback Matt Barkley worked with House and Dedeaux for the fourth offseason in Southern California before reporting to Santa Clara for the team’s offseason program.

“Kyle (Shanhan) is on board with what House and those guys are doing – I think, really, because of the year Matt Ryan had,” Barkley said on “The 49ers Insider Podcast” on NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He’s a believer in that. He saw the benefits of what Matt did with some of his drops and the timing on routes, how he changed his feet on some things. So we’re kind of sticking with that plan. Everyone is a little different, but for the most part we’re all on the same page when it comes to what our drops are looking like, our footwork and how the ball is coming out.”

House is a former major league pitcher and pitching coach who founded the 3DQB training facility in Los Angeles. Dedeaux pitched at USC and is the grandson of USC baseball coaching legend Rod Dedeaux. Former NFL quarterback John Beck is a motion mechanics instructor.

Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Alex Smith and Carson Palmer are among the NFL quarterbacks who have worked with 3DQB.

“I believe in those guys and what they’re doing,” Barkley said. “They’re at the top of their game, working with Brady and a bunch of other guys. They’ve helped me.

“He won’t change your throwing motion or really tweak how the ball comes out, but he’s going to try to maximize velocity and ground force production and torque -- a lot of sports science terms. But, really, just maximizing efficiency with your motion and making sure you’re sequencing is right.”

Barkley had never played for Shanahan before signing a two-year contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency. But there are two obvious connections. Barkley’s offensive coordinator last season with the Chicago Bears was Dowell Loggains, Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 when Shanahan was the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator. The other connection is House.

"It’s kind of funny, he worked with Atlanta’s staff all of last year, helped Matt Ryan, kind of build his base from the ground up and helped him a lot and he had an MVP year," Barkley said of House.

"There may have been talks down the pipeline, who knows. I don’t think that was the deciding factor by any means, but it never hurts.”