Young cornerbacks give 49ers a lift

Brock: 'I just play my technique, use my speed and my quickness'

Young cornerbacks give 49ers a lift
October 20, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Tramain Brock recorded his team-leading third interception of the season in the 49ers' 31-17 win over the Titans Sunday. (USATSI)

BOX SCORE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tramaine Brock strengthened his grasp on the 49ers’ No. 3 cornerback job.

And rookie cornerback Darryl Morris, more than likely, solidified his role on the team’s 53-man roster.

The 49ers got big contributions Sunday from a pair of young, unheralded defensive backs while posting a fourth consecutive victory with a 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

[RELATED: Instant Replay -- 49ers thrash Titans, improve to 5-2]

In fact, it was four games ago that Brock took over for veteran Nnamdi Asomugha as the 49ers’ third cornerback. Asomugha left the lineup due to a knee injury.

And, now, Asomugha can’t get his old job back and his role with the 49ers appears tenuous after he was a healthy inactive player for a third week in a row.

Brock, a fourth-year player, intercepted his team-leading third pass of the season, and is setting himself up for a sizable contract as a potential unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He also made a nice play to break up a deep pass for wide receiver Justin Hunter in the end zone.

Morris has provided the 49ers with a speedster on the coverage units on special teams. He hustled down the field from the gunner position and might have contributed to Darius Reynaud’s muffed punt in the fourth quarter.

Veteran special-teamer Kassim Osgood recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

“I was trying to judge the ball and at the same time see where the gunner (Morris) was,” Reynaud said. “By the time I got my eyes back up, the ball was right there in my face.”

Morris was added to the 49ers’ roster on Sept. 24, and now it looks as if he will be sticking around for a while.

“He’s been very good,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “He started as an understudy on the practice squad. And he made other plays in this game. He’s really coming into his own.”

INJURY REPORT: The 49ers’ starting safeties appear to be in good shape after exiting Sunday’s game with injuries.

Strong safety Donte Whitner jogged off the field at the conclusion of Sunday’s game after being removed in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury. And Eric Reid returned to the game on the next series after leaving with a left lower-leg injury.

With Whitner and Reid on the sideline – and Craig Dahl and C.J. Spillman filling in – the Titans scored a touchdown on running back Chris Johnson’s 66-yard scamper through the 49ers’ defense after a short pass from quarterback Jake Locker.

“I think toward the end of the game, we got a little bit out of our game and got a little bit uncharacteristic of our defense,” 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. “One thing we talk about all the time is finishing, and I think we allowed them to get in our head at the end.”

Former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker was held in check for most of the game, but he caught a 26-yard touchdown pass with three minutes remaining. Walker finished with three catches for 52 yards. Willis was on him through most of the game.

“I feel like it went well,” Willis said. “I know that Delanie is a heck of an athlete and he’s a playmaker. He caught one pass on me (21 yards in the first quarter). It’s football and that’s going to happen, and I hate that it did. The rest of the game, I feel like I played him pretty well.”

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