49ers Notebook: Spencer 'Surprised' He Decked Brooks

September 17, 2010, 8:28 pm
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Matt Maiocco
CSNBayArea.comSANTA CLARA -- Cornerback Shawntae Spencer took responsibility for leveling teammate Ahmad Brooks in the early portion of 49ers practice Thursday during a "strip drill.""That was my fault," Spencer said of the hit during a low-key drill. Comcast SportsNet cameraman J.C. Garcia captured the sequence on video."I reached in to strip the ball and got my shoulder on him and I think he was a little too high," Spencer said. "I was surprised he flew the way he did, me being a small guy."Brooks slowly got to his feet after the incidence and scuffled briefly with Spencer before teammates pulled them apart. Brooks was unavailable for comment."It wasn't anything personal or anything like that," Spencer said. "Me and Ahmad, right after that happened, when we got done with the drill, we hugged. That's my man. It's nothing personal. It was a little scuffle that happened, and we're both past it."The purpose of the strip drill involving defensive players is to make them aware of holding onto the football after a turnover. During an exhibition game this summer, linebacker Diyral Briggs recorded an interception but fumbled the ball back to the Indianapolis Colts."It was a drill, so we weren't joking around," Spencer said. "I didn't mean to lay my shoulder into him like that. He was coming through fast. When I hit him, I got in underneath my pads and he fell. Everything after that was a reaction."It got a little too intense on my end, and I have no problem taking responsibility for that."Brooks Added to Mix: Brooks will play Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. Brooks has been out of action since Aug. 6 with a lacerated kidney on his left side.Brooks recorded six sacks last season. Five of his sacks came in the final six weeks of the season after he replaced starting outside linebacker Manny Lawson as the 49ers' nickel pass-rusher.Manusky said Brooks and Travis LaBoy will see action at outside linebacker or defensive end Monday in addition to starters Lawson and Parys Haralson. LaBoy recorded the 49ers' only sack in the season opener at Seattle.Westbrook is Ready: Backup running back Brian Westbrook, in his ninth NFL season, can't recall another game in his football career in which he was healthy, in uniform and never stepped onto the playing field.Westbrook was nothing more than a spectator in the 49ers' season-opening loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said he planned to get Westbrook into the game, but that changed when the 49ers fell behind early in the second half.Raye explained that when the 49ers went with their two-minute offense, he felt more comfortable with Frank Gore on the field because of his familiarity with the team's blitz pickup package. Gore played all 66 snaps at running back for the 49ers."I'm getting better with it every day," Westbrook said. "I think I have a good grasp of it, but you don't know until you get out there."