49ers notes: Peterson says Willis should've been No. 2

September 19, 2012, 8:40 pm
Share This Post

SANTA CLARA -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did not envision himself waiting long to hear his name get called in his own personal mock draft from 2007.And linebacker Patrick Willis would not have been far behind, either.
"I don't know why me and him weren't the No. 1 and No. 2 picks coming out," Peterson said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters who cover the 49ers."I really felt that way, because I know talent when I see it. He was a guy that I just respected off the top because of how he plays the game. We play the game the same way."When asked who should've been chosen No. 1, Peterson answered, "Come on now, you going to ask that question?"Willis, right?"No," Peterson said.Peterson is a four-time Pro Bowl selection who underwent surgery nine months ago to repair a torn ACL, he has gotten off to a strong start with 144 yards rushing on 33 rushing attempts. And Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he feels as if he can remove the training wheels."We think he's getting to that point where we can think about a few more carries," Frazier said. "He's getting close to that point, so we'll see how he does this week in practice."The fact Peterson has made a rapid recovery is not a surprise to Willis, who trained with Peterson before the 2007 draft."I remember training with the guy and just seeing how he works out as an offensive guy," Willis said. "It made me think, wow, seeing this guy run like he did at Oklahoma is no surprise. He's not just a talented guy; he actually works. It reminded me of myself a little bit."Willis, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, said he appreciates Peterson's statement that he should've been a top-two draft pick. Here's the actual order of the 2007 draft:
1. Raiders, QB JaMarcus Russell
2. Lions, WR Calvin Johnson
3. Browns, OT Joe Thomas
4. Buccaneers, DE Gaines Adams
5. Cardinals, OT Levi Brown
6. Redskins, S LaRon Landry
7. Vikings, RB Adrian Peterson
8. Falcons, DE Jamaal Anderson
9. Dolphins, WR Ted Ginn Jr.
10. Texans, DT Amobi Okoye
11. 49ers, LB Patrick Willis The 49ers re-signed outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari to take the roster spot that opened when the NFL suspended Clark Haggans for three games for violating the league's policy on substance abuse. Haggans served jail time in June for his second DUI offense since 2004."I can look at it from the standpoint of feeling sorry for myself, which is not acceptable with the kind of person I am," Haggans said Wednesday in the 49ers' locker room.
Haggans said he would use the suspension time for "getting into my playbook and getting more comfortable with the team, the coaches, the players, stay focused, work out, stay in shape and take it from there and try to hit the ground running when I can."Bakhtiari has spent time on the practice squads of Kansas City (2010-11), Cleveland (2010), Miami (2010), 49ers (2010, 2008), Tampa Bay (2009), Tennessee (2009) and San Diego (2008). He played three games for the Titans in 2009 and posted six special-teams tackles."Obviously, we liked Eric a lot when he was here and effort he gave and what he did in the preseason, excited to get him back on the field today," coach Jim Harbaugh said.The 49ers played only about a dozen snaps in their base defense in the first two games. Haggans did not see any action in those games against Green Bay and Detroit.When asked if he regrets filing an appeal and not serving his suspension from the beginning of the season, Haggans said, "Hindsight is 20-20. . . It's in the past. And all you can do is move forward." Cornerback Tarell Brown was fined 5,250 for wearing red sleeves, a violation of the NFL's uniform code, in the 49ers' game Sunday night against the Detroit Lions.
If you're wondering why quarterback Alex Smith is no longer wearing a San Francisco Giants hat at his postgame press conferences, now we know why. It would cost him 15,000.For 90 minutes after the game, players must be seen only in sports gear that the NFL approves.Smith said he was informed of the fine after the playoffs. But former 49ers safety Merton Hanks, who now works at the league office, rescinded the fine and issued a warning instead, Smith said. Aldon Smith picked up a half-sack, at teammate Ray McDonald's expense, on Wednesday. The NFL credited Smith with a half-sack on a fourth-quarter play in which McDonald was originally credited with a full sack of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Sunday's game. Smith now has 2.5 sacks on the season.

More Team Talk