Jacobs just 'not good enough' ... right now

Jacobs just 'not good enough' ... right now
November 2, 2012, 6:13 pm
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Running back Brandon Jacobs responded on Twitter to a question posed to him, LaMichael James and A.J. Jenkins.Why aren't y'all suiting up?Jacobs, who later deleted his answer, replied on behalf of himself and James, "Because we are not good enough."It's highly doubtful either Jacobs or James believes he is not good enough to be playing for the 49ers right now. On Twitter, it's impossible to identify the tone in which an answer is delivered.But the fact is, that's how the 49ers' coaching staff feels ... right now.
The 49ers can suit up only 46 players for games. And neither Jacobs nor James has gotten on the field for one snap in the first eight games of the season. Jacobs has been healthy enough to play for the past five games.Clearly, Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter have established themselves as the 49ers' Nos. 1 and 2 running backs. The third running back typically is a player who must also be a core special-teams players. The third running back is Anthony Dixon, and he fills that role.So based on the actions of the 49ers' coaching staff, Jacobs and James are not good enough to have roles on game days.An oft-asked question is, "Why did the 49ers sign Jacobs and draft James if that's the case?"When the 49ers signed veterans Jacobs and Randy Moss, there were no guarantees either would make the team's 53-man roster. Those spots had to be won. There was never a doubt with Moss. He established himself during the offseason program as one of the team's better wide receivers, as well as a valuable ingredient to the team's chemistry off the field.Jacobs earned his spot as one of the 53 best players, too. After he sustained a knee injury in the second exhibition game, coach Jim Harbaugh said he had seen enough to know what Jacobs can offer the team.The 49ers' new-look roster was filled during the offseason, but Mario Manningham is the only acquisition to earn a starting job. Therefore, everybody else the team added was brought in for depth.Such players as quarterback Josh Johnson and running backspecial-teamer Rock Cartwright could not even make the squad.Jacobs has been told that there will be a time when he's an important part of the team. But, more than likely, that moment will only occur if there's an injury that forces him into the lineup.And that's why the 49ers have not considered parting ways with Jacobs. As a vested veteran, he will receive his 1.575 million salary from the 49ers regardless. Presumably, Jacobs could step into the lineup as the No. 2 back, and the 49ers' offense could just keep on moving.James is depth. Jenkins is depth. The 49ers' top two draft picks are not even suiting up for games. Maybe those players will never be contributors. Or maybe they'll end up being good players by the time their initial four-year contracts expire.All that means right now is that the 49ers believe they have better players ahead of them on the roster.
It's a good thing for the 49ers that there are a higher quality of players who have not earned the right to suit up. That's what depth is all about.