San Francisco 49ers

Stadium: Candlestick Park | Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense9th167.0 (3rd)214.0 (22nd)
Defense3rd124.0 (20th)157.0 (2nd)

49ers report: Notes, quotes

The Sports Xchange
 
Notes, quotes · Inside slant · Strategy and personnel
 

--The last two times the 49ers have faced the cross-bay rival Raiders, the game has gone to overtime. The visiting team won both of those games. The 49ers and Raiders meet for the first time since the 2002 season on Oct. 8 when they play at San Francisco's Monster Park.

"Playing a regular-season game against the Raiders will be exciting for the entire Bay Area," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "Any time you play a cross-town rival or a division opponent it always seems to energize the fans and the team."

--Quarterback Cody Pickett started two games last season after injuries knocked Alex Smith and Ken Dorsey out of the lineup. But Pickett did a lot of other things, too.

He played special teams in three games last season and also saw a lot of action in practice at wide receiver and safety. At times, he appeared to be the 49ers' best receiver on the practice field.

Pickett's versatility has prompted questions to Nolan of whether the 49ers would consider changing his position. Nolan said he expects to get a lot of input from new offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

"As things go forward, I'd love to see him play quarterback because he's got some tools," Nolan said. "At the same time, I hope we can get him on the field in other ways. It's a good problem to have with Cody. We'll discuss it a lot further.

"I want Norv to look at all the quarterbacks and have some time with them before say what we're going to do."

--Linebacker Brandon Moore started 10 games last season, most of which came as a replacement for Jeff Ulbrich after his season-ending injury. Moore finished second on the team with 93 tackles and five sacks, but his starting job is not assured this season.

Ulbrich and leading tackler Derek Smith are slated to start at the two inside linebacker positions. To remain a starter, Moore will probably have to nail down one of the outside spots.

Moore said he is excited to be working another year under linebackers coach Mike Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker.

"Coach Singletary and I talked at the end of the year ands he as well as I believe I have mounds to go," Moore said. "There is so much room for improvement. I believe it and he believes it. It's just going to be a matter of how hard I work at it and how much I believe in it. I think there are a lot more things I have to prove, and there are a lot more ways that I can get better."

In fact, Moore said Singletary is one of the reasons he sign a five-year, $8 million contract with a $2.6 million signing bonus to return to the 49ers.

"Oh, definitely, he was a huge factor," Moore said. "There were some teams that were interested me and I'd always go back to my agent and say what are the 49ers going to do? You don't always get in the situation where you love everyone around you and when you respect everyone around you and everyone around you respects you. That is where this organization is right now."

--The 49ers have a chance to make an impact on its roster with this month's draft. The club is set to have five picks in the first 100 selections. The 49ers are scheduled to have picks No. 6, No. 37 (second round), Nos. 68 and 84 (third round) and No. 100 (fourth round).

The club also has six picks in the final three rounds, including one compensatory selection.

--Linebacker A.J. Hawk, a candidate for the 49ers to select with the No. 6 overall pick, was the first of the draft-eligible players to visit the 49ers' team offices in Santa Clara, Calif., to meet with club officials and coaches.

More players are expected to visit the 49ers in the next couple weeks, including North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, Maryland tight end Vernon Davis, USC safety Darnell Bing and Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"My goal ultimately as a professional athlete was to be a starter on defense. Hopefully, the way things work out and the way that I fit into the system will reflect that" -- 49ers linebacker Brandon Moore, recently re-signed, on the possibility of working into the starting lineup.

Copyright (C) 2006 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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