Mighty Mouse - 06/11/99
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The 49ers took a huge step to solidifying their defensive backfield this past week, and surprisingly it did not involve signing Ashley Ambrose. Rather the 49ers opted for the 5"7, 157 pound defensive back, Mark McMillian. McMillian, though injured for some of last season, has stood out in the NFL. What he lacks in size, the 49ers hope he will be able to make up for in speed and experience. He has bounced around the league over the past 7 years playing for Philadelphia, New Orleans and Kansas City. With the Chiefs he amounted 11 interceptions in two years, leading the league with 8 in his first, and leading the team again the following season with 3.

McMillian is already used to the height comments and says they don't bother him. He is known to his team mates as Mighty Mouse. McMillian has played under the 49ers defensive coach, Jim Mora Jr. when he was with New Orleans. He is happy to be reunited with Mora. McMillian was anxious to put on a 49ers uniform and the two sides were able to come to terms quite easily.

The 49ers have already started working McMillian into the defensive schemes, however for the time being he has just played nickel back. The 49ers say McMillian will compete with McQuarters and Walker for a starting position; however for the time being his priority will be to learn the defence. He does not see himself as a nickel back.

Players are optimistic about the signing of McMillian. They feel he will help boost there pitiful defensive backfield of last season. Jerry Rice for example is very encouraged, and has played a lot against McMillian. Rice has said that McMillian is always in the position to make the play. Hopefully McMillian will not turn out like Woodson and Langham did for the 49ers. He is still young enough to build a future with the 49ers, and hopefully his experience will also benefit the other corners on the team.
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