Coverage Units To Receive Boost
November 1 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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It’s one of those things that has sort fell of the radar chart, but the 49ers are hoping to get a player back this week that should make a real difference on their special teams coverage units, and on the depth charts. Paul Smith, who has missed action since September 22nd, should be ready to play this weekend.
The backup fullback and half back dressed last week in the event of an emergency, but did not play. The 49ers hope to have him back on the field this week. While the 49ers like Smith’s versatility, they’d rather not have to use him in the offense unless Fred Beasley gets tired as their would have to be an injury to a starter for Smith to see any significant time in the offense.
Special teams are a different story though. On the coverage unit, Smith is one of the hardest hitting and fastest players. He is often the first man downfield and his absence over the past few weeks, may have contributed to the lack of productions from the coverage units. Smith also spends some time returning kicks next to Jimmy Williams.
His role on special teams is as crucial as fellow running back Terry Jackson, who is lost for the season. With Smith primed for a return to the field, the 49ers will anxiously be awaiting his return, and talent he will bring with him. But will anybody else notice?