The Hardest Area To Earn A Roster Spot
May 24 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
If there is one spot on the 49ers roster where competition is the tightest, itís likely in the offensive backfield. The 49ers seem to be loaded with potential talent in this area. The top four positions, occupied by Garrison Hearst, Kevan Barlow, Fred Beasley and Terry Jackson allow very little room for change. The few spots after the top four have a ton of competition vying for a position too.
Jonas Lewis and Paul Smith have both been very impressive this off-season, and both have proven they can contribute to the team over the past three years. Lewis spent last season on the injured reserve, but looks better than ever this off-season. Meanwhile, Smith has bulked up tremendously and is ready to become a punishing back for the 49ers.
Additionally the team likes what they have in Ken Simonton, who will also be contending for a kick returning position too. Saladin McCullough, in his second off-season try out with the team has been impressive too. Finally the 49ers have a standout in NFL Europe by the name of Jamal Robertson who has been extremely impressive.
The competition in the 49ers offensive backfield is fierce. There is a ton of talent right through the depth chart. Steve Mariucci, a coach who loves to run, must be looking forward to picking from the best of these guys. The deep pool of talent likely came from a series of moves in attempting to secure the running back position when Garrison Hearst originally went down with his devastating injury.