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Where Rumph Needs To Improve
May 27 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Mike Rumph received some praise at this week’s end, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready for the NFL just yet. Rumph still has areas where he needs to improve, before he can play with the big boys. Mainly, he’ll have to gain a better understanding of the 49ers defensive system, and he’ll have to work on his zone coverage.

Rumph is very good in man coverage, he turns and runs well with the receiver, and makes good use of his long arms. He hits hard, and rarely takes a bad angle. Rumph excels at playing up on the line of scrimmage where he can challenge the receiver. But there’s still areas he has to improve on.

In playing off the receiver, or in zone coverage, Rumph is not that comfortable yet. He will have to make a leap in this area, or receive safety help until he is ready. In terms of learning the playbook, that’s something any new players must go through. There’s a certain learning curve that should be expected with such players.

As fans we will have to be patient with Rumph. He, just like predecessors, Plummer and Webster, will need time to adjust to the big league. Rumph has great instincts, and a great feel for the game, he will need those in the NFL, but he will also need to improve in the other mentioned areas.

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