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The Ulbrich / Winborn Debate
August 27 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Throughout last season, and throughout this off-season, it seemed that every time Jamie Winborn was on the field, people were saying that this man should be a starting linebacker on the 49ers. Winborn however, couldnít prove to the 49ers that he was a better linebacker than Jeff Ulbrich who owns the starting role.

Seeing Jeff Ulbrich on the ground, clutching his knee in the game against the Raiders was certainly disheartening. The man is a talented player, with a great knowledge of the 49ers defensive system. But it may also have been a blessing in disguise for Jamie Winborn.

Winborn will assume the starting role for as many as six weeks with the 49ers, and during that time he will try and show the 49ers that it is he that belongs on the starting team. While both players will play a lot throughout the season, only one can be part of the starting team. Winborn certainly wonít relinquish his chance easily.

A fast linebacker that goes sideline to sideline with amazing ability, Winborn is known for his ability to shadow running backs of the Marshall Faulk style. The backs that run and catch, and are all over the field, Winborn was drafted to keep these players in check. Now he will get his chance.

Jeff Ulbrichís injury is truly unfortunate. But if there is a silver lining itís that Jamie Winborn is ready to step in, and try to make a difference on this team. How he handles the transition from depth player to starter will be key in the 49ers decision on the starting role when Ulbrich is healthy enough to return.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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