Battle At Defensive End
May 23 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
There should be quite the battle at the defensive end positions this training camp. While Andre Carter is set in stone as the starter, John Engelberger, Chike Okeafor and new comer, Sean Moran are all going to be battling it out for the second end position. Both Engelberger and Okeafor are coming off their best seasons with the 49ers, while Moran is a versatile player that the 49ers went after this off-season to shore up the position.
Engelberger clearly has the lead on the position. Not only has he beaten out Okeafor twice in the past two years, heís reportedly improved nicely this off-season. Engelberger will fight with all of his might to hold on to his position.
Chike Okeafor was at the height of his game when he suffered a season ending injury last year. Okeafor is fully rehabilitated and ready to go as he will try and become an impact player at the position, and un-seat Engelberger.
Veteran Sean Moran isnít quite sure where heíll fit in quite yet. The 49ers like the idea of being able to shift him and Bryant Young between defensive end and tackle - and that could aid him in the battle for a starting position. His years of experience will also ease his transition in to the 49ers.
The 49ers are much better off in this area than they were just a season ago. The addition of Moran, and the extra years experience for Carter and Engelberger will be a great asset as they try and bring the heat to opposing quarterbacks.