49ers Seem To Be Planning To Keep Six WRs
June 25 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Recent reports from 49ers receiving coach George Stewart are that the 49ers intend on keeping five or six receivers. This is certainly an interesting development as last season the 49ers had four official receivers, with Vinny Sutherland holding down the fifth spot. Sutherland though, was really just the kick returner. The thought of carrying six receivers is certainly an interesting prospect.
Given the obvious, and that the 49ers donít sign a veteran receiver before the season, itís quite likely that four spots are already filled. Terrell Owens, JJ Stokes, Tai Streets, and Cederick Wilson are pretty much sure-ins for the roster. That would leave one or two spots open, one of which will likely be the teamís return man.
Despite Jamal Robertson actually being a running back, if the 49ers feel he can return kicks, they may list his position as a receiver, and give him that duty. Other realistic possibilities for the position include track star Mike Jennings, Bill Walshís favorite - Nate Jackson or mini-camp stand out Donnie OíNeal.
The 49ers havenít even thought of keepings this many receivers in quite some time. Clearly they are looking to develop some of their younger talents and are searching for a speedy guy to return their kicks. I figure that who the teamís primary kick returner is, will likely impact how many receivers the team keeps. If for example Vinny Sutherland is the return man again or another true running back like Jamal Anderson, the 49ers could keep six receivers, but if itís a guy like Jonas Lewis, five is a more likely number.