Training Camp Battles Part VIII
July 12 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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In the final defensive preview of training camp battles, I examine the many battles that will take place at cornerback this training camp. Former first round draft pick Ahmed Plummer has his cornerback spot locked up. Unless he’s injured, he’s one of the starters, and won’t see much of a challenge this off-season. Jason Webster has the key in the hole, but hasn’t quite turned the lock yet. The somewhat small corner will feel pressure from rookie Mike Rumph this training camp, but should be able to hold him off for at least a season.
While Webster will have to bring his ‘A’ game every day in training camp, his years of experience should give him plenty of an advantage over this years first round pick Mike Rumph. Despite being a little small, Webster is an aggressive and tough player that rarely makes mistakes.
Mike Rumph should have a fairly easy time landing the third cornerback position. But the rookie will feel heat from Rashad Holman, who entering his second season looks to have improved significantly. Holman was pretty good in his limited role and as a rookie last season. With a year under his belt, he’ll likely give Rumph greater competition than expected.
The most likely scenario is that Rumph will beat out Holman, but that still leaves Anthony Parker in the mix. The 49ers at one point had extremely high hopes for Parker. Parker is coming off his best season, but unless he makes some tremendous strides this off-season, and how many cornerbacks the 49ers want to keep, he may be forced off the roster completely. Safety Ronnie Heard may also play a little corner this off-season, but the competition throughout the defensive backfield will be great, so Heard will likely have to win a safety position to stick on the roster.