On Saturday, head coach Mike Singletary held a conference call with the media to discuss the decision behind releasing 20 players to get down to the mandatory 53-man roster.
The 49ers will keep only two tight ends in Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker, but Singletary said the possibility remained open that the team could still add a blocking tight end.
After a good preseason, the 49ers released running back Kory Sheets. On the decision, Singletary simply said, “We wanted to have the 53 guys that give us the best opportunity to win.”
Linebacker Diyral Briggs was the only undrafted free agent from this year’s draft class to win a roster spot.
“He’s young, he has talent and going foward we wanted to see it develop,” Singletary said of Briggs.
Micheal Spurlock also impressed during the preseason and his ability on special teams and at wide receiver make him a valuable addition to the roster.
“Spurlock has just continued to show up,” Singletary said. “He’s a versatile guy and he can help you in the special teams area. It was a good opportunity and a good fit.”
The 49ers also kept its two seventh-round draft picks out of LSU, DE Ricky Jean Francois and S Curtis Taylor.
“[Jean-Francois] is a big guy who is talented,” Singletary said. “He studies and the maturity he has is important to him. When you look at [Taylor], with his size alone, you’re hoping he can play. He has nice range and good speed. He’s become more physical since he’s been here.”
The overarching theme behind the roster decisions for Singletary and his coaching staff was work ethic.
“You want guys on the team that have a common denominator – that football is important to them and they have a great work ethic,” Singletary said. “As a coach, I was pleasantly surprised that all of these guys had a great work ethic. Certain guys just stepped up in certain areas and did things that made you look twice. Whether it be Spurlock, Jean Francois or Curtis [Taylor], I just think they did a good job. As we sat down as a staff, their names just kept coming up.”
Going forward, Singletary said, “We’ll keep one eye on the roster and we’re thankful that the season is about to start.”
Tags: Curtis Taylor, Micheal Spurlock, Ricky Jean-Francois
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