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Combine Live Blog: Saturday

Posted by Taylor Price on February 26, 2011 – 8:27 AM

INDIANAPOLIS – That blurry image you see on the right side of the picture is a lineman running his 40-yard dash. Yes, linemen run the 40 and take part in the field drills which can be seen on NFL Network.

49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari is leading the linemen through field drills at the moment. Meanwhile, in the media work room, writers are gearing up for another busy day. We’ll hear from the defensive linemen which are considered as the strength of this year’s draft class according to many draft experts.

If you haven’t caught up with all our combine coverage, don’t fret, you can read all the blogs and stories, watch the videos and check out photos at our combine central page.

11:00 AM Update

I’ve joked to a few peers about doing an “All Personality” team from the Combine and I think I found a starting defensive end (or outside linebacker) for the squad. Sam Acho of Texas certainly fits the requirements. He’s a pretty good football player too.

“I think hard work is going to allow me to be one of the best players,” said the Longhorn lineman who totaled 59 tackles, 17 tackles-for-loss, nine sacks, 18 pressures, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries last season.

Acho covered a number of topics ranging from his improved speed from rigorous training to his plans to help athletes with his marketing degree.

“I’d love to develop some marketing opportunities for athletes with different companies,” he said.

But for now, Acho is focused on showing teams he’s a versatile player, capable of playing as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

“I’ll play wherever teams ask me to play,” Acho said. “I look forward to the challenge, I’m a competitor. I wouldn’t even call it a challenge really, I look at it as an opportunity to play linebacker and stand up.”

11:45 AM Update

Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward (pictured above) just addressed the media as did Alabama lineman Marcell Dareus. Both were impressive and both talked about their influences. Heyward, son of former New Orleans Saints running Craig “Iron Head” Heyward, obviously gave props to his pops.

“He was a great player,” Cameron said. “I appreciate everything he’s done, but I’m not asking anyone to give me a second look or anything because my dad was Iron Head. They all know I have a big head just like him.”

Dareus talked about his fond memories of watching Warren Sapp playing defensive line. Watching Sapp inspired Dareus to become one of the best prospects at his position. “Watching Warren Sapp made me want to play,” he said.

1:00 PM Update

Stanford defensive lineman Sione Fua just spoke from the podium and had plenty of good things to say, certainly an impressive player on and off the field. He talked about bumping into Coach Jim Harbaugh and 49ers defensive coordinator Fic Fangio while in Indianapolis.

Fua weighed in at 308 pounds and said he’s been told by many teams he’ll need to add more weight. Fua said his focus pre-draft is to show teams how athletic he is for his size. “I’m focused on looking fluid in the drills, like an athlete,” he said. “Really, a lot of my training was focusing on the agility tests.”

Fua also shed some light on the expectations for defensive linemen in Fangio’s defensive scheme.

“You wanted to penetrate, but not penetrate through gaps,” Fua said. “You wanted to knock your guy back and get penetration pressing your man into the backfield. We played a 3-4 hybrid where I was playing both a shaded nose (tackle),  head up and also as a three-technique. I’ve had experience all across the line.”

2:00 PM Update

NFL Network never ceases to amaze me with the things they come up with to better entertain the fans. This year, they’re rolling out “Helmet Cam” which will allow fans to experience drills, interviews and everything through the eyes of a player (or in this case, an NFL Network employee). Either way, it’s a great idea and makes me wonder if we could strap one on to an intern next year for training camp.

3:00 PM Update

Ryan  Mallett hasn’t run his 40 yet, but the Arkansas quarterback displayed some quickness on Saturday. Asked for the fourth time about a report that cited potential character concerns with the junior quarterback, Mallett said he would only “talk about it with other teams,” and quickly exited stage left. You have to feel for the guy, it can’t be easy standing in the spotlight being asked the same thing four different ways. Before leaving, Mallett talked about transferring from Michigan to Arkansas and how much he enjoyed his time as a Razorback.

Before Mallett took the podium, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick was also speaking. Only Cam Newton remains as one of the most sought after prospects yet to speak to the media.

4:00 PM Update

The Cam Newton watch is now over. The National Champion Auburn quarterback just spoke to the media. And like last year with Tim Tebow, it was a spectacle to say the least. Newton opened up with a prepared statement to set the record straight about quotes from him that stated his desire to be an entertainer and an icon.

“First and foremost, I understand that my obligation is to be the best possible football player that I can be,” he said. “I know and believe that. The recent comments were made during the announcement of my new endorsement partnership. I was making the point that I want to be the best possible ambassador for them, just like I want to be the best possible ambassador for whatever team I’m lucky enough to play for.”

He reiterated his passion for the game of football and his desire to be great. Newton plans to do everything at the combine because he loves to compete. I’ll have more on Newton’s press conference on Sunday, but for now it’s back to bouncing around the media room to talk to as many players as possible.

Posted in Announcements | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Combine Live Blog: Saturday”

  1. By Mark C on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I dont know where to post my concerns about the QB position. I say dump all at QB positions except Smith. Kevin Kolb of Philly is a proven QB and will be available. This is the best option available. Coach we need him now.

  2. By Charles E on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Ryan Mallett is the best QB in the draft, hands down. I followed this kid since his days at Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas when he was the #1 QB in the nation. He’s almost 6’7″, rocket arm, accurate, and cocky. That’s a winning QB in the NFL. He reminds me of a cleaner version of Big Ben of the Steelers. Ryan Mallett could start day 1 and make this team an immediate playoff contender. His QB skills is unmatched at the college level and may only be equaled by Big Ben. Draft this kid with the 7th pick, get Acho with the 2nd rd pick, get Curtis Brown in the 3rd, Noel Devine in the 4th, Sione Fua in the 5th, Brandon Burton in the 6th, Kenrick Ellis in the 7th

  3. By Charles E on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully Harbaugh will remember how the state of Texas has treated him as far as QB goes. With Luck, Brees, McCoy, Stafford, and others it’s proven that a Texas QB is the way to go. And Ryan Mallet was the best QB to come out of Texas maybe ever. The guy is 6’6″ 240lbs and can hit a penny on your head at 70 yards while your running a post route. lol

    Ok the last part is mere local legend, but this kid is the real deal. I see him as the Aaron Rodgers of this years draft.

  4. By THE NEW LOOK 49ERS on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I would like to see Alex get an offesive minded coach that understands the position BEFORE WE THROW HIM AWAY. I feel bad for Alex as he will get hammered with boo’s again if he takes the field. With that said how sweet it would be to see him in the Pro Bowl next year! Yeah i said it! I think Jim can complete Alex! Hey how many people would have folded like a lawn chair when the boo birds cascaded down on them? Alex showed a toughness mentally that makes him deserve another chance with My San Francisco 49ers! Give’em hell kiddo! Please get the CBA done! Its not fair to us fans who pay eveyone involved in this awsome game! Do not cheat your fans!

  5. By THE NEW LOOK 49ERS on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    I do not believe we ae far from going deep into the playoffs! I am not sold on any of the Qb’s in the draft! I like the fire i see in the TCU kid Dalton however. Still no clear cut stud here! Cam Newton is going to be a nightmare publicity wise! He is the next Vince,Jamarcus,vick in line. Do not gamble on the face of our franchise and take this amazing athlete Jim. Lets get a lockdown corner and a Quinn-Miller type player to hound the qb. #21 from Oakland would be ideal and I still love Kolb to push for a starting Job next season with us.

  6. By blany on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully the 49ers take partick peterson with the 7th pick and in the second maybe Ryan

  7. By blany on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    bring back alex smith and wait for Luck

  8. By jay on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    Man, The only two exciting qb’s in this years draft are Newton and Taylor. I am predicting Newton will be gone when it comes to seventh round along with peterson, maybe Amakamaru, leaving us with Jimmy Smith :D. Also I hope the niners draft Tyrod Taylor, in the middle of the second round, man this guy has all the intangibles.

  9. By Charles E on Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    I challenge who ever thinks Mallett is not the best QB to watch film

  10. By russ on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    draft day:

    1st round: options 7th pick trade back 3 slots and take Julio Jones,or AJ Green (pick up a 4th or 5th rd pick moving back) <don't let Sam Bradford get these guys…we have to play keep away

    2nd round: QB / ponder, QB mallet

    3rd round: barney-db UNC

    4th round: trade to Washington for D.Mcnabb

    5th round: a center /options open

    6th round: special teams help

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