Thanks to productive efforts in free agency and in the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have added depth to numerous position groups on both sides of the ball.
The added depth figures to keep key veterans like Frank Gore and Justin Smith fresher throughout the upcoming season.
According to a recent report from Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, Gore handled 57-percent of San Francisco’s rushing attempts last season. Following up on Barrows’ initial findings, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com believes Gore’s volume of carries will decrease based on the team’s backfield additions this offseason. Maiocco notes that Gore finished seventh in the NFL in terms of running back playing time.
In addition, Maiocco notes: “Part of the 49ers’ strategy for keeping Gore fresh will be getting comfortable with other running backs on the roster to take on the duty of blitz pickup.”
A similar conundrum is presented by Maiocco in regards to All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith, who rarely spent time on the sideline in 2011.
Though the 49ers did not draft, nor sign any defensive line free agents this offseason, several young linemen (Will Tukuafu, Demarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams) are expected to see the field more often in 2012 with the hopes of resting key contributors like Smith and fellow starting defensive tackle Ray McDonald.
According to Maiocco, Smith played the third-most snaps (91.12-percent) of any defensive linemen in the league.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Barrows writes that both Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs declined to visit the White House over the weekend with their former New York Giants teammates.
Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle says tackle Joe Staley has invited several teammates to room with him over the years. Branch: “For the past several seasons, Staley has invited teammates, mostly members of the practice squad, to live for free in his three-bedroom house. The outgoing Staley says he likes the company, but he’s also aware it helps fringe players make ends meet in one the most expensive areas of the country to live.”
Branch also looks at members of the 49ers coaching staff’s involvement as candidates in recent college coaching searches.
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Tags: Brandon Jacobs, Demarcus Dobbs, Frank Gore, Ian Williams, Joe Montana, Joe Staley, Justin Smith, Mario Manningham, Will Tukuafu
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