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Isaac Sopoaga moving to NT

Quote:
Q: Will Aubrayo Franklin be a 49er this year?
@MyRecruiter1

My answer: If both are unrestricted free agents, there's a better chance the 49ers will retain Franklin at nose tackle over Lawson. But the 49ers have spoken to Isaac Sopoaga about moving to nose tackle. That leads me to believe that the 49ers have made plans for Franklin leaving as a free agent. The 49ers could move Sopoaga to nose tackle, and then sign a free agent, such as Cincinnati's Jonathan Fanene, to play left defensive end.

Read more: 49ers Mailbag: Players will determine Fangio's style
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[ Edited by PTulini on Jul 28, 2011 at 12:59:08 ]
I think Soap would be fine at NT, especially if they want more of an upfield, gap-penetrating presence at the nose. He's grown a lot as a player since the last time he was asked to play inside and should make a nice combo with RJF.
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
I think Soap would be fine at NT, especially if they want more of an upfield, gap-penetrating presence at the nose. He's grown a lot as a player since the last time he was asked to play inside and should make a nice combo with RJF.

I'm not confident that he is the long term solution, but I wouldn't mind seeing it happen since it will give RayMac and Will Futukui (whatever) a chance to rotate on the end. Hopefully both those guys will get a chance to start this year.
Originally posted by English:
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?

I use to think that too, but then I thought, why settle? The NT position is very important, you dont use a 3rd rounder to be a back up. I bet we decided to wait, make do this year and then next year grab a legit franchise player with the first or second pick.
Originally posted by English:
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?

Nah... Sopoaga was asked to play in a 2-gap when at NT. He sucked at it because the role required him to be efficient in play recognition. He lacked the instincts and awareness to take on blocks and snuff out play direction. As a 1-gapper, he will play more with his strengths of anchoring and penetrating an A gap.
Originally posted by English:
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?

That was in 2005/2006 if I'm not mistaken, after only Soap's first and second years in the NFL (missed his rookie season in 2004 with a neck injury). Franklin didn't do squat in his first few years in Baltimore either...it wasn't until AF had a few years under his belt that he was able to effectively play the 3-4 nose.

Point being, that's an extremely difficult position to master (probably the toughest on defense in terms of the combination of strength, technique and awareness required), and it just takes some guys a few years to really excel at it.
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Originally posted by English:
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?

I use to think that too, but then I thought, why settle? The NT position is very important, you dont use a 3rd rounder to be a back up. I bet we decided to wait, make do this year and then next year grab a legit franchise player with the first or second pick.

Don't dislike this. RJF backing up? Did he get any playing time last year? Interested to hear how he looked.
Soap is way better than years ago. He is solid and could handle it now I believe. It would not bother me.
Originally posted by Rubberneck36:
Soap is way better than years ago. He is solid and could handle it now I believe. It would not bother me.

Yah, I doubt Soap becomes a pro-bowl NT, but he's probably a more than adequate replacement for Franklin until we can draft/sign a long-term solution.
I would rather have Lawson back anyway
Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Originally posted by English:
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?

I use to think that too, but then I thought, why settle? The NT position is very important, you dont use a 3rd rounder to be a back up. I bet we decided to wait, make do this year and then next year grab a legit franchise player with the first or second pick.

Don't dislike this. RJF backing up? Did he get any playing time last year? Interested to hear how he looked.


RJF was a preseason beast, then just disappeared. I'm sure Franklin showing up had a lot to do with it. With that said, I ok with going into a lockout season with a new head coach expecting to use Soap and RJF. I'm confident Soap can hold his own, I just dont know he will be dominate. RJF is very, very strong (but not heavy) he may be a pleasent suprise. If not, "With the 15th pick of the draft, Niners select......"
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Originally posted by English:
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Originally posted by English:
We have been here before. And if I recall, it didnt go all that well. If this is the way it goes, why did t we draft a NT on the 3rd day? Not to start, but to backup and for the future?

I use to think that too, but then I thought, why settle? The NT position is very important, you dont use a 3rd rounder to be a back up. I bet we decided to wait, make do this year and then next year grab a legit franchise player with the first or second pick.

Don't dislike this. RJF backing up? Did he get any playing time last year? Interested to hear how he looked.


RJF was a preseason beast, then just disappeared. I'm sure Franklin showing up had a lot to do with it. With that said, I ok with going into a lockout season with a new head coach expecting to use Soap and RJF. I'm confident Soap can hold his own, I just dont know he will be dominate. RJF is very, very strong (but not heavy) he may be a pleasent suprise. If not, "With the 15th pick of the draft, Niners select......"

15th? We gonna trade up?
Doesnt matter where this guy lines up just like Manny Lawson he sucks

guys like Lawson Clements & Sopoaga are at best average player's

need to shop around to keep this defense on the rise
I think RJF is more than capable of filling in. He had a great pre season against starters last year....and filled in well in spot duty to spell Franklin...alot of people are forgetting about this guy.