Arnaz Battle Continues to develop...


I was poking around trying to find some links worth discussing when I came across a great little piece about Arnaz Battle over at the 49ers home page.

Battle was upset he missed one of the OTAs and just missed 100% attendance.  However, the article uses that as a sign of the development of a receiver who is turning into a young veteran in the league.  Based on what I've read so far this offseason, Battle is turning into my favorite player on the team.  I was always a fan, but he's showing some serious dedication and resolve.

"I know I just have to chalk it up, but I was mad about it. I just feel like if I can do 100%, then I need to do that and more," said Battle. "It is still bothering me because I didn't make my goal. I don't want to cheat myself in any way or wonder if I had done this or that. I want to give myself every opportunity to be successful."

Even without the workout, Battle feels stronger and more powerful than he has the last few seasons when a nagging knee injury led to the 49ers training staff reducing his work load.

Battle has stated that his goal for 2007 is 70 catches and 1,000 yards, which would be an improvement of 11 catches and 314 yards.  If he can stay healthy I don't see why that is not a reachable goal.  Even with all the new receiver additions, Battle has spent the most time working with Alex Smith over the last couple of years.  I think he'll get more than enough playing time along side Jackson and Lelie.  Furthermore, all these weapons could open up Battle even more as the secondary will be much more consistently occupied.

We'll go into it more with the wide receiver preview, but the depth we have at wide receiver will be quite beneficial.  We've got some injury-prone guys, but there are plenty of options to keep Alex Smith occupied.  As long as the chemistry works out, all of these options should be a huge boon to Smith in the coming season and beyond.

"It's helped to work with him the last three years because you definitely understand each other better," said Battle. "Alex has really grown and matured and he understands the offense and knows how to use the weapons around him. I really think he's developing and that this should be a big year for him, and for this entire offense. I think guys have really stepped up and raised their level of play."
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