There is a lot of quality writing here at SB Nation, but I miss much of it because of the sheer volume of sites. So I added the RSS feed for the football sites and have been able to check out the latest and greatest headlines. I mention this because I came across an interesting post that has inspired a post of my own. Over at Buc Em, our Bucaneers blog, new author NoahChestnut had an ingenius post about a six-on-six flag football contest among the Bucs.
Flag and touch football are always a ton of fun and traditions for many on July 4th before the BBQ. That got me thinking, what current 49ers would make up a solid touch football squad for a game on the beach. To make it a little more interesting, I thought I'd come up with two 4-man squads to face off against each other. And of course, feel free to throw out comments on who you think you would make for solid touch football players. Buc Em put together a whole 6-round draft, but I'm just thinking we'll come up with a pair of teams more or less randomly.
From what I've seen most players can throw a spiral, so we don't necessarily need to have a true quarterback at the QB position. And considering some of the people with whom I've played touch football, it's definitely not a must. Also, this is competitive enough where I don't think you'd see many of the bigger offensive and defensive linemen on the field. Although, I suppose they would be the guy designated to run the short routes when you're looking to move the chains. So I guess, consider yourself the honorary captain and pick sides.
We'll have the red team and the white team and let's hear why you think a player is suited for a certain position. Since they'll be playing both way let us know where on defense a given guy will play as well. One rule I will implement is that you have to select 2 offensive 49ers and 2 defensive 49ers. No real reason, but I think it would keep things interesting. You can substitute max one special teamer (Lee, Nedney, or Rossum) on either side. The offense will consist of a quarterback and three wide receivers and those guys will then need to play deep safety, corner #1, corner #2 and pass rusher. Remember, the pass rusher has to count to 5 Mississippi (or is alligator?) before he can rush the quarterback.
QB/Deep Safety - Arnaz Battle - I couldn't resist the former quarterback here. He can throw the ball but you know he'll be there to mix in some trickeration. When I've played in the past, I'm a big fan of the QB lateral throw to the wide receiver who then throws deep.
WR #1/Corner #1 - Ashley Lelie - He may not do jack for the 49ers, but with his blazing speed I can definitely see him as an impressive touch football player. One of the most successful plays is just a fly pattern by your fastest guy. I could see Battle sending Lelie to the house and just chucking it up. In touch football, who cares if you can't run correct routes.
WR #2/Corner #2 - Nate Clements - Lockdown is a guy who likes getting the ball in his hands whether it be interceptions or punt returns. While he seems like a quiet guy on the field, he seems like he would talk a lot of smack after a big play in a touch football game. His ESPN scouting report indicates he can "flip his hips and change directions effectively in the open field" and I think that is key for a game on the beach. Playing football on the beach can be a pain when you're trying to juke the guy covering you in the sand.
WR #3/Pass Rusher - Patrick Willis - While he has speed, I don't think he has what it takes to cover a wide receiver. Instead, imagine you're the opposing QB and Bamm Bamm is coming after you. You know it won't be a simple "touch." On the offensive end I could see him filling that quick in or out role to pick up a few yards at a time (I fill that role admirably thanks to my complete lack of speed).
QB/Pass Rusher - Joe Nedney - I can definitely see Nedney standing tall in the pocket delivering passes. I went with him as the pass rusher because I just don't see him covering the necessary space in the secondary to protect the deep pass.
WR #1/Deep Safety - Dashon Goldson - His scouting report indicates a weakness in man to man coverage, so I think defensively he's suited for that deep safety position. I'm a little worried about the overall speed, but I think he can make some plays for the Gold Team.
WR #2/Corner #1 - Vernon Davis - Every touch game has the trash talker who won't shut up about how great he is. Ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you Vernon Davis. The Disease would definitely be "that guy" on the beach. I have a feeling though that his defensive game would not be nearly as good as he thinks it is.
WR #3/Corner #2 - Alex Smith - The 49ers have run trick plays where Battle and Robinson line up in the backfield and Smith splits out wide. Considering his ability to run the spread option at Utah, Smith brings serious athleticism to the table. I'm curious about his coverage skills, but I could see him taking a deep pass from Nedney to the house.
And there you have it, two teams ready to battle on Baker Beach in the Outer Richmond of San Francisco. So who wins? Well, the gold team's success rides on the arm of Joe Nedney. I think they've got more talent on offense, although I would love to see Nate Clements guarding Alex Smith straight up. I think the Red Team takes it, but if Nedney comes to play, who knows.
So who do you have out there and why? There were several players I would have loved to include but there is only so much space. Who deserves a spot on the Battle at the Beach?