The 49ers officially signed linebacker Tavares Gooden earlier this morning and made the corresponding roster move of releasing outside linebacker Antwan Applewhite. D.DeSimone has a post coming up with more on Gooden who brings some athleticism with upside to the team.
In the meantime, the 49ers now find themselves with three outside linebackers; a fourth if you count the practice squad. They'll go with Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson and Aldon Smith on Sunday, with Monte Simmons available on the practice squad. Is there any need for additional help at the OLB position, or is three enough on a Sunday? At this point Brooks and Haralson will likely be starting, with Smith coming in on specific pass rush situations and occasionally to spell one of the starters.
Can the team bring an effective pass rush with just three outside linebackers? Last season they went with Brooks, Haralson, Manny Lawson and Travis LaBoy. I could see Aldon Smith in the LaBoy role focusing in on the pass rush more than anything else.