49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman chatted with the media yesterday and had a chance to address the 49ers use of defensive players on both sides of the ball. There has been chatter about that, but this is the first time Greg Roman has spoken with the media since we learned guys like Will Tukuafu and Demarcus Dobbs were getting some work on the offensive side of the ball.
The defensive players you have working on offense, what type of impression do you have of them so far?
"Well, very positive. Very positive. Specifically I could mention [DT] Demarcus Dobbs at tight end, very good. And [DT] Will [Tukuafu] at fullback. Again, just picking it up. Very athletic guys. Good football players that might be able to provide some depth and give us a little wrinkle here and there. They're doing a great job."
How are you and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio working that out?
"We just split it up basically by day, so they can focus on something for a day. Rather than bounce back and forth between periods. That can be a little bit too much. So, today for example Demarcus Dobbs is playing defense. Tomorrow he'll play offense and Will will play offense today and flip it tomorrow."
I don't really know how big an impact Tukuafu and Dobbs will have on offense. The 49ers mixed in Isaac Sopoaga a fair amount as a fullback in 2011. Now that the team has a full offseason to work, they have the chance to really open things up in practice.
This would seem to be a bigger deal in the sense that maybe this means Dobbs and Tukuafu are a bit more secure in their roster spots on the defensive side of the ball. Training camp will provide a bit more clarity, but when you've got young guys spending a fair amount of time away from their defensive teammates, wouldn't it seem logical to conclude they are not quite on the roster bubble? I suppose many already figured they weren't, but given their reserve status last year, there were still some questions for both.