GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 11: C.J. Spillman #27 of the San Francisco 49ers downs a punt at the one yard line against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Earlier today over at SB Nation Bay Area, I took a look at the 49ers' safety position and namely C.J. Spillman. The official website had a piece about Spillman recently in which they talked about how he was hoping for an expanded role on defense this year, and I was wanting to see how you guys felt about it. As noted in my piece, I believe that Spillman should and will end up being the primary backup at safety this year.
After all, behind Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner, there's not much. Last season, the team had Reggie Smith as a go-between backup, and though he had a down year, I think most of us were generally impressed by how technically sound he was in San Francisco. There was also Madieu Williams, who the 49ers actually had pegged as the starter when they thought Goldson was on his way out.
Now there's just Spillman, Colin Jones and sixth-round pick Trenton Robinson. Not exactly a confidence-inspiring bunch, are they? That being said, the 49ers are apparently confident in one of them: Spillman. Aside from the fact that he apparently looked good matched up against Randy Moss in practice, Spillman was given a huge vote of confidence in the form of a three-year contract.
I believe it's a vote of confidence because the 49ers don't just hand out multi-year deals to specialists. I firmly believe they wanted Blake Costanzo back, with or without Rock Cartwright, and they let him walk because Chicago was offering a two-year deal. They're just not a team that hands out those kinds of deals to specialists.
That's why I believe that Spillman will be getting an increased role on defense in 2012. The 49ers believe he'll be a guy who sees the field on defense and not just in goal line packages. Or do you think they just like what he does on special teams? Sound off, and here's the piece I did for SB Nation Bay Area.