I feel like things seem a bit clearer with regard to how the defense may look next year. Probably a lot of these points are obvious and or wrong. Please let me know where I am confused.
1. Ian Williams looks solid at nose tackle. I had thought that Dorsey might compete for that job.Looks to me like he will not. Barring injury, I would expect Ian W to take all the snaps at NT, about 22 snaps per game since the niners play a lot of nickel (i.e., 4 down-lineman defense: no nose tackle).
2. I am guessing that Dorsey and Dobbs will be the primary back-ups for J Smith and MacDonald. That would be in both nickel and base. I assume the plan is to reduce snap count percentage somewhat for both D lineman. (They were both rather high last year and seemed to wear down.
3. I would guess that Ahmad and Aldon continue to start at OLB (obvi) and that Lemonier and Parys are the primary back-ups. Which side do they sub on? I am not really sure. I am guessing Lenomier may get some of Ahmad's snaps on the left particularly on passing downs?
Overall, seems like a step up from last year. The talk about loosing Sopoaga and Franklin in free agency: please. That is addition by subtraction. Ian Williams looks like a serious upgrade to me. The back-ups at both olb and interior Dline also seem much improved.
Venturing into the secondary:
Reid looked good. Covered well. Likes to hit. Met expectations. (Anybody have a guess as to who wears the green dot helmet next year?)
Regarding Spillman: dude is a great athlete and special teams stand-out. He seems to be improving at safety as well. Any chance he gets some snaps at safety this year (in non-goal line situations), either in place of Reid (the rookie) or Whitner (the veteran who may be slowing down just a bit)?
Cornerback: Cox and Brock looked pretty good I thought. Nnamdi as well. I wonder if slot and one corner position may be both up for grabs (since I wonder if Carlos may be slowing down). Anybody have any thoughts about how the corners will shake out and if they will be improved or not over last year?