Ahmad Brooks has been sitting on the 49ers roster since August 31 and has been inactive in every game so far. He is supposed to have solid talent but the primary excuse was learning the defense and finding a spot. He's apparently been moved around from backing up at the Mike to backing up at the Ted. Now there's even mention of using him as an outside linebacker.
Mike Singletary addressed Ahmad Brooks and what the bye week represents in terms of practice opportunities. Given the struggles of the defense I would definitely be in favor of giving him a try to see what he can bring to the table. I've argued the coaching schemes might be the biggest problem, but sometimes a new body could be a difference maker. Who really knows though, right?
RE: Ahmad Brooks: what have you seen from him and do think that there’s a role for him to be suiting up on game days in the near future?
"We’re trying to see if that’s a possibility. But since he’s been here, he’s worked really hard and done everything that we’ve asked him. He has a ton of talent. We’ll see. But right now we’re just trying to see if there’s a way to get him in. If there is, then great. If not, then we’ll have to wait a little longer."
RE: Where do you have him playing right now?
"It depends. He could be outside linebacker, he could be rushing. But we’ll figure it out. We’re figuring out the best way to get him out there and to make sure that he enhances and we don’t have to take anybody else off the field that’s helping us a lot right now. So we’ll see going forward."
RE: Had you had him at Ted in the past?
"I’ve had him at Ted mostly, but he’s kind of bounced around: Ted, a little bit of Mike, a little bit of outside, a little bit of defensive end. At defensive end, we put him there and he looked pretty good. But we’ll see where he’s most comfortable."
RE: The week leading up to the Seattle game was crazy and frantic. Does the bye week give you more time to make some changes that you might have in mind?
"Yes it does. It gives you a chance to kind of settle down. It came at a great time: eight games behind us, eight games in front of us. It really is great timing. So just very thankful that we have this time to kind of take a step back and look at where we are and where we need to go in order to get to where we’re going. So this has come at a great time."
RE: Does it give you enough time to evaluate some personnel such as Ahmad and take a look at guys?
"Absolutely. It gives us a chance to really put players in situations where maybe if it were a regular practice we wouldn’t have that time to make those changes and implement certain situations to find out if that player can do this or do that. So yes it does. It helps us because we can kind of custom-fit our practices toward some of those players that we need to get a better look at."
RE: Even though the coaching staff that is here has been here, do you kind of have to have everybody sort of look at this with a fresh set of eyes to reevaluate everything as far as whether guys should be playing or not?
"No, it’s not that in depth. Some of the guys that we have, have been doing a pretty decent job. I don’t feel that it’s so much the personnel. It may be here or there or whatever. But mostly it’s just a mindset. It’s the mindset that we’ve been talking about: believing, understanding what it’s really going to take and looking further than the next game, and saying, ‘I hope we can get back on track.’ No, you’ve got to know we’re going to get back on track. And you’ve got to know that if this is what it’s going to take in order to do that. So it’s doing all of those little things that we’ve been talking about and just having every coach really lend his eyes to seeing something that’s not right, doesn’t fit, ‘Let’s get it right.’ Now. Not tomorrow. Not later. Now. And, we’ll go forward with that."
I had thought about throwing up a poll about when Ahmad Brooks might see playing time, but I'll just leave it open for discussion. Brooks is slightly shorter than Manny Lawson, but he's the heaviest of our linebackers. Is it worth trying him as a speed rush defensive end? Any other ideas?