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Ahmad Brooks - Starting Linebacker?

RSVPs for minicamp: Clements, yes; Spencer, yes; Franklin, no. Manny Lawson's response must be in the mail ...

This is from Matt Barrows' Twitter, posted last night. People miss mandatory camps, it's just something that happens--I guess something deluded me into thinking with Mike Singletary, and this feeling of... elation that some of us fans have been experiencing at some point, that we really wouldn't have any disputes. In that, the team seems to be on a veritable upswing, it's hard to imagine a player being unhappy, no?

But Manny Lawson is unhappy with his contract. Aubrayo Franklin also isn't taking part, but for some reason, just knowing that he has already said he wouldn't be attending has made it alright with me. I accepted that, but the bit at the end, while obviously a joke from Barrows, still makes me just a little bit upset. Lawson has zero contact with anyone, from what I can tell, it seems unclear even from within the organization what he wants.

Still, we're going a little bit hypothetical here. I do believe Manny Lawson will be back with the team in 2010, I don't think he'll get cut or traded, I think he'll play--on his current contract. But suppose he didn't? Would 49ers fans be happy and confident with Ahmad Brooks at the LOLB position?

Parys Haralson is the locked-in starter at ROLB, and does a very good job with it. Lawson is the starter at LOLB, but Ahmad Brooks has been getting all of the starting reps in OTAs. So far, there has been nothing 'bad' to report on him, but we've heard plenty good about him. We even heard about him breaking up a pass or two a few days back, which is a surprise. Brooks is an athletic freak, but the area Lawson undoubtedly has a leg-up on him in coverage, and that appears to be all that's holding most people back from wanting Brooks to start.

So the question: if, right now, you were told that Ahmad Brooks was the starting linebacker on the left side, what would your thoughts be? Obviously he needs to work, but how big of a loss would you see Lawson? Our starting linebackers would then be Parys Haralson, Takeo Spikes, Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks.. doesn't look so bad when you read it, no?