The 49ers rolled out their second "Coach 'Em Up" video, this time focusing in on secondary coach Ed Donatell. The first video took a look at quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst. The videos are interesting, but there is more information in the accompanying write-up about the coach.
Coach Donatell will be working with a 49ers secondary that has some interesting talent but also has a lot of question marks. He gets a cornerback in Nate Clements who is great against the run and making open field tackles, but often has to make those open field tackles due to getting beat by receivers. And of course Clements return depends on working out a new contract.
The two most intriguing talents for Donatell would probably be Dashon Goldson and Taylor Mays. While Goldson faced a lot of criticism in 2010, he showed some serious talent in 2009. There were questions about nagging injuries so 2011 might give us a better idea of whether Goldson is more the 2009 guy or more the 2010 guy. Of course, he also faces some sort of free agency pending a new CBA.
Taylor Mays enters his second season with the 49ers. He's received plenty of criticism as well, but brings some crazy athleticism to the field. In discussions people have said he's everything from a legit starting safety to thinking he's nothing more than a big hitting special teams guy to saying he should move down to the linebacker position. For a guy who is only in his second year, the discussion surrounding him has been all over the board.
Donatell will be working with a secondary that is really all over the board and brings a bit of a developmental nature. The team could still add a cornerback in free agency but otherwise decided to simply bring aboard a converted safety and a late round flyer in the draft. Throw in the developing Phillip Adams and whether Reggie Smith will take control of the strong safety position and the question marks are all over the place. Donatell will have quite the job in front of him this season and beyond.