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49ers Training Camp 2011: Shawntae Spencer's Thoughts On The 'New' Defense

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As I mentioned earlier, I was fortunate enough to get down to training camp today and will likely get to a few more practices before all is said and done this preseason. The removal of two-a-days changes things up as the team previously had a morning practice (8-ish), some media availability and then a later afternoon practice. Now having one practice makes it easier to everything in.

For the player availability today, Shawntae Spencer, Anthony Dixon, Joshua Morgan (he apparently wants to be called that over Josh) and Joe Staley all took some time to speak. There wasn't a ton of notable discussion, but there were some interesting points worth noting.

Spencer was the last player to speak but I thought he had one of the more notable comments. He was asked again about learning the new defense and he made the some comparison of knowing English and having to then learn Spanish. Thankfully, he followed that up up with a comment I had wanted to ask about in regards to the scheme. The team is still running a 3-4 defense and most important for the veterans is the fact that the scheme does not have a ton of differences.

It's also notable that he is now the veteran in the secondary. The team is bringing in Madieu Williams who is a year older than Spencer, but Spencer has been around the team the longest amongst the 49ers secondary and he is actually one of the most tenured players on the entire team with only Brian Jennings having more time on the 49ers. Isaac Sopoaga and Andy Lee both are equal to him with David Akers and Moran Norris having more time but with other teams mixed in.

I know some folks are down on Spencer, but he will likely need to be a veteran leader of this secondary. He's had his ups and his downs and even if Carlos Rogers is brought in (or any corner for that matter at this point), Spencer will need to be a leader of the secondary.

I'll have more for you as the afternoon continues on, including some amusing comments from Boobie Dixon about his anticipated baseball career.

On a side note, NFL Network was around interviewing Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith, so keep an eye out for that today.