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Figuring out Glenn Dorsey's role on the 49ers defense

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh discussed Glenn Dorsey's role on the 49ers defensive line.


It's been just over a week now since the 49ers signed defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey to a two-year contract. There have been some questions about where exactly Dorsey would fit on the line. Dorsey met with the media and indicated he would not confine himself to one role on the line.

In case you missed it last week, Jim Harbaugh also had a chance to weigh in on Dorsey's potential role in 2013:

What position will Glenn Dorsey play? Is nose tackle where you think he'll end up?
JH: Yeah, I think the way Vic (Fangio) and Jimmy Tomsula do it, he's the nose with Ian Williams. Then if Ian comes along, he's going to get quite a few of those reps (at NT) and Glenn can be an end as well and take some of those snaps as well. So we have high hopes and expectations for his contribution.

The 49ers let Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois walk in free agency, shortly after extending Williams for two more seasons. Williams has spent the past two years mostly inactive, learning the defense and what it takes to be an NFL nose tackle.

Williams and Dorsey will be guys to watch in training camp, but I really could see Dorsey getting work at all three positions before the season is wrapped. He strikes me as a sort of RJF with upside.

The question then is whether the 49ers will stick with the two of them and someone late in the draft (or undrafted), or if the team will still consider some early options. It is not a huge financial commitment, but with Dorsey and Williams already slotted down there, is it worth the roster spot?