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Niners Nation #Channel49 Twitter Q&A Mailbag, 49ers Training Camp Edition: Camp Battles, Tarell Brown's contract, Kaepernick, and more

Tarell Brown's contract, Kaepernick preseason playing time, cornerback depth chart, Percy Harvin injury, and more in this weeks mailbag!

Ezra Shaw

Training camp is here! We had a very active #Channel49 on Twitter Friday at 2:00 p.m. PT. Be sure to join Aaron Malone (@GafflezMalone) and I (@Woods49ers) every week at that time for a chance to be featured in the mailbag. We will have some special guests answering questions throughout the season during our twitter sessions.

I'm sure Harbaugh and Brown will sit down, if they haven't already. But there isn't a whole lot Coach Harbaugh can do for Tarell. He isn't the one who negotiates contracts. The 49ers front office do value their players, but at the end of it all, it is a business as well. The 49ers should not be responsible for the mistake of Tarell Brown's agent. I doubt the 49ers budge on this issue, a team is never going to shell out extra millions if they don't have to.

As a coach and former player, I'm sure Harbaugh feels for Brown and his loss of money, but it's out of his hands. Brown may be temporarily a little frustrated with the 49ers front office, but the issue lies with the negligence of his agent. SoCaliSteph points out Brown could sue his lawyer for legal malpractice. Brown's lawyer was suspended from the state bar in Texas from 2009 to 2011, so he's not exactly a great agent or lawyer.

According to Matt Maiocco, Mario Manningham is about a month away from getting back on the field.

Although his expertise is on the other side of the ball as a defensive coordinator, Mangini is working with the offense exclusively. His role as senior offensive consultant has Mangini giving the 49ers offense a point of view from what the defense is thinking (defensive adjustments, offensive predictability). Right now, Mangini is still learning the offense, so this truly is a training camp and preseason for him to improve as well.

An interesting sidenote; Vic Fangio served the same role for the Ravens from 2006-2008.

It depends on how Tramaine Brock performs as to how the depth chart ultimately shakes out, but I expect Perrish Cox and the rest of the corners to make the cut and not him. Here's my top 5, which is the same as Fooch's projection right now.

1. Carlos Rogers
2. Tarell Brown
3. Chris Culliver
4. Nnamdi Asomugha
5. Perrish Cox

Malone's Answers:

While unfortunate for many in the Pacific Northwest and viewed as an equalizer to the Michael Crabtree injury by many in our fanbase, the jury is still out on the Percy Harvin injury. If he misses any time, it will definitely affect the Seattle offense and how teams prepare for them. One of our biggest concerns on defense last year was our lack of ability to contain fast, shifty slot receivers. Harvin is the archetype of the pass catcher that gave the 49ers fits last year. He had modest numbers against us last season as a Vikiing, but Minnesota pass catchers have achieved mostly modesty with Christian Ponder under center.

One reason people were excited about the Eric Wright trade is that he has the quickness to keep up with Harvin and the Rams' Tavon Austin. I've been concerned about our ability to handle them since that pair arrived in the NFC West this offseason. The task will fall to Carlos Rogers, but his task may have just been made that much easier. Harvin is a special talent when he's on the field, and while Marshawn Lynch will presumably be the workhorse for the Seahawks, Harvin was going to get plenty of touches. His versatility forces defenses to account for him at all times with a variety of players and methods to try to stop him depending on what role he's filling at the moment. It's different than say, Calvin Johnson, whom you simply throw your best cornerback at his mercy and pray for the best.

The 2011 defense was special, there's no doubt about it. Can we achieve those same levels again? I'm going to say no. There are two main factors. Firstly, the unpredictability of turnover margins. Some teams are clearly better at creating them than others and certain players have a knack for them. But turnovers are almost considered random by advanced stat types. For example, in 2011 the team forced 38 turnovers while committing 10 for a difference of 28. All three numbers led the league and the turnover differential was an incredible number. With the same defense (a better one, you could argue, with the ascension of Aldon Smith to elite pass rusher levels) the 49ers forced 25 turnovers in 2012. You can argue that the team played a harder schedule but the change from one year to the next is hard to predict.

The other factor is the offense. I'll include special teams in this as well. With Alex Smith under the helm the entire team (all three phases) was ran to mitigate the possibilities opponents had to score. It worked well. We would take little to no chances on offense, punt to keep people pinned deep and put the defense in every position to succeed. It did. The defense was one of the better units I can remember in the league and I've been paying attention since the mid-80's. With Colin Kaepernick under center, the 49ers have become dynamic and explosive. We take more risks because they are rewarded. The defense is forced to defend shorter fields more often and the games have more big plays on both sides. Our special teams also regressed last year. Missed field goals, blown coverage on returns, etc. helped put the pressure on the D. Planning and executing for your offense to hang 38 points on the opponent leaves your defense, while still the same unit, in a more precarious situation.

I hadn't even considered this until reading your question and I'd love to find out if there's any precedence for it. That said, I don't think we see him out there more often than any other starting quarterback in the NFL. For one, injuries in preseason are a coach's biggest nightmare and the risk of losing a franchise quarterback for the sake of a bit more experience against the Chargers' second unit doesn't seem worth it. I think, in regards to Colin Kaepernick's lack of experience, the regular season will be his training ground. Even imagining them losing an extra game due to lack of experience from our signal caller wouldn't kill them. It has become quite common in recent years for lower seeded teams to win the Super Bowl and good teams worry about getting into the playoffs, getting hot and making their run. That's what we'll do whether we're 14-2 division champs or 10-6 wild cards.

The other reason we shouldn't see an excess of CK7 is that Coach Harbaugh likes to keep their plans secret. We should see no inventiveness and nothing exciting, just our franchise QB practicing some things that have troubled him, like touch passing and clock management. Harbaugh doesn't want to provide any opponent with any more film than what they already have. Expect a quarter of pocket passing each and every time out.