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Who is leading the competition for the third cornerback?

We take a look at Vic Fangio's comments about the 49ers third cornerback competition, and whether Nnamdi Asomugha or Tramaine Brock has the edge right now

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Earlier this afternoon, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio met with the media and discussed the cornerback position, among several other topics. At one point, he was asked about the position battle for the third cornerback role :

Is CB Tramaine Brock still the guy at the nickel position, or not nickel position, the third cornerback?

"Him and Nnamdi right now are those two guys."

Are they both, is there any separation between those two?

"I think there's starting to become but we'll see."

Earlier in the press conference, he was asked about the team's depth. He went through a laundry list of players, and at cornerback he pointed to Nnamdi Asomugha as having "gone in and played well." He then was asked about a couple plays involving Nnamdi:

One of those plays where you guys were stretched a little bit, Nnamdi was matched up with Kansas City Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin on that particular route. How did he fair on that?

"Are you talking about the third-down play?"


"Yeah, he did well on that play. He stayed on top, had good tight coverage and got us off the field on third down, so he played that play very well."

I think I'm thinking of an earlier one. That was the one that went out of bounds. This one was more of a post in the end zone.

"Oh, the one in the end zone? Yeah, he was in good shape there and our free safety C.J. [Spillman] was in good shape in the middle of the field. The quarterback overthrew it. But we were in pretty good position there. I think we would have had a chance to make the play if the ball was thrown better."

Matt Barrows wrote about this topic and while he did not say Nnamdi appeared to be ahead, he did reference the compliments and seemed to infer that maybe this put Nnamdi ahead of Brock. The national media ran with this as an indication that Nnamdi is going to claim the No. 3 job.

While that is entirely possible, it is also possible to read too much into comments. It would not surprise me to see Nnamdi claim that number three job, but Brock brings more versatility to the table in terms of playing on both sides of the field. Furthermore, while reports had Nnamdi getting a little bit of practice work at left cornerback,

Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers seem just about locked in as the starting corners at this point. When the 49ers switch to the nickel, Rogers moves into the slot. Tarell Brown has gotten some slot work, and he can move over to the other side. It will be interesting to see how the 49ers roll out their cornerbacks this Sunday against the Vikings. Do you try and get Nnamdi or Brown some work on the left side? Does Nnamdi climb past Brock on the depth chart?

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