San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio might be my favorite coach to hear speak at a press conference. At least among the three coaches that regularly speak with the media. Jim Harbaugh can be the craziest, Greg Roman is probably the most cordial, but Vic Fangio is the one who provides the most detail. While Harbaugh and Roman can say a lot without saying much at all, Fangio always provides some nuggets.
Fangio spoke on Friday before practice, and he provided some insight into the inside linebacker position. We've had some discussion about NaVorro Bowman's rehab timeline, and Fangio more or less further confirmed what we were thinking. The team does not expect him back until midseason at this point. Jim Harbaugh said something similar, but sometimes he can be all over the place. Coach Harbaugh also said he would not be surprised if he got back sooner than that, but he did not want to make any further predictions.
Michael Wilhoite is currently getting first team snaps in place of Bowman, with Chris Borland and Nick Moody paired up behind them. Coach Fangio had earlier said Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver were the No. 1s at cornerback, although he did say there was always a chance for others to leap-frog them. That is not exactly a shocking revelation. With Bowman's replacement, he went in a different direction. He mentioned a platoon system could very well happen with someone handling base downs, and someone else handling nickel downs.
I'd imagine we'll see a whole mess of options during the four preseason games. We won't know the final answer until Week 1 of the regular season, but it will be interesting to see how the 49ers operate their ILB spot next to Patrick Willis between the base and nickel downs.