Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but Fooch is a crazy person who manages this blog with no rhyme or reason and it's worked so far. Who am I to argue?
Every year, the San Francisco 49ers bring in several players that are viewed primarily as special teams additions. Kassim Osgood has been the most recent example, but another popular one is Blake Costanzo. This year's notable addition is linebacker Nick Bellore.
The 49ers signed Bellore after the linebacker spent four seasons with the New York Jets. He joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent, and appeared in all 64 games over those four seasons. During that time, his role was almost exclusively special teams. He had 25 total defensive snaps in four seasons, but was considered a core special teamer.
The 49ers decision to add Bellore likely had something to do with the hiring of Thomas McGaughey as special teams coordinator. He spent the 2014 season with the Jets, and I imagine it is likely he gave a plug for Bellore when the team was deliberating their free agency plans. It is likely how Blake Costanzo ended up in San Francisco (Brad Seely was his special teams coach in Cleveland).
Why he might improve:
While he might get some preseason opportunities at linebacker, if he is appearing at linebacker in the regular season, either injuries or a blowout are the reason. Given that we know his role is likely as special teams, I don't really see how he can improve all that much. He is a solid special teams player, and that is just sort of his thing. This is not a bad thing, but to expect much more is probably not realistic.
Why he might regress:
All I can see is the special teams as a whole struggling. It can be difficult to point to a specific player for struggles when it comes to coverage and return units when you are not the punter or the return man. He is entering his fifth season, and at 26 years of age, his own personal regression does not seem overly likely.
Odds of making the roster:
He likely has a good chance given that he likely has McGaughey in his corner. It will be interesting to see who the exclusive special teams players are on the roster. This team does not have a lot of wiggle room, so maybe Nick Moody is the kind of guy whose versatility forces Bellore off the roster. I could see Bellore filling a Kassim Osgood type of role where he does not make the final roster, but is added not too long after once his veteran contract is not fully guaranteed.