Today, Fooch leaves for a few days on another trip which obviously means a whole lot for us here and the San Francisco 49ers. You see, every time something bad happens with the team, Fooch was on a trip. Because he's a monster that cannot be stopped, we have nothing we can do but weather the storm and deal with whatever happens.
As such, I'm in charge again and I've decided to jump right into it with an article about backup safety Craig Dahl, of course!
On a serious note, I'm one of Dahl's biggest critics, and I'm assuming the lack of comments on Dahl's 90-in-90 piece was the result of multiple Niners Nation users fainting out of shock when I was somewhat complimentary of his abilities. Dahl looked like an OK safety at times last season (other times, he looked as bad as advertised), and I decided to dial things back
Today .... I'm not here to trash Dahl, either. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area conducted a chat recently, and one of the questions pertained to Dahl and safety L.J. McCray. Maiocco was asked whether or not McCray could make the roster, and referenced Dahl as having value due to his success on special teams.
As Maiocco notes, Dahl isn't around because he's a solid special teams player, he's around because he's the third safety on the field behind Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid. Maiocco suggests that McCray has a "very strong" chance of winning a roster spot, and that Dahl's hold on a roster spot hinges on his status as the No. 3 safety, not his special teams play.
I don't think McCray will be the guy to put Dahl's hold on the No. 3 safety spot in question, of course. That would fall to Jimmie Ward or Jaquiski Tartt. McCray doesn't really look like a strong backup safety, but he is an excellent special teams player. That said, beating Dahl on special teams won't win him a roster spot. But if one of those other guys progresses, then it could wind up being a special teams battle and that's where things get interesting.
Dahl restructured his contract and essentially took a $400,000 pay cut this offseason. I still don't know how the 49ers feel about Ward, and Tartt is obviously raw. Still, the 49ers have a whole lot in flux when it comes to the secondary as a whole, and the starting safeties comprise probably the strongest position on the team overall, so it's not exactly a concern.
Let's just hope it doesn't really matter who the No. 3 safety is, yeah? Yeah, let's go with that.