Spotlight on Anthony Parker

As the defensive huddle breaks and Anthony Parker slides into his position, it's obvious the rangy young cornerback has reached a new comfort level in his third training camp with the 49ers. There's a good reason. When Parker breaks the huddle these days, he's doing it with the first team.

Parker has been practicing with San Francisco's first unit since incumbent
starter Jason Webster strained his left hamstring on Aug. 5. Parker started
for the first time as a professional last week against San Diego, and held up
well in coverage while seeing extensive action.

"It's a huge difference," Parker said. "It's helping me out tremendously. My
confidence is getting better. Right now, I feel that I'm on a roll, and each
game and each practice I'm going to try and go out and improve on my ability."

Parker played in all 16 games last year after his entire rookie season of
1999 was wiped out by a torn knee ligament. Most of his action came in nickel
and dime secondary packages. It's a bit different to be playing with the
starters on first down, as Parker quickly is learning.

"In nickel and dime, you're only going to see certain things," Parker said.
"When you're playing first and second down, you're going to see different
routes, different formations and different personnel. I'm seeing a whole
different crop of different things and it's really helping my development and
being aware."

Parker, who had four passes defensed last year in a reserve role, will start
again in Saturday's preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.

"Anthony Parker is getting some much-needed playing time," Niners coach Steve
Mariucci said. "He's starting and playing a lot of snaps and it's part of his
development. The more work he can get, the more he'll develop. Anthony needs
that experience, and he's certainly getting some of it right now."


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