The final cutdown
CB/S Mike Adams: The rookie from Delaware displayed some signs he could hang at this level, recording one of the team's two preseason interceptions and also making plays in the kicking game as one of the top tacklers on special teams. But the Niners went with the experience of Joselio Hanson when it decided to keep five cornerbacks. CB Allan Amundson: Saw very little action during the preseason and had very little chance to make the roster. Only made it this far because of his NFL Europe roster exemption. DE Josh Cooper: Showed some flashes as a pass rusher but needs to develop as a run defender. Lost out in a battle with Chris Demaree to hold down a final roster berth while Andrew Williams is still on the mend from his broken leg. Could be a practice squad candidate. TE Gabe Crecion: Sure, he looked good in the passing game, getting open over the middle and snagging balls that came his way. Crecion tied for the team lead during the preseason with 11 receptions for 157 yards, a tidy 14.3 average. But the Niners need their third tight end to be a solid blocker, and that's where Crecion lost out to Kevin Ware. Crecion is a practice squad candidate, but the Niners already have two pass-catching tight ends they are happy with. OT Jerome Davis: A right knee injury thwarted his chances of making the team as a backup tackle - and he had a legitimate chance before the injury. After releasing him, the Niners placed Davis on the Reserve/Non Football Injury list. DT Christian Ferrara: General manager Terry Donahue said Ferrara was a project when the Niners took a flyer on the Syracuse tackle with their final draft pick in the seventh round. The project didn't work out. Ferrara was overmatched in the trenches at this level, where his feistiness couldn't make up for a lack of physical skill. K Nate Fikse: He has a good leg, but Fikse - for the second consecutive summer - wasn't going to make the team with Todd Peterson and Kirk Yliniemi ahead of him. WR P.J. Fleck: If grit and summer performance truly counted, Fleck would have earned one of the sixth berths the Niners allotted on the final roster to their receiver corps. Fleck flat beat out Derrick Hamilton, but the Niners must keep their young third-rounder on the roster as they develop him for the future. The Niners would sign Fleck back to their practice squad in a second, but the question now is if his versatile play in the preseason might perhaps give him a shot elsewhere. WR Adam Herzing: The NFL Europe star also had a nice summer and displayed sure hands and ability to get open. But if Fleck wasn't going to make the final roster, this guy certainly wasn't, either. RB Maurice Hicks: One of the surprises of summer, Hicks just couldn't make enough of an impression to dislodge the established Jamal Robertson from the roster. Hicks showed some nice ability as a runner, pass blocker and kick returner, but it wasn't enough as the Niners opted for Robertson's experience which - all things considered - was the right choice. Hicks now becomes a top candidate for the practice squad. OL Dwayne Ledford: Ledford played himself out of a roster berth during the final two preseason games when he struggled with his blocking technique. He started the summer in good shape and appeared to have a roster berth within his grasp, but he was doomed by inconsistency in the preseason. C Norm Katnik: The rookie from USC got some good summer exposure at the NFL level, but he wasn't going to make the final roster with Jeremy Newberry and Brock Gutierrez around. DT Michael Landry: Was the team's third tackle throughout training camp, and his release might raise some eyebrows from those who follow the team, particularly since defensive tackle proved this summer to be perhaps the Niners' weakest position. But it really wasn't that surprising when you consider the way Landry - despite his 317-pound wideness - was blown off the ball during the preseason. It happened just enough for the Niners to go with Josh Shaw instead. Landry could get a longer look on the practice squad, because he did display some promising development. CB Rayshun Reed: The rookie from Troy State has some skills, but he was set back by a broken bone in his hand during training camp and had too many players to climb over on the depth chart to have a realistic chance of making the final roster. OL Scott Rehberg: Rehberg's chances weren't looking good going into the final cutdown because, as an eighth-year veteran, the Niners would have to pay him the top minimum veteran's salary. Rehberg had to distinguish himself from other younger players this summer to earn that kind of paycheck from a team with tight salary-cap problems. Despite his experience, formidable size and ability to play both guard and tackle, that simply did not happen. FB Matt Stanley: He played well and didn't do a whole lot wrong in three preseason starts. But the Niners are committed to Jasen Isom as Pro Bowler Fred Beasley's backup, leaving no room for Stanley on the roster. Stanley didn't show enough as a blocker for the Niners to consider keeping him over Isom, despite the latter's right knee injury. But that injury could make Stanley a viable candidate for the practice squad. S Erik Totten: Totten had a team-high eight tackles in Thursday's preseason finale against San Diego, but it was the tackles he missed in that game that sealed his fate. Totten's a quick, feisty player who likes to hit, but his wildly inconsistent play gave him little chance to stick at safety. With Dwaine Carpenter nursing a left knee injury, Totten could get some practice-squad consideration. LB Renauld Williams: He was clearly outplayed in the final exhibition game by Saleem Rasheed, and that might have been the determining factor in the close battle between those two for a roster berth as the team's seventh linebacker. Williams, however, had a strong summer before fading in that last preseason game - when he didn't record a tackle on defense - and could be heard from again on this team, particularly if he's offered a spot on the practice squad, which is possible. K Kirk Yliniemi: The Oregon State product did just about everything he could have done this summer, impressing coaches during training camp and making all three of his field goals - from 36, 38 and 44 yards out - and all three of his PAT attempts during the preseason. But after the horror the Niners experienced with young kickers last year, they weren't about to go into this season with a rookie at the position.
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