A few days ago, San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary said he had a pretty good idea which players would likely end up on his 53-man roster. As a result, he didn't bother to wait until Saturday to make his final cuts, releasing 22 on Friday, including special teams leader Michael Robinson.
Interestingly, third quarterback Nate Davis was spared after Singletary said he would be a topic of conversation among coaches following Thursday night's preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. There was a possibility the team might just carry two quarterbacks.
"The ultimate conclusion comes down to here's a guy who's working at it," Singletary said. "I think he understands more now the degree he has to work in terms of becoming an NFL quarterback. I think in the offseason he was thinking, ‘This is OK. I've got time.'
"I think now he understands that ‘I've got to get this thing down. I really have to have control of this offense.' We're going to give him time to do so."
Here's the complete list of the 49ers' roster cuts:
Offense: QB Jarrett Brown, RB Michael Robinson, FB Brit Miller, FB Jehuu Caulcrick, WR Jason Hill, WR Bobby Guillory, WR Kevin Jurovich, TE Tony Curtis, TE Joe Jon Finley, C Cody Wallace, G Brian de la Puente, T Matt Kopa.
Special teams: K Shane Andrus.
Singletary said that cutting Robinson, who was drafted by the 49ers in 2006, was a difficult decision.
"As you can imagine, Mike exemplified lot of character traits you want in team player" he said. "But in terms of why, Kurt (Schottenheimer, special teams coach) and I talked about it and it came down to a decision based on productivity in terms of how much does he actually play on the offensive side of the ball. We just could not fit him in."
Singletary said he had three or four candidates who might assume Robinson's role as special teams leader, but he did not name them.
With Wilhelm gone, the 49ers are left with just three inside linebackers – starters Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes and rookie NaVorro Bowman. But Singletary, who said Wilhelm did not fit the team's identity, indicated he would look to add a fourth player to the group eventually.
"That's not a position where we're just going to leave it like it is," he said.
Of note is the fact the 49ers kept their entire 2010 draft class: tackle Anthony Davis, guard Mike Iupati (both starters), safety Taylor Mays, Bowman, running back Anthony Dixon, tight end Nate Byham, wide receiver Kyle Williams and cornerback Phillip Adams.