Observation deck: Strong coverage plan

Cornerback Nate Clements should be a very good addition in a division featuring some big targets at wide receiver, writes John Clayton.

Originally Published: August 11, 2007
By John Clayton |
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Five observations from San Francisco 49ers training camp, gleaned from the team's practices:

1. No secondary concerns
Nate Clements may not have the speed of Champ Bailey, but he's a great addition as a No. 1 cornerback. His ability to read a route and break on the ball is exceptional. He may be vulnerable to receivers with great downfield speed, but how many will he really face? He is the perfect cornerback for the NFC West, a division loaded with talented receivers, but few breakaway threats. Clements is a complete cornerback partly because he is a good tackler. His size (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) is important in a division featuring Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. With Clements, Walt Harris and Shawntae Spencer, the 49ers should match up well against three-receiver sets, another staple of the NFC West. Michael Lewis is a big safety with speed who adds more athleticism to the secondary.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer