The San Francisco 49ers (3-2) got a face-lift today as they plan to bring back one of their own in S Bubba Ventrone. A special-teams ace who made the Pro Bowl back in 2010 while with the Cleveland Browns, Ventrone’s presence instantly upgrades the unit.
A player that is built like a rock leading some to believe he’s “pound-for-pound” the strongest guy on the team, he’s also one of the fastest as he’s routinely seen being the first one downfield. So why did the 49ers bring back yet another special-teams ace? Because the special-teams wasn’t anything special, as I tweeted:
#49ers bring back special-teams ace S Bubba Ventrone! Smart move considering ST hasn’t been anything “special” thus far.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) October 8, 2014
A roster move that was questioned from the start as the 49ers cut three special-teams aces including WR Kassim Osgood and FS C.J. Spillman to make room for younger talent like S L.J. McCray and CB Dontae Johnson, the special-teams unit suffered as a result and thus needed some veteran leadership. Through four games, the 49ers rank near the bottom in kickoff coverage, as they given up 23.9 yards per return while also allowing an average of 14.8 yards per punt return, tying with the Dolphins for dead-last in that category.
According to Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, the 49ers have yet to finalize the deal as they haven’t submitted the official paperwork to the league office. A decision that will be needing to come sooner rather than later, the 49ers will need to waive someone off the 53-man roster and my guess would be QB Josh Johnson as he’s been inactive in all five games thus far.