Rookie Watch: 49ers Ronald Blair Approves Transformer Nickname, John Theus Suffers Concussion


While all the talk today will most certainly be surrounding talented but yet controversial San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, I had the opportunity to talk to some of the rookies during open locker room period.

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Starting with 2016 fifth-round pick (No. 145) OT John Theus, many Forever Faithful were asking me why he hasn’t been playing. Well now we know, as I said early last week that Theus suffered a concussion. “Yeah.” He told me. Theus, who has been wearing a blue non-contact jersey is currently going through the concussion protocol, just like third-year RB Carlos Hyde.

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In other news, I caught up with young but versatile rookie DE Ronald Blair. Among the topics, a potential nickname I tweeted out just minutes before talking to DC Jim O’Neil about Blair’s versatile skill-set. Color analyst Tim Ryan is one of the best in the game, so when he compared Blair to Donald during the preseason, I thought it was noteworthy.

However, Coach O’Neil didn’t want to use comparisons, but did say he was excited about his new toy.

I haven’t seen a 49ers defensive player of Blair’s skill-set, from a versatility standpoint since OLB Julian Peterson. He can play the nose-guard, kick out as three or four technique or standup in a two-point stance as an outside linebacker.

Now granted, Peterson was more of an outside backer who can play multiple spots in the secondary–the comparison here is versatility from a front seven player.

But getting back to Blair, I put out a tweet that Blair’s skill-set mirrored that of a transformer (versatility). I then asked Blair today, if he liked the nickname, “Optimus Prime,” and he said he loved it and that should be his new nickname moving forward!

Move over Megatron, because it appears Optimus Prime has arrived!

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.