The 49ers signed CB Dre Bly this week after losing starting CB Walt Harris to a minicamp ACL injury. Here are some thoughts on the Harris injury and on how Bly fits in by the bay. You can see how the Harris injury compares to the rest of the league’s minicamp injury carnage in this post, and we’ll compare this moves to other post-draft moves next week.
10 – CB Walt Harris, 49ers – Harris, a 13-year veteran, tore the ACL in his right knee in minicamp and will miss the season. The former Bears first-round pick has 15 interceptions in his three seasons as a 49er and has started all but two games the past two years. In fact, he has 35 career picks, and he started at least 12 games in all but one of his 13 seasons. (He served as a regular nickelback in that campaign.) Harris provided veteran wile for the 49ers, and it will be missed. It will be too bad if this is how Harris’ solid if unspectacular career ends.
The 49ers replaced Harris with Dre Bly, another veteran who has been a long-term starter in Denver, Detroit, and St. Louis and has 40 career interceptions and Pro Bowl nods in ’03 and ’04.. Bly isn’t as big as Harris, and he’s more of a gambler, but he will provide the expertise and veteran play that San Fran needs across from Nate Clements. Bly is also three years younger, and so while he’s not in his prime anymore, he’s not that far past it. It will be interesting to see if Bly’s ball-hawking style fits Mike Singletary’s approach as well as Harris’ more physical play did. But given how late in free agency Harris’ injury happened, Bly is about the best option the 49ers could have come up with. They needed corner help badly, and they got it in this veteran.