SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Rookie quarterback LaMichael James may get his first chance to play Sunday when the 49ers meet the Dolphins at Candlestick.
James, the NCAA rushing yards per game leader at Oregon last year, has been on the 53-man roster all season, but hasn’t made the 46-man activation list yet.
“I’m surprised it’s taken this long,” Madden told the KCBS morning crew. Primary backup running back Kendall Hunter was injured two weeks ago and is sidelined for the season. Madden said patience and blocking are two skills rookie running backs need to develop for NFL play.
“Slow to the hole, let it develop,” Madden said. “Slow to the hole and fast through it. That’s something that’s hard for some of these guys to learn… (And) they have to block. And number one in blocking is pass protection, because (the defense) can take advantage of you. If you don’t block, can’t block, they can dictate that you have to block. So until a guy is ready to pass protect, they really can’t put him in except for a running play, and then you give it away.”
Madden said the 49ers primary running back, Frank Gore, excels in all areas.
“He’s a complete player,” the former coach said. “He’s one of the guys that’s a little underrated because they don’t have enough adjectives to go around for all the players, and sometimes he doesn’t get his share.” (7:30)
Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.
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