49ers' sixth-round pick Jason Slowey among cuts
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)
Rookie center Jason Slowey was among the 12 players cut Monday by the San Francisco 49ers as they trimmed their roster to 75.
Slowey, a sixth-round draft pick out of Western Oregon, struggled to make an impact during training camp for the reigning NFC West champions and was waived. In addition, San Francisco placed running back Jewel Hampton on the non-football Injury list and linebacker Darius Fleming on the physically unable to perform list. Neither is eligible to return to practice until at least the Tuesday after the completion of Week 6 games.
Also cut Monday were fullback Cameron Bell, outside linebacker Kourtnei Brown, defensive tackles Patrick Butrym and Matthew Masifilo, wide receivers Ben Hannula, Joe Hastings and Brian Tyms, cornerbacks Cory Nelms and Deante' Purvis, tight end Joe Sawyer and kicker Giorgio Tavecchio.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said the 49ers would consider some of the players released for this year's practice squad.
''Obviously at this time of the camp you have to let some guys go,'' Fangio said. ''Sometimes we don't want to, we think they're young guys who have some potential. We'll look into some of them potentially as practice squad players or maybe to bring back next offseason when you start signing players in February or guys to keep on in case you have some injuries.''
On Friday, the Niners (No. 4 in the AP Pro32) must make another round of cuts to finalize their 53-man roster ahead of the season opener Sept. 9 at Green Bay. San Francisco's last preseason game is Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers at Candlestick Park.
Everybody is eager to start the season - with high expectations of reaching the Super Bowl after last season's near miss.
''The guys are ready to go, that's for sure ... ,'' Fangio said. ''This is still a great time to learn, perfect your craft, excel in your technique. We have to be able to do that, and we weren't perfect on that the other night by any means.''
Cornerback Tramaine Brock is among those players considered on the bubble to make the team after he struggled to defend the Broncos in the Niners' 29-24 exhibition win at Denver on Sunday night. San Francisco has depth in the secondary, with starting cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown and capable backups in Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver.
''He's got a little hand injury that he's fighting through but nothing that should affect him a great deal,'' Fangio said of Brock. ''He's played better.''
The 25-year-old Hastings was active for only the final regular-season game of 2011, a 34-27 victory at St. Louis. His presence provided depth after Braylon Edwards was released and wideouts Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams dealt with injuries.
The coaches will make more critical evaluations in the coming days.
Fangio said playing time for Thursday night for the defense would be ''more so on an individual basis than on a unit basis.''
Yet Fangio would like to see some things cleaned up in the preseason finale after a frustrating performance by San Francisco's D against Denver. The 49ers fell behind 17-0 in the first quarter before rallying to win, outscoring the Broncos' backups 19-0 after halftime.
While the 49ers brought all 11 defensive starters back from 2011, Fangio said it was the backups who also had problems and he was ''particularly disappointed'' with some of their performances.
''It was just nothing special,'' he said, noting his players might not have been as well prepared as they would be game-planning for the regular season. ''You're still disappointed in the results because all the defenses we played yesterday are things that we'll carry into each and every game.''
Linebacker Aldon Smith understands Fangio's disappointment and insists the defense is ready to get to the games that count.
''It is preseason and you're figuring a lot of things out,'' Smith said. ''Every game's not going to be the best you may hope for. We've come a long way and we've still got a long way to go. I'm optimistic about it and I think we'll be fine. I think we're ready to go.''
Notes: Ginn moved slowly through the locker room with a walking boot on his right foot Monday after hurting his ankle early in the second half Sunday. He didn't comment when asked when he might return. ... DE/TE Demarcus Dobbs was on crutches Monday with his left leg wrapped. .
Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL