SANTA CLARA — Saturday was a tough day for the 49ers’ coaching staff and players as the team cut the roster to 53 players.
Shortly after the 3 p.m. cuts, head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to the Bay Area media via conference call:
“Well there’s a lot of worthy players, And the thing that’s profound to me was that so many guys improved, so many of the guys were ascending players right up to point of making the final roster.”
The only surprise of the day was undrafted rookie Kevin McDermott unseating 13-year veteran Brian Jennings for the long snapper job.
Jennings was drafted in the seventh-round by the 49ers in 2000 and was selected to two Pro Bowls. The 36-year-old was a classy in his departure, issuing a statement:
“Today, I feel as though I’ve been honorably discharged from the team I love. … God Bless you and God Bless the San Francisco 49ers.”
Most didn’t consider McDermott a threat until recently, and the former UCLA Bruin credited Jennings for helping him adjust to the NFL especially to the elements at Candlestick Park. He also praised special teams coach Brad Seely:
“Coach Seely said this would be a competition, rep for rep, that’s what it was, and he kept his word.”
Harbaugh talked openly about his feelings for Jennings:
“There’s nobody I can say I enjoy more than Brian Jennings. Watching him play, watching him compete, just being around him every single day. … But, yeah, on a personal level that was as tough as it gets.”
Additional cuts of note were QB Seneca Wallace, seventh-round picks tackle Carter Bykowski and cornerback Marcus Cooper, 2012 seventh-round safety Trenton Robinson, and the veteran wide receiver trio of Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins and Kassim Osgood.
There are also multiple reports that the 49ers will add former Stanford fullback/linebacker Owen Maercic — a Harbaugh favorite — who was released by the Cleveland Browns yesterday. If they do, they will have to cut someone from the current 53-man roster.
The 49ers made 22 moves this afternoon to get down to 53 players. Eight players will be invited to the practice squad tomorrow. Those on the reserve lists cannot practice or play during the first six weeks of the season.