49er beat writer Matt Barrows said the question has been posed to him a number of times whether RB Anthony Dixon can/will overtake Glen Coffee for the role of No. 2 running back.
I don't think so, at least not at the start of the season. A rookie running back may dazzle when he has the ball in his hands, but whether he gets playing time depends on how quickly he can learn and master pass blocking. Coffee does this well already while Dixon is just learning. His hamstring injury also means he didn't have a chance to make up any ground in June.
49ers RB Anthony Dixon led the SEC with 1,391 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He could become the 49ers' short-yardage back. He'll definitely be in competition with Glen Coffee for the right to enter games when Frank Gore needs a breather. Or maybe the 49ers will be more proactive about giving Gore a break from time to time. "Jimmy (Raye) cannot wait to get his hands on him," Singletary said. "When you're trying to close out a game, that's the kind of guy you want in the fourth quarter. When you're closing out a game, that's what you want."