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Glenn Dorsey Builds Momentum from 2013 Season

Posted Aug 1, 2014

The San Francisco 49ers nose tackle, who started 13 games last year, has quietly risen through the ranks to become a key cog on the defensive line.


Remember when the San Francisco 49ers had a position battle at nose tackle?

Take a second.

It was last offseason. Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey competed for the right to anchor San Francisco’s 3-4 defensive front. Williams ultimately won the job, but he was lost for the season with a broken ankle in a Week 2 road game against Seattle.

Enter Dorsey.

And by enter, we mean 13 starts in the regular season, three more in the postseason and a solid 2014 offseason. Williams remains on the Physically Unable to Perform List. Dorsey has practiced with the first-team defense in training camp.

“Everything’s been great,” Dorsey said on Friday. “We’re just working hard every day and we’re having a lot of fun doing it.”

A former defensive end with the Kansas City Chiefs, Dorsey has thrived as a nose tackle for the 49ers. He’s also grown accustomed to carrying out his daily assignments, something that presented more of a challenge last season.

“It’s night and day for me,” Dorsey said. “I’m more comfortable. I know the scheme well. I know the technique.

“I’m just enjoying it. I’m trying to work here in camp and hopefully have a good season.”

“Did you know it was his birthday today?” Harbaugh said when I voiced the subject of Dorsey growing into a true nose tackle in year two. “Is that why you asked? Happy birthday, Glenn.”

Harbaugh, still smiling, went into the specifics of Dorsey’s resurgence with San Francisco.

“It’s been A-plus-plus,” the coach said. “What a great thing having him last year and (he) fit in so seamlessly with that talented group of defensive linemen and was a great contributor as a starter for us.”

The 6-foot-1, 297-pound defensive lineman totaled 41 tackles and 2 sacks in the first year of a two-year deal he signed with the 49ers last March.

“He’s a friend and a trusted agent,” Harbaugh said. “I thank him for being good, for being who he is and how he goes about his job. Team guy all the way.”

Dorsey’s play has gone slightly unnoticed due to the teammates around him on the defensive line. Justin Smith (shoulder) has not practice in training camp. Ray McDonald, the other starting defensive tackle, has missed a few sessions with a leg injury. Elsewhere, much of the focus has been on second-year pros Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial taking part in their first training camps after being injured this time last year.

Dorsey is fine flying under the radar. He does, however, enjoy seeing his young teammates develop in the system like he did last year.

“Our whole room has been playing hard,” Dorsey said. “Tony (Jerod-Eddie), Demarcus (Dobbs), Quinton, Tank – they’ve all done a good job. Our room is competing and we’re having fun with it.”

Dorsey’s defensive-line mates might even have a surprise for Dorsey on his 29th birthday.

“I’m sure they have something up their sleeve,” he said, “but it’s all love.

“Hey, I’m just thankful I get to see another year and I get to do what I love to do. That’s a blessing.”