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Morris hoping to make mark at nickel CB

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Last year, simply making the San Francisco 49ers' roster was a significant accomplishment for Darryl Morris.

This year, the goal is to get on the field for significant playing time on defense.

The undrafted rookie cornerback went from the practice squad to the 53-man roster to being a big part of the special teams as a rookie. Now, Morris is trying to take the next step: Being a nickel cornerback.

Morris is getting practice time in the slot. He has a chance to be in the rotation.

"He's a smart guy. He's fast. He's tough," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Morris. "So, he's got some good intangibles along those ways. He just has to learn to play the position and all the nuances that go at that, which is a tall order for him coming from a small school, just making the team, making the practice squad and then being called up is a major victory. And now to ask him to take this next step, we'll see how he does with it. And he's made slow but steady progress through the offseason."

Morris has been studying tape of Carlos Rogers from last season to help get accustomed to his new duties. He played a more traditional cornerback role in college at Texas State.

"There's differences, like angles and things," Morris said. "It's an adjustment, but I think it's an opportunity and I want to continue to work at in training camp."