I think you are basing your opinion on the very bad Niner team of last year. In the last month of 2003 when Barlow finally became the featured back ahead of Hearst, he excelled. In that month, Barlow rushed for 433 yards and 4 tds. As far as him not being able to catch the ball, he caught for 163 yards and a td during this time period. Even sharing the load, his yards from scrimmage were over 1300 yards and he scored 7 tds for the year. Those are stats that any featured back would kill to achieve. The only knock on him at that time was that he fumbled too much. That was a fair criticism. Everyone knows he fumbles, but the coaching staff was willing to overlook it because of his natural ability to run the ball. Put any rb in his situation last year, and that back would fail. The reason he failed last year is because the Niners let their best players on the OL leave via free agency.