I guess I’ll never be a Defensive Coordinator

I prognosticated in our season preview that the Niners would primarily play a 3-4 defense this year, with, and I quote, “their great linebacking talent.”  I saw Lawson, Spikes, Willis, Ulbrich, Haralson,  Banta-Cain, and Roderick Green being this phalanx of bodies that would be chasing opposing QB’s all over the field. Ah………………..wrong!  The Niners seemed to have settled on the  4-3, with Smith, Franklin, Sopoaga and McDonald, backed up by some combination of Lawson, Spikes, Willis and Haralson. 4-3, 3-4……who cares, neither is putting any real and consistent pressure on opposing QB’s. Zero sacks against New Orleans, and not many more in the three games before that.  The lack of pressure was especially evident against the Saints when the Niners were facing a real high powered signal caller for the first time this season. Drew Brees stood virtually un-touched the entire game and dropped 363 passing yards and 3 TD’s on the Niners. Brees also just barely missed a 4th TD pass, an 81 yard completion to Devery Henderson on a 3rd down and 13 yards to go play, when Nate Clements finally coralled Henderson on the Niners 2 yard line. On the opposing side of the ball, New Orleans sacked J.T. O’Sullivan 6 times, and must have chased him out of the pocket more times than we have fingers. We all knew this stretch with the Saints, Patriots, Eagles and Giants would really be brutal, and especially brutal if the Niners could not put some degree of pressure on Messrs. Brees, Brady, McNabb and Manning, and keep the opposing defenses from man handling JTO. Even though they won’t be facing the esteemed Mr. Brady, they had sure in the heck better come up with something new and different defensively, and figure out how to block the tidal wave of rushers that will be coming after JTO’s pelt in their next three games, or the result could be every bit as painful as the Saints game was. And this was a Saints team missing two of their top three receivers.



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