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What to expect from the 49ers Defence in 2010
Posted By Jason Rossi On Aug 12 2010 @ 9:26 pm In San Francisco 49ers | No Comments
To compliment my first blog , let me tell you how I think the 49ers defence will do this year.
It was clear at the end of last year that their defence was their stronger side of the ball. They finished 6th in rushing defence and were tied for 3rd in sacks. The 49ers also have one of the premier middle linebackers in the NFL, in Patrick Willis.
Coming into this season, it was expected that their defence would just get better. But there have been a few snags along the way.
The 49ers defensive line was anchored by Justin Smith who finished with 6 sacks last year. However, defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin is holding out and will not accept the franchise tag the 49ers are giving him, and defensive end Kentwan Balmer left camp on August 10th for what was reported to be “personal reasons” with no further details. For those of you keeping score at home, that leaves 6 defensive ends and 1 defensive tackle.
Moving to the second level, the strength of the 49ers defense is in their linebacking core, lead by Patrick Willis. The total number of linebackers currently in camp is 13. That is a lot of depth, but it is being tested early. On August 5th, the 2nd year player Scott McKillop, who lead the 49ers in special team tackles last year, tore his patellar tendon AND anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The team says it not for sure if he will miss the whole season. Also, OLB Ahmad Brooks, who finished the season with 6 sacks, suffered a lacerated kidney and will be out for 2 weeks. Let’s hope the 49ers head coach, who just happens to be a hall of fame linebacker, Mike Singletary, can make the needed adjustments.
The most questionable of the 49ers defense would be their secondary. They made a great addition by drafting Taylor Mays in the second round (a real steal in my opinion). There has been a lot of critisizism regarding his coverage skills, but he hits like a linebacker, and reports say his coverage skills are improving. With Nate Clements and Shawntee Spencer on the corners, and Dashon Goldson playing free safety, the secondary will begin to firm up and be the backend that the 49ers defense deserves.
While the 49ers defense have encountered some adversity early in camp, I feel confident that they will have one of the premier defenses in the NFL. It will be an adjustment for long time 49ers fans to see them as a defense first team; beating teams in games of attrition and not high scoring shootouts.
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