The Arizona Cardinals have strived for increased balance on offense, seeking to add a potent running game to complement an already impressive passing attack.
Linebacker Patrick Willis doesn’t see this Monday night playing out like the Cardinals may hope.
“We know they’re going to throw the ball and they’re going to try to run the ball,” Willis said. “We’re not worried about them running the ball. They will not run the ball on us. We’re not worried about that, but we will have to stop their pass.”
The 49ers defense did just that in Week 1 when they intercepted Kurt Warner twice and held him to just 26 of 44 passing.
“We made plays when we were supposed to and we made plays for ourselves,” Willis recalled. “That’s what we’re going to have to do this week.”
The 49ers should be well prepared this Monday after having what Willis called a very focused week of practice. While the team’s playoff chances may be slim, the Pro Bowl linebacker has been pleased with what he’s seen from his teammates despite the circumstances.
“At 5-7, we go out there and work our tails off,” Willis said. “Other 5-7 teams probably hang it up and work on next year. We’ve had a great week of practice. It gets to the point where you also have to play for pride. We’re better players than that and we have more character than that.”
Staley on the Mend
Joe Staley is listed as questionable on the injury report after going through his first week of practice since Week 8.
“I think it’s going to be decided on game day or tomorrow,” Staley said about whether not he will suit up against the Cardinals.
Sitting out for the last five weeks has been difficult for Staley, who’s not accustomed to watching from the sidelines.
“Of course I’m anxious,” Staley said. “But I’m not going to be dumb about it. I’m going to be smart and make a good decision. I’m not going to risk it to the team, trying to be a tough guy. But if it feels good and I want to be out there, I’m going to be out there.”
Tags: Joe Staley, Patrick Willis
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