When the 49ers traveled to Philadelphia to face the Eagles last December, coach Andy Reid knew he was matched up against a good team.
And as his squad prepares to come to San Francisco this weekend, Reid believes the 49ers team they will play Sunday is even better than the one they saw nearly 10 months ago.
“They play aggressive football, very similar to the personality of their head coach” Reid said during his Wednesday conference call with the Bay Area media. “They’re tough. They fly around on defense and make plays.”
And two guys on the defense who have been making a lot of plays this season are starting cornerbacks Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer.
Both are physical cornerbacks known for their tough play and great instincts on the field. But they will be facing DeSean Jackson and the rest of Philadelphia’s receiving corps, a group known for its speed and big-play ability.
While Jackson acknowledged those perceptions during his conference call, the third-year wide receiver said those aren’t things he is concerned with heading into Sunday night.
“It doesn’t matter what type of defenders are guarding me,” Jackson said. “Whoever it is, I have to go out there and compete against the guys and do things like that. I look forward to every opportunity being the competitor I am.”
While Jackson isn’t worried about the type of cornerbacks he will be facing, he is concerned with is his team’s record. He said the Eagles are “desperate for a win” after falling to 2-2 last week, and he’d like to come back to the Bay Area, where he played collegiately at Cal, to right the ship.
“I’m just ready to come back and play in front of my home state and just go out there and get a win,” he said.
Jackson has had success in two contests against the 49ers (six receptions for 98 yards in 2008, six receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in 2009), but one player he’s yet to face professionally is rookie starting safety Taylor Mays.
Jackson remembers facing Mays when the two were Pac-10 rivals as “a big guy who has some speed.”
But one member of the 49ers roster Jackson and the rest of the Eagles know very well is running back Brian Westbrook.
Westbrook spent the first the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia, and Reid said releasing him this offseason was a very tough decision.
“Brian is one of my all-time favorite players,” he said, “maybe one of the smartest player I’ve coached, and so talented.”
Tags: Brian Westbrook, Nate Clements, Shawntae Spencer, Taylor Mays
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