When ESPN cameras showed the 49ers before the start of Monday’s game against Arizona, tears were running down the face of tight end Vernon Davis.
The 49ers emotional leader was rallying his teammates at midfield much like he does every week. But this time was different.
Clearly fired up for the game that was about to take place, the captain implored his teammates to give everything they had in a must-win game and that’s exactly what they did.
Asked about the emotional state of the 49ers heading prior to the team’s 27-6 win, Mike Singletary said he appreciated the passion displayed by his team. To him, intense emotion signifies something much greater.
“When you’re playing the game, I don’t know if you ever played a sport that you really loved, but when you do things that you love, it brings out passion,” the head coach said. “Everybody shows it in different ways.”
Players weren’t available to the media on Tuesday, but Singletary spoke with reporters prior to the big news of the day that was later announced – Frank Gore being placed on IR along with Dominique Zeigler.
At the time of his press conference, Singletary said he didn’t want to speculate on the severity of Gore’s injury. But the coach did say Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon would have an expanded role.
Now it’s clear that the pair of runners will carry the load for the remainder of the season. Singletary said Westbrook’s maturity will serve the team will in the remaining games on the schedule. He did say the team would be careful with how much exposure the nine-year veteran would get. Westbrook’s 136 yards on “Monday Night Football” were the most by any running back in the showcase game this season.
Asked if Dixon’s inexperience at blitz pickup would deter him from playing the rookie, Singletary said the sixth-round pick has improved in that department throughout the season. “We trust him,” Singletary said. “He knows who to pick up.”
With all the attention given the running back situation, Singletary said he was pleased with the quarterback play of Troy Smith. “He did enough to win. To me, that’s the most important thing.”
With a short week of preparation for the 7-4 Green Bay Packers, Singletary will give his players more mental reps this week than normal to recharge.
Singletary said linebacker Parys Haralson (ankle), center David Baas (concussion), and wide receiver Josh Morgan (shoulder) are all day-to-day with their respective injuries.
Tags: Anthony Dixon, Brian Westbrook, Frank Gore, Troy Smith, Vernon Davis
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