The 49ers are too familiar with the havoc created by Seattle’s rowdy fan base known as the “12th Man.” But as linebacker Patrick Willis told me Monday afternoon, it’s time to turn the tables on the Seahawks with the support of the 49ers Faithful when the two sides meet this Sunday at Candlestick Park.
“We’re going to need our fans big-time,” Willis said a day after the 49ers dropped to 4-8, two games out of first place with four left to play. “Good or bad, don’t give up on us until the season is done and we’re out of it. We have faithful fans. We know we’re not proud of where we are now and we certainly wish we could be in a better situation than where we are now.
“We got four games to finish strong. We’ll see what happens, but continue to be behind us.”
Beyond the 12th man, the 49ers haven’t named their 11th man on the offensive side of the ball yet.
Mike Singletary said he had yet to determine which quarterback named Smith would start in the crucial divisional contest against a 6-6 Seahawks club.
Asked who he was leaning towards, Singletary said he was leaning towards Seattle.
But surely, the 49ers will support whoever gets the nod. Players have confidence in each quarterback on the roster, have had success with them and trust that the coaching staff will pick the signal caller who gives the team the best chance to win on Sunday.
“We gotta practice Wednesday, so we’ll know who is the starting quarterback based on the reps that they take,” tight end Vernon Davis wisely said.
“I believe in both of those guys. Whoever we go with, it’ll be the right decision.”
Singletary said he would meet with the coaching staff to make the final determination and as Davis put it, everyone should know the decision come Wednesday.
“We’re spending time looking at the film and really making sure that we’re accurate on the things that we see, but it is week-to-week,” Singletary said. “The thing that I’ve said all along is that I want to go with the quarterback that I feel gives us the best chance to win. And that is a week-to-week thing.”
Notes and Quotes
It’s normally Willis who leads the 49ers in tackles on a weekly basis. But there are times when the three-time Pro Bowler is outdone by a teammate here or there, and it just so happened that one of those occasions took place in Sunday’s loss. Takeo Spikes registered a career-high 17 tackles, including six in the first quarter and three on the Packers first three plays from scrimmage. The vintage Spikes performance was certainly appreciated by Willis.
“Spike-dog, man, once again I can never say enough about him. He truly makes my game better. When I see him making plays, I get excited to know I have somebody besides me like that. Somebody I can count on, somebody I know who is going to do his job well and also make me better.”
That includes in-game coaching.
“He’ll speak to me when he see things and when he sees that I can do something better, he’ll let me know.
“I remember a play yesterday, I over-read it too fast and got my feet out from underneath me. And he said, ‘Pat, keep your pads down.’ And I said, ‘You’re right. I appreciate that, I got you.’”
Linebacker Ahmad Brooks registered 2.0 sacks in his first career start with the 49ers and said his preparation paid off when Parys Haralson was ruled inactive with an ankle injury. “I prepared myself throughout the week to go out and fill his shoes and try to help the team win.” If Brooks goes back to a sub role, he’s purely focused on doing what necessary to win the team’s four remaining games. “Every game we play is crucial. It’s do or die for us. We have to win right now.”
Rookie right tackle Anthony Davis is not a boisterous individual by any means. On the field however, he’s a physical player, one who is never afraid to throw his body around. He doesn’t speak in long-winded offerings either. It’s simple statements usually about getting better and working hard. Davis has done all those things this year.
You can tell the focus has paid off. Davis has put together back-to-back solid performances against Pro Bowl caliber players in Darnell Dockett and Clay Matthews holding them, or blocking them, to zero sacks.
More than attention that comes with postgame articles or television interviews, the postgame handshake with an opponent is an indication of true respect.
And after Davis and Matthews battled it out on a cold Sunday in Green Bay, the two exchanged pleasantries in a positive manner as players from both teams greeted on the field after the game. Davis had earned Matthews’ respect for good reason. He’s terrorized opposing tackles this season to the tune of a league-high 11.5 sacks.
Holding him without one should be recognized, it’s the fourth time in 11 games that it has happened this season.
“I take my hat off to that group,” Singletary said of Davis and the rest of the 49ers offensive linemen. “I think they continue to get better and bond as a group.”
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Alex Smith, Anthony Davis, Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Troy Smith, Vernon Davis
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