When the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s season opener, there will be plenty of unknowns on both sides of the ball. For one, coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff will be making their 49ers debuts, while Seattle will take the field with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson for the first time.
That’s not to say the two teams – especially the two head coaches – are unfamiliar with one another.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll and Harbaugh squared off in recent years as the coaches of Southern California and Stanford, respectively. The two famously shared some words following a contest in 2009, something Carroll was quick to joke about.
“I want to see a lot of boom (microphones) when we’re talking out there, OK?” Carroll said during Wednesday’s conference call with the Bay Area media.
Jokes aside, Carroll said he’s looking forward to the matchup with one of his old foes.
“I watched him play when he was playing in the league and as a matter of fact coached against him a couple times when he was playing,” Carroll said. “I’ve always had great respect for him as a tough guy and a competitor and all that good stuff. “
Jackson followed offensive coordinator Darrell Bevel from Minnesota to Seattle this offseason and has benefitted from the familiarity of the system. Though the 49ers don’t know exactly what to expect from the Seahawks offense, they have been watching old film of the Vikings with Jackson under center. Likewise, the Seahawks have watched film of the 49ers preseason and past Stanford teams for an idea of what to expect on Sunday.
“It’s going to be hard to tell exactly what they’re going to do,” Jackson said. “Are they going to go back to the Stanford stuff or are they going to do the stuff that they showed in preseason? We’re just going to try to study both and be ready for anything they give us.”
When discussing his upcoming opponent, Jackson singled out 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and safety Donte Whitner as two players he’ll keep tabs on.
“(Willis) is one of the playmakers on defense in the NFL,” Jackson said. “He can run around, there’s not too many things he can’t do out there. … I played against Donte last year, he’s a solid player. He’s always around the football so you want to make sure you keep an eye out for that guy.”
Posted in Announcements | 14 Comments »