There wasn’t a better linebacker tandem in the National Football League in 2011 than San Francisco 49ers inside ‘backers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
It’s hard to dispute such a notion, but if you go off of last year’s All-Pro selections, you’d have to choose the San Francisco duo, who both earned first-team selections at inside linebacker.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah agreed with All-Pro voters, naming Willis and Bowman among his top defensive duos in the league today.
“The 49ers’ defense is in great hands,” Jeremiah wrote. “These are arguably the two best inside linebackers in the entire league. They combined for 240 tackles last season and both guys were named to the All-Pro team.”
However, with the 49ers concluding their second Organized Team Activity on Wednesday, much of the media attention went towards members of the offense and not the dominant defenders. Quarterback Alex Smith was asked about the passing game’s development heading into a full offseason with the 49ers coaching staff.
Smith’s comments on the aerial attack and more OTA headlines can be found after the jump.
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee offers a rundown of Wednesday’s second OTA session of the 2012 offseason. Barrows: “The entire 49ers squad met for the first time this week, giving them a nearly three-month head start on where they were last season. But that doesn’t mean the pace of life at 49ers headquarters has become leisurely. In fact, it’s just as urgent as last year.”
Barrows also shares Smith’s comments on the 49ers quarterback not placing a huge value on 300-yard passing games. Smith: “This is the honest truth, I could absolutely care less about yards per game. I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what, you’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half and, yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That’s great. You’re not winning, though.”
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com also shares his notes from the second OTA session, which includes Jim Harbaugh reiterating his stance on Michael Crabtree’s hands being the best he’s ever seen.
Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com shares the inspiring story of 49ers offensive linemen Garrett Chisolm’s challenging path to the NFL. Lynch: “In the fall of 2010, South Carolina guard Garrett Chisolm’s named was called on Senior Day, but he strode to the field alone, clutching a photograph in his hands. Chisolm parents passed away in a nine-month span that year – his mother, Purcella, died of ovarian cancer in January, his father, Garrett Sr., followed in September, succumbing to lung cancer. Chisolm stood on his own that day with a framed photo of his parents serving as a memory.”
SB Nation continues to share footage from last weekend’s NFLPA Rookie Premiere event, first-round pick A.J. Jenkins can be seen in the end of the clip showcasing his artistic talents.
TWEET ABOUT IT
49ers wideout Joe Hastings has joined the Twitter party.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Garrett Chisolm, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Hastings, Joe Staley, Michael Crabtree, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis
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