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49ers ‘D’ Ready For Stiff Test

Posted by Alex Espinoza on September 4, 2012 – 2:41 PM

For their first real test of the 2012 season, the 49ers get the tall order of Aaron Rodgers and the explosive Green Bay offense.

Rodgers led the Packers to a 15-1 record last season behind one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, but the 49ers were equally as dominant on the defensive side of the ball. Consider the Packers and 49ers claimed the top two seeds in the NFC last season, and it all adds up to one of most anticipated season openers in recent memory for both teams.

San Francisco has started game-planning for Green Bay in earnest this week, knowing the potential of Rodgers and the arsenal at his fingertips.

“(Rodgers) commands a lot out of his guys and his guys definitely go out there and lay it on the line for him,” linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “They just do a great job with utilizing their weapons and Aaron’s on the same page with his receivers.  As a defense, we have to go out there and play a full 60 minutes and know that they can score at any time. We have to be ready for anything.”

For the first time in his career, Bowman won’t be lining up alongside Parys Haralson, who was placed on Injured Reserve this week with an undisclosed arm injury. But in the “next man up” culture of football, Bowman sees it as an opportunity for another member of the 49ers to rise to the occasion.

Rising star Aldon Smith, who was in competition with Haralson for the starting spot at outside linebacker, is expected to step into the starting role on Sunday. Smith burst on the scene with a 49ers franchise rookie record of 14 sacks last year and has been honing his skill as a run-stuffer this offseason as he grows into his every-down role.

“It hurts us because we’re used to playing with Parys so much and him being in the game,” Bowman said. “But it’s a chance for another young guy to step up and fill in a role. We have a lot of great guys, a lot of great athletes and I’m sure whoever’s up next will do a great job.”

Haralson’s strength was setting the edge on his side of the field and funneling the action back to the All-Pro tandem of inside linebackers of Bowman and Patrick Willis. Haralson started 47 of the past 48 regular season games and will be missed, but the 49ers have also brought in veteran Clark Haggans to help bolster the position.

Haggans spent the first eight years of his career in Pittsburgh and the last four seasons with NFC West foe Arizona. The 35-year-old veteran said he noticed the physical nature of the 49ers defense last year and that he’s looking forward to contributing. Bowman is also grateful to add a player with Haggans’ experience to an already talented defense.

“Obviously, the coaches think highly of him,” Bowman said. “Us as players, we’re excited to see what he brings to the table for us.”

The 49ers will need to be at the top of their game to slow down Rodgers this weekend. Green Bay returns an impressive group of receivers that includes Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver. The Packers also feature one of football’s most talented tight ends in Jermichael Finley, who figures to give the 49ers linebackers an early test in pass coverage.

“We go up against one of the best tight ends in the league on our team in Vernon Davis,” Bowman said. “(Finley) has got the hype around him and I’m excited to play against him and see what happens.”

It’s always tough to slow down an offense as potent as Green Bay’s, but Bowman said the key will be to keep Rodgers on his toes. After all, Rodgers threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns last year en route to being named league MVP.

“We just have to throw different things at him and play a whole 60 minutes,” Bowman said. “Not get complacent when something goes good for us and not get down on ourselves when something goes bad. We just have to keep playing throughout the game and see where it falls.”

Posted in Announcements | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “49ers ‘D’ Ready For Stiff Test”

  1. By NinerFanFrmTonga on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Goooo NIners. This game is going to be just awesome. Niners are going to come out on top. Rogers is a great QB, but he will be reduced to be one sided against our D. That will be his downfall. Goooo NIners,

  2. By ace on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    or maybe the headline should read are the packers ready for a stiff test ? cuz are defense is like a weapon being pointed at you, lets get some sacks,int’s , a forced fumble,a safety,oh yeah and a touchdown, swallow that cheeseheads, go niners !!

  3. By Montana2Rice4Ever on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Ain’t that the truth. No mention at all of how their 15-1 record was lucky enough to not have to face us one time last year. Their already shoddy ground game will be like the Minnesota game a few years ago when we held them to negative yards, and Rodgers will have no choice but to play around with the spider-web that is our secondary when we don’t even have to crowd the box. I LOVE everybody thinking this is going to be a blowout. It’s going to be a statement, my fellow faithful, and that statement is “who’s next!”

  4. By niner fan on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    I think that are defense will stop there already bad run unit. then we can work on the deep ball which will be hard but we can do it then are offence will defiantly be on top against there defense. Just go put Joe Staley on Clay Mathews if he tries to bits. SHUT DOWN

  5. By MILLER on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    I’m so pumped for this game, I’m going to have a hard time sleeping this week!!!!
    Go Niners……….you can do it!!!
    What a good game!!

  6. By ace on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    yeah packers choked after 15-1 season ouch,ur right,they wont fool us running which leeds to us taking the ball away, when we know they wanna throw, the pack might just really choke this year,cuz they seem kinda predictable we’ll see,LETS GO NINERS LETS GO !!!

  7. By Josh on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    The Niners defense and the Packers offense is gonna be a good matchup, but the Packers defense isnt any better than last year which sucked so we should be good!!!

  8. By jerrysucks on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    SUPERBOWL lately?

  9. By Tobyzang on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Green Bay’s winning ways at the start of the season have carried over into matchups with San Francisco, too. The Packers have won eight straight contests over the 49ers, including 13 of the last 14 meetings, including playoffs.

  10. By cheeseheadzone on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    This has the potential to be a great opening game. The 49er- Giants game for the NFC was one of the best, most fun to watch games in recent memory. I hope this game is as good! cheeseheadzone.com

  11. By Tbax on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Not sure how you choke after a 15-1 season when the loss comes to the champs. I don’t think anyone choked the year before when the Pack got hot at the right time and made their run. Its hard to understand the postings when your team was trying to get a QB, now that they lost out suddenly Smith was your man all along. Both teams tried to up grade their weaknesses. I don’t think Moss was the answer but time will tell. Very solid D but with Smith playing not to suck and just survive you will not make a deep run or get out of GB with a win. Hope to see all the BS comments here after the game when it blows up in your face.

  12. By SGTRodC. on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Go Niners! What a great matchup Offense / Defense to start our season..49ers NFC Champs 2012

  13. By N9er4LIFE on Sep 7, 2012 | Reply

    Fellow 49er & 49erETTEs…

    GOOD LUCK TO OUR BELOVED “DEFENSE” and may THEY BRING THE HOUSE DOWN in GREENBAY WISCONSIN for all the PAST LOSSES we’ve EXPERIENCED there…and IN A ROW…times have NOW CHANGED and we now have “the 2nd COMING of the WESTCOAST OFFENSE (FULLY Re-VISED)” that’s about to be UNLEASHED & SHOWN FOR ALL TO sQQeeee (with their OWN EYEZZZZ)…~~~!!!

    The “TIME HAS COME”…the waiting is almost over and the clock is still ticking, till the OFFICIAL START of OUR BELOVED 49ers KICKOFF towards the ULTIMATE GOAL…Da SB !!!

    FIRE UP your GRILLS, TURN-ON your STOVES, order your TO-GO’s, FILL UP da ICE CHESTS & REFRIGERATORS with VARIOUS BEVERAGES (with your FAVORITE BEERS of course), and put up the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign for those not of the 49ers FOOTBALL SAVVY interests….and TURN-ON them 19in-100in FLAT SCREENS for the “SHOW IS ABOUT TO BEGIN”….WooooooHOOOOOOOOOO

  14. By Harbaughs Hostages on Sep 8, 2012 | Reply

    This is a response to Tbax:
    The Packs havent seen a “D” like ours. If you give Rodgers the field he will kill you however tomorrow evening I plan on celebrating the win for the the team with a better coaching staff, more character, & that old blue collar work ethic which will be the NINERS!!

  15. By Les on Sep 9, 2012 | Reply

    Fantastic win all the way around. Go Niners.

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