Bruce Miller has been an active, yet almost forgotten, contributor to the success of the San Francisco 49ers’ second-ranked rushing attack.
The second-year fullback (who converted to his position after being an acclaimed college pass-rushing defensive lineman) continues to create rushing lanes for 49ers all-time leading rusher Frank Gore. In last week’s 13-6 win over Seattle, Miller helped Gore pick up 131 yards in a winning effort.
Miller received media attention this week in the form of an appearance on our latest Niner Talk podcast. The 49ers fullback discussed his relationship with Gore, as well as the details he’s working in year two under running backs coach Tom Rathman. Miller also talked Halloween costumes, his favorite Halloween candy and more. Joe Staley even made a cameo during the costume discussion.
For the Arizona perspective, AZCardinals.com writer Darren Urban offered his takes on Arizona’s rivalry with San Francisco, the passing connection of John Skelton and Larry Fitzgerald and more insight into Monday’s game.
Click here to listen to the Niner Talk podcast, which is also available on our 49ers Gameday live App.
Here are some of the highlights from both interviews.
[:50–Miller’s thoughts on Monday’s matchup with Arizona.]
“I’m just excited. Anytime you have a chance to play on a national stage like, ‘Monday Night Football, it’s definitely going to be a great game, two great teams going at it. We’re excited about the opportunity.”
[2:00 – Miller’s thoughts on the camaraderie amongst 49ers running backs and blocking for Frank Gore for a second season.]
“It’s been great, we’re starting to build some chemistry in the backfield. We’re really enjoying playing off of each other. I have an idea of what Frank wants to happen and where he wants to go. I feel like we’ve done a great job of playing off of each other. Kendall (Hunter) as well. I’m just fortunate to have two backs back there that I can block for and they can make plays.”
[12:00 –Urban’s thoughts on the San Francisco-Arizona special teams matchup.]
“I do think teams are a lot less likely to kick (Patrick Peterson) the ball. I know in Minnesota they took a slightly different tact where they were basically kicking moon shots that were going only about 35 yards downfield. They were kicking them so short, Patrick was having to run up under them. I know last year in both games against the Cardinals, I thought the 49ers did a great job. Even if Patrick ended up with the ball it wasn’t a great situation for him to be in. I do see Peterson pressing a little bit to make things happen as a punt returner because of all the success he had last year, but there’s no question he’s still very dangerous.”
[14:40 – Urban’s matchup to watch on Monday night. ]
“The Cardinals are giving up a lot of sacks and the 49ers have a very good front-seven and a very good front-four. I think the ability for the Cardinals to block that front-four, to create some running lanes, to run the ball once and awhile, to be able to give John Skelton enough time to throw the ball to (Larry) Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts – I think is going to be crucial. Ultimately, sacks aside, and they’ve given up a lot of sacks, what you don’t want to be for the Cardinals is in a situation where Skelton is forced to make poor decisions because of pressure. That ultimately leads to turnovers and not only is that hurt the Cardinals badly this year when they’ve made ill-timed turnovers, but obviously, that’s what the 49ers feast on. It’s what drives that team, winning the turnover battle and putting teams in bad positions. I think that’s what I’m going to be paying attention to mostly.”
Tags: Bruce Miller, Frank Gore, Joe Staley, Kendall Hunter, Tom Rathman
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