The development of defenses in the NFC West has been well-documented this season. But listening to St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, it’s the complex offense which sets the first-place 49ers apart from the other three teams in the division.
In his Wednesday conference call with Bay Area reporters, Fisher heaped praised upon the creative scheme forged by offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers staff.
“I can’t remember having to prepare for an offense that was so well-coached and so diversified in the run game and so talented,” Fisher said. “Then you add the multiplicity of the passing game and (Alex Smith’s) decision-making ability, it’s no surprise to me now that we’ve looked at them closely that they were able to accomplish what they did last year and what’s ahead of them this year.”
Coming from a respected football mind like Fisher, who’s in his first year with the Rams after 16-plus seasons at the helm of the Oilers/Titans franchise, the words shouldn’t be taken lightly.
There are many reasons why the 49ers currently tote the best rushing attack in the NFL (168.6 yards per game). Five of those reasons are on the offensive line. The quintet of Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Alex Boone and Anthony Davis has established itself as one of the best in all of football.
But those five men aren’t the only ones throwing blocks for the 49ers.
“(It’s also) the fullbacks and the tight ends and the receivers as blockers,” Fisher said. “It’s a very, very talented team. They create matchups to favor them. There’s very few weaknesses on the football team, especially on the offensive side, and there’s not mistakes.”
For linebacker James Laurinaitis, preparation for the 49ers has also been unlike any other team the Rams have faced recently.
“As an offense, they’re a really balanced attack,” Laurinaitis said. “And when you have an o-line like that, gosh. They run some weird running plays now. You’ll see some running plays I don’t think I’ve seen since Tecmo Super Bowl.”
Laurinaitis will be sure to keep an eye on Boone Sunday, as the former Ohio state teammates and roommates have some extra motivation to face each other. The Rams’ leading tackler joked about his relationship with Boone to Bay Area reporters on Wednesday, saying he’s looking forward to some good-natured competition.
“Good old Booney,” Laurinaitis said. “I’m excited to be out there talking some junk with him on Sunday, for sure.
Like his coach, Laurinaitis also had plenty of positive things to say about the 49ers and their team-wide success so far in 2012.
“They’re a blueprint for what you want to be as a football team,” Laurinaitis said. “They take the ball away extremely well and they don’t give it away. Anytime you do that consistently, that’s going to be a recipe for success.”
Tags: James Laurinaitis, Jeff Fisher
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