The San Francisco 49ers are seeing the fruits from their 2011 draft class on a weekly basis. First-round pick Aldon Smith leads the NFL with 17.5 sacks and is already set the NFL’s record for most sacks in consecutive seasons to start a career. Second-round pick Colin Kaepernick has been elevated to the team’s starting quarterback in recent weeks and third-round selection Chris Culliver stands out as San Francisco’s No. 3 cornerback.
In regards to Culliver, the young defensive back chosen out of South Carolina has thrived in the role he’s held for consecutive seasons. With the 49ers, Culliver often finds himself matching up against some of the league’s top perimeter weapons. Culliver discussed those challenges as well as his own development in 49ers.com’s latest Niner Talk podcast.
The 49ers cornerback with two interceptions on the season said a lot of his confidence comes from the fun he has playing the game. In the interview, the former South Carolina Gamecock explains the story behind his “Cully in the house” nickname, plus his favorite TV shows and the best dishes he can cook in the kitchen.
For the Miami Dolphins perspective, we welcomed Jesse Agler, host of Dolphins.com’s “Finsiders” online programming, to hear his thoughts on Miami’s offensive line situation and the keys to beating the 49ers on the road.
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.
[:40 – Culliver’s story on how “Cully in the house” was born.]
“It started from when I was in college. It was me and a couple guys, and we used to make fun of it with a couple guys in the league now. You’ve got Melvin Ingram, Stephon Gilmore, Alshon Jeffrey – people like that – we kind of came up with, ‘Cully in the house!’ It just factored in to what I do, how I have fun and stuff like that. Every time I do something, people say, ‘Cully in the house!’”
[2:30 – Culliver’s thoughts on his role against multi-receiver sets.]
“Really, it’s fun. For me, coming up as a young player, I just go out there and have fun. There’s a lot of big names out there on the outside and I always come to play, it’s fun out there. I enjoy my time and try to make everything possible out there.”
[6:40 – Agler’s thoughts on rookie tackle Jonathan Martin moving to the left side of the line this week for injured tackle Jake Long.]
“Quite a week to change positions right? He’s going to have to go against one of the best defensive fronts in the National Football League this year. As you guys know out there, (Martin’s) a very smart, capable, offensive tackle. He’s very comfortable on the left side because that’s where he played at Stanford. These (49ers) coaches know him about as well as anybody does, they can probably give a couple of tips to Aldon Smith and whoever else might be against him at any point. It’s a big challenge for Jonathan Martin this week. I know he’s looking forward to it… but it’s definitely not the easiest week to move from right tackle to left tackle.”
[10:50 – Agler’s thoughts on how the Dolphins can disrupt Colin Kaepernick’s production.]
“It’ll be interesting to see because they’ve been really good against the run this year defensively. Against New England the other day, they had the one drive where the Patriots just shoved it down their throats and basically clinched the game. Outside of that, they were really good against the run this season. With Kaepernick, it’s not just turn around and hand off to Frank Gore anymore, which is kind of what (Miami’s defense has) shown themselves to be good at stopping this year. So it’ll be very interesting to see. They’ve got a lot of pieces up front on the defensive line, subbing a lot up front. They’ve got some interesting kind of guys who can play multiple positions.”
Tags: Aldon Smith, Chris Culliver, Colin Kaepernick
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