It all starts with Jonathan Goodwin.
The 11-year veteran starts every single offensive play for the San Francisco 49ers. He’s also one of the hardest-working centers in the game. We caught up with the Pro Bowl alternate for this week’s Niner Talk podcast to hear his thoughts on San Francisco’s Week 17 matchup against Arizona with the NFC West title on the line, as well as some of his favorite aspects of family life and his review of 2012.
For the Arizona Cardinals perspective, we welcomed back Darren Urban, lead writer for AZCardinals.com, to hear his thoughts on Arizona’s spoiler role for Sunday, the shuffling of the Cardinals offensive line and key matchups to watch.
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Here are some of the highlights from both interviews.
[1:00 – Goodwin’s thoughts on Sunday’s opportunity to repeat as division champs.]
“That’s all you can ask for, to be able to control your own destiny. There’s a big accomplishment out there if we can get it done. It’s a big accomplishment to do it two years in a row. All our goals are still ahead of us, so it’s about finding a way to get the win.”
[9:50 – Goodwin’s thoughts on his 67 consecutive starts.]
“I definitely want to be out there with my guys every week. The continuity is key for an offensive line and it’s something I take pride in, being out there each and every week. If there’s a way I can be out there, I always want to be out there and help this team and help this o-line produce.
[13:50 – Urban’s thoughts on the Cardinals approaching this game upset-minded.]
“That’s what they’d like to do. After the 4-0 start, it’s been disappointing since then. Do they know potential spoiler-role they have against the 49ers this weekend? Absolutely. That’s something they’re taking into account in terms of motivation. But generally, I think they want to finish the year on a good note. They’d like to win a division game here to wrap things up. They’d like to have a good taste in their mouth as they finish. Last year they not only finished strong in the second half of the season, but they beat the Seahawks in the season finale which meant something to them… I think they’re trying to take that same approach.”
[23:20 – Urban’s biggest storyline for Sunday’s game.]
“The 49ers are going to do their regular gameplan to try and get a win because it’s so important. But looking from afar, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that the 49ers would love to give Aldon Smith a shot at the (NFL) sack record. That is a matchup I’m interested in. (Rookie seventh-round pick Nate) Potter hasn’t practiced yet this week with a bad ankle and if he can’t go, then D’Anthony Batiste might have to go in at left tackle. That’s something to keep an eye on for sure.”
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