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Biggest Shock? Defensive Line Play

I would say that I've been most surprised this year by the play of our defensive line. Now, I already knew that we had a pretty good player in Justin Smith. His impressive play so far this season has not been a surprise.

But Ray McDonald? Aubrayo Franklin? Isaac Sopoaga? Kentwan Balmer?

I mean -- people -- I'm not all that far removed from seeing posts where poor Isaac's name was tortured into such meanings as "Suckoaga." Remember that? Now the dude is just a BEAST on the line. Did you see him completely destroying double-team efforts against Minny? And Franklin? How much room did the supposed "best running back in the NFL" get up the middle last weekend? How about none?

Time and time again I saw AP traverse the line -- looking for an opening -- only to be met by the likes of Bam Bam, laying down the Lawson, etc. He got loose ONCE. Just ONCE people. That's pretty darn impressive.

I haven't seen a 49er defensive line play this well since the glory days of Bill Walsh. Not George Seifert mind you -- but the venerable one -- Walsh. That was a long time ago kids. Think Michael Carter.

So -- what's the deal here? Are the kids finally beginning to come into their own? Is it the presence of Tomsula as the DL Coach? Motivation by Singletary? A combination of all three?

I know our pass rush isn't all that great -- YET -- but so far I'd have to rate the D-Line play as ABSOLUTELY STELLAR.

Question is? How did this happen?
[ Edited by billbird2111 on Sep 29, 2009 at 1:16 PM ]
I think it has a lot to do with Training Camp with Sing. Having his mindset the whole off season, the Dline is rubbing off on him
No more coach suit. He knew the X's and O's but had no sense of game management nor did he have any leadership qualities. The guys straight up despised his ways.

Sing is more of a players coach who can lead. He is fiery, intense, and made those guys work their buts off in practice. It is showing up on the field. Its not a coincidence that our guys are manhandling people after the most brutal camp in the league. Camp Sing really whipped em into shape!
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.
I completely agree that our defensive line is playing great! Hope they continue to play at this level.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

My point exactly. The thing is -- they're ALL playing at a level we've never seen before.

Same names -- just different results entirely.

Perhaps it was coaching.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

He was playing better towards the end of last season as well. Do we really need another NT? I think Franklin has stepped up.
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!
I agree, the DLine has impressed me thus far this season. They have been getting pressure and haven't really been dominated like they have in the past.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

Franklin is a big part of it.

Soap has always been good against the run, its just that now the defense is more simplified, and his skills are more apparent.

Balmer is playing solid and making some plays.

McDonald is a beast. Wow, I thought he was done, because of the knee, but he is playing better than ever. He is another big asset for our pass rush.

Oh ya, and one other thing...

Justin Smith is not a "pretty good" player.

Justin Smith is playing as well as any other D-lineman in the NFL right now.

He bullrushes his man into the pocket most of the time, he stuffs the run, and gets tons of pressure.

He is the MVP of our defense.
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Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

Unless he's the BPA, I never take a safety that high over a franchise QB, DL, OLB (3-4), OT or WR. Let Seattle make that mistake.
Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

How can he not cover squat?

He has an INT, and I think he was the one who broke up the pass that fell right into Spencer's hands.

Teams aren't completing a whole lot of passes deep on us, or in the middle of the field.

We need to spend that top 5 Carolina pick on the best offensive tackle on the board.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

Yup...him and Ice have improved dramatically!!! Now the question is can they stay consistent throughout the season.
True that gotta give them there props they have surprised me.