Originally posted by NCommand:
So true. With Aldon starting this year over Justin, teams will be forced to keep in extra blockers and swing linemen to that side (sound familiar Niner fans?) - this bodes VERY well for an already strong secondary. And THAT will also finally take away the double-teams from Brooks. Brooks/J.Smith were doubled all last year and had huge years anyhow. If McDonald stays healthy, Brooks and McDonald could have MONSTER years and I wouldn't be surprised to see Sopoaga one-gap penetrate more inside given all the attention the Smith's may get. We did a tremendous job collapsing the pocket from the outside but we need that NT to blow up the QB's step-up area too. When a QB can't step up, THAT'S when big plays happen (strips, big hits, INT's, knock-down passes, etc.). We already know Bowman is a pretty natural pass rusher and even Willis was great at penetrating and disrupting the QB on inside blitzes.
But really, this year will come down to health, backups such as Cam, Grant, etc. and equally important, scheme by Fangio. Now with a full offseason to install additional levels of pressure and coverage schemes, will Fangio take that next step (this has been in-question throughout his career)?
Either way, Fangio has ALL the talent to lead one of the best defenses ever and they have a VERY sour taste left over from last season. Guys like Justin Smith, Brooks, Willis and many others were already working out two days after the NFCCG. They want this...don't underestimate heart!
BTW: Thanks for the video highlights!
Aldon Starting over Justin? You mean next to him, right? Parys is the one who's going to lose snaps.
That said, I think our pass rush is going to get better. Amazingly, our coverage teams look to be improved as well..which provides for more coverage sacks. I expect that we will have more sacks but fewer turnovers this season.
Overall, I think our defense has improved and if our offense improves as much as I think it might, they'll be on the field even less..which means everyone is fresh. Could very well end up with the stingiest defense in the NFL next season.