Originally posted by m_brockalexander:
It's the secondary, plain and simple. First, we need 1 or 2 cover corners at the minimum. Rodgers and Culliver were exposed so many times during the playoffs, it was sickening. Second, is Goldson the answer at Free Safety? He can hit, but he didn't create turnovers like he did last year. Third, Whitner has to go. Great in the box safety on run downs, but horrendous in pass coverage. That has to be the focus, with some front seven help for the pass rush (d linemen and OLB).
I disagree about 150%.
It is all about the pass rush, the pass rush, the pass rush, the pass rush.
Culliver was one of the better ranked coverage guys in the NFL this year. Rogers slipped and Brown has never been anything special but Culliver has been solid all year long. The problem that comes into play is when you give a quarterback as much time as the 49ers have given to guys like Ryan and Flacco. They'll pick apart any cornerback, hell, Ryan made Richard Sherman look silly because he had forever in the pocket. They do need another cornerback to develop for the future, but it is ALL about the defensive line.
In this league you can have great corners and still be a s**t team. The biggest impact is your defensive line and this is where the 49ers fall short. They NEED an NT that collapses the pocket and requires multiple blockers, they need DE depth to rotate in and give guys like Justin a breather and eventually take over for him, they need OLB depth to rotate out Aldon, so he doesn't have to play every single down and get worn down by years end.
People will react to this game by assuming cornerback is the issue when it is far from it. The 49ers defensive troubles really started right around the time that Justin Smith got injured, after which they were unable to generate any sort of consistent pass rush. They need to upgrade defensive depth to have a steady supply of pass-rushers, much like the Giants do.
In regards to the safeties, I have no disagreement there. Goldson should be a SS and Whitner shouldn't be on the team. Buffalo made no effort to re-sign him and 49ers fans are now seeing why. As great as he is at hitting, he's been targeted more and toasted more than any other defensive back on the 49ers. Teams know that he is the weak link and they will continue to attack his side of the field, every single game.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Feb 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM ]