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Has the Pass Rush improved enough from last season?

  • thl408
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The 49ers did well in improving their Dline depth, but I'm not so sure they did much to improve the pass rushing talent for the 13-14 season. It will still be the Smith Bros doing the heavy lifting. The improvement to the pass rush is in the freshness of those two players in the 4th quarter. Is that a fair assessment? Below is how I see the improvement in the pass rushing talent a little lacking. I would have liked a little more in terms of an extra veteran body being able to get after the QB.

- Swap Sopoaga for Ian Williams: pass rush ability improvement from 'nothing' to 'something'
- Swap RJF for Dorsey: big improvement in run stopping, but lateral move in terms of pass rushing; fresher Justin
- Parys Haralson returns: fresher Aldon
- Tank: unknown; may contribute midseason coming back from major surgery, but must face an uphill start as a rook
- RayMac: has leveled off and should be consistent from last season
- Lemonier: unknown
- Brooks: might take an upswing in development. More likely to stay consistent with last year.
- Aldon: natural upswing in development

A fresher Aldon and Justin will no doubt help the pass rush, but the pass rush talent itself will be on par with last season. Seymour, Abraham, and vets like them were who I was hoping they could have added. Instead, the 49ers may again have the fate of the pass rush still lay heavily on the Smith Bros and that's risky.

Many fans wanted to add bodies to the Dline mix, but what's really been done is replacing (Soap for Ian, RJF for Dorsey), then adding two rookies, one of which can't help yet. Do you think more should have been done to acquire a proven pass rusher? Please don't take this as a rant post. This is just, what I feel, should be a legit concern going into the season.
  • Buchy
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I think we will be fine.

I think Lemonier is going to show some good rushing ability and I suspect he will be key as the season goes on - if he can generate some pressure it may help keep Aldon fresh, particularly if we're a few scores ahead.

We have Haralson to spell Aldon and I think Dorsey and Williams will be significant upgrades on RJF and Sopoaga, I expect more pressure from Williams just from the camp reports.

Tank when he is finally fit could be a significant upgrade in terms of keeping Justin Smith fresh towards the end of the seaons - but I think his involvment this season might be minimal if any.
[ Edited by Buchy on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:55 AM ]
  • mayo49
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Aldon and Cowboy are coming back healthy. We'll be alright.
  • Buchy
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I also should have said we can expect Dial back at some point and I quite like any DL with a streak of nastiness!
[ Edited by Buchy on Aug 8, 2013 at 5:21 AM ]
I think our pass rush will be strong like prior to Justin, Aldon, and Dobbs getting hurt.

The NT position will likely be a wash, as far as interior rush from Sopo/RJF to Ian/Dorsey.... could be a little better.

What we really did is add much better depth players. Lem will be a very good asset in pass rush, should Brooks fall to injury. The battle between Okoye, Dobbs, and the eventual insertion of Tank will net us a very good and developing DE backup for Justin or Ray, if needed. Dorsey adds real versatility and should be much better in a 1-gap setting. Cam Johnson has apparently shown some progress outside, and will battle vet Haralson and Skuta.

I think we did well in addressing issues.

What I truly hope for is to see our secondary play more aggressively. More bump-n-run with Rogers outside at LCB and Aso at RCB... (when Brown kicks inside to NCB).. What often kills our pass rush is when Fangio dials up some soft cover 4 zone where the CBs play 10 yards off their man. That gives up so much underneath for the QB to quick hit and neutralize our pass rush.

Now that we have this strong-armed, splash play QB with the 50+ ys bombs and Cunningham legs... let's take more chances on defense.. with the understanding that if the opposition scores quickly on a big play? So what? We can answer back quickly.
thl408--Premise of your post seems muddy to me. You say the two rookies are unknown, then conclude the pass rush will be the same, which does not follow a logical track.

Here are your points:

  • Middle: A wash.
  • Rookies: Tank and Lemonier (maybe Dial down the road) are unknown.
  • Health: Justin and Aldon are healthy and will be fresher.

That seems to lead to a logical conclusion that the 9er pass rush will be better by a lot or a little depending on the rookies and the luck of health.

My counter points:

  • CK is a much more quick strike QB and will bring the defense back onto the field faster. Depth is key to withstanding this we saw last season, it wears down the DL. Depth is now greater.
  • Haralson may bring a great deal of stability to the rotation that was missing last year.
  • The two rookies seem to be best attacking, which should be useful in pass rush situations, but will hurt run defense (if Tank sees the field at all this year).
  • I believe Soap was better than many believe and will be missed when playing against teams with power in the middle of the OLine.
Deapth is what hurt last season. That has been addressed. So yes I think it will improve.
i think biggest thing is that everyone is healthy. rotating the Dline and keeping everyone fresh should help. also i could see them rotate Lemonier in as a situational rusher ala Aldon in 2011.
The DL depth is critically important to the pass rush...Justin Smith alluded to it. He likes what he's seeing from Williams, Dobbs, Tukuafu and the rest. With him healthy again (he most likely won't play tonight, but that's no biggee), Aldon should pick up where he left off before messing up his shoulder. The x factor could be Lemonier...he's got the skills to provide more of a pass rush from the other side. The DL is the key to it all, though...and the stronger that group is, the better. I see Dorsey as a key newcomer...because he's versatile, can play in the middle or at DE. Williams has made great strides...which is great to see. So, for me, the answer is yes, I see the pass rush getting back to 2011-vintage, possibly better.

Don't know that it has improved. We'll just have to wait and see. It seems they have more guys on the roster from starters to backups, that can get to the qb consistently if they rotate with the front 7 and not worried about too much drop off.
  • buck
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With Parys Haralson, Cam Johnson, and Corey Lemonier we will have better depth at OLB.

That should reduce the number of snaps played by Aldon and Brooks and less snaps should make them better at the end of the season.

I believe that Ian Williams and Glen Dorsey will be able to penetrate on passing plays, so they should give us more of a inside pass rush.
More pass rush on the inside will allow Willis and Bowman to be more effective in blitz packages on passing downs.

Dorsey can become the swing defensive end. If Dorsey can take some snaps from J Smith and McDonald, it will keep them fresher.

We will have to see how long it takes Carradine to recover from his ACL surgery.
If I remember correctly, he had his surgery in November. If that is true, he probably will not play much in September and October.

Justin and Aldon will be, or should be, back to full strength.

Overall, I think the pass rush improves.
[ Edited by buck on Aug 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM ]
The depth alone should keep the starters fresh as they get later in the season, as long as Justin is near last years level. Dorsey, Parys, Lemonier are all improvements at their respective depth charts from last year.
How is signing Dorsey and drafting d line not trying to improve the pass rush?
Too early to tell, gotta wait for the games to start
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