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Biggest Niner Story for Me -- Where Did the Secondary Come From?

I think the defense is playing really well this year, and I suppose that's not a surprising statement - or wouldn't be at the beginning of the year. What is surprising is that this isn't due to the front 7, but rather the secondary.

In 2011 -- our defense was at it's peak, with the front 7 dominating (1 or 2 rushing TDs all year, no 100 yd rushers for many many games in a row, etc.). The Smith brothers terrorized the passers, and the twins in the middle of the field dominated the run. Justin Smith was the best player in the NFL, Aldon was the most exciting defender, and McDonald and Brooks were more than holding their own--they were dominating quite often as well. The secondary benefited greatly and resulted in career seasons for Goldson, Whitner and Rogers. Brown continued his solid play and rookie Chris Culliver flashed (huge game against CJ).

In 2012 -- the defense was still just as fierce, but as the season wore on, obvious holes were noticed in the secondary. Whitner's play dropped of, Rogers regressed back to solid but not great, and Culliver didn't develop quite to the level that we hoped. Goldson made splash plays but got exposed far too many times. Brown continued his solid play.

By the time the 2013 Playoffs rolled around, our secondary was getting torched regularly, and the weakness was discovered in our defense. It was already the weakest link.

In the 2013 Offseason we lost Goldson to FA, Culliver to season ending injury. We failed to use any early picks on a CB, and traded up for a FS who very few were excited about, and no one had pegged as a anything but a downgrade from Goldson.

The outlook for the 2013 secondary was weak. The start of the season didn't disappoint. Nnamdi got regularly beat, with Rodgers, Wilson and Luck picking him apart. The rest of the group did not hold up much better. Well, Brown continued his solid play. Perish Cox was looking to be a liability for the second year in a row. But then the secondary started to Gel. Knocking down passes, picking the ball off, returning turnovers deep (or all the way into) the opponents territory. Brock is the obvious surprise, along with Reid who is playing at an unbelievable level and is a major upgrade so far. Whitner got hit with a few bad calls early, but ever since he's continued to have the best season of his career. Brown is continuing his solid play, while Cox has been mostly quite. Currently Rogers is the weakest link. This secondary is covering, creating turnovers, stripping the ball, hitting hard and picking up the slack while the DL deals with injuries, the LB group waits for Aldon to return and Willis to heal, and offense is trying to find it's stride.

With all the things working against this secondary, for this to be the group helping us win right now, is the biggest story from the first 7 games for me.
Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, and an injured Jake Locker.
Originally posted by verb1der:
Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, and an injured Jake Locker.

Dont forget Aaron rodgers .
Originally posted by verb1der:
Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, and an injured Jake Locker.

Wilson didn't do much at home against this defense for much of the game. Luck , same story.

If the offense scored some points, they would have shut down those guys too.

Only Rodgers had a big game against us.
Yeah, my biggest f**king concern going into this season has pulled a complete 180, who f**king knew that when you matched Termaine Brock up properly as a starter (instead of a nickel), he'd be a f**king beast? -Dude is cashing in his opportunities, he's f**king ball-hawking like every play, every f**king play Brock looks like he's been in the film room.

We've forced a turnover in the air in four straight games (and 6/7 of them), that Pesky Luck was the only one to get by us, but that's nothing to be ashamed of.
A couple of thoughts on this.

I think the Super Bowl was embarrassing for them. They were better than that and they know it so it's motivation to fuel the fire. They're sending a message that Seattle is not the only secondary that can ball, and they have what it takes to close the season out big.

The competition is probably the biggest factor. CR and TB are both playing for a contract, and they know it. TB is looking for a pay day and CR is trying to keep his job. You inject in Wright, Asomugha, Morris, and Cooper into the secondary. You have Cox and Brock at the bottom of the ladder so one of them needed to put up or get out hence Brocks ridiculous performance these past 4 games.

Let's be honest we're thick the position.

The last factor that may have flipped the secondary is coaching. I've never seen them play so aggressively. It used to be the hit but now they're going after the INT or trying to strip the ball and it's wonderful. I have always veiwing the DB/WR matchup as a contest to see who's going to get drained first, and right now it's not the Niners. I think the coaches have asked them to play more physical before the catch and definitely after the catch.

The silly thing is once Aldon and Tank get in the mix the pass rush is going to force QB's into bad throws, and that's when things will really get interesting.

I'm staring to think we need to reconsider Browns extension. If we can get him for around 5mil a year why not? He has been a shut down corner, and I don't seem him dropping off like Rogers. We could use Rogers cap space to make it work. It would really give us solidarity at the position.
[ Edited by eonblue on Oct 22, 2013 at 12:14 AM ]
Simple. Eric Reid. Okay, maybe not that simple but Reid has done a phenomenal job at safety, I mean he has been nothing short of outstanding and if you watch him out on the field, a lot of the time he's orchestrating the defense, pointing stuff out to guys, getting them in position, etc. He's also been terrific in coverage so it has to be a confidence boost knowing he's back there and is seldom out of position. He's far more intelligent, seems to have far more awareness than Goldson did. Reid has taken a huge amount of responsibility and has run with it, its no accident that all of a sudden Whitner is playing well, that Brock looks good...etc. I think the corners individually have played well but Reid is the glue helping to put it all together.


Secondaries tend to flow together, when the safeties are doing their job, the corners tend to look better...etc. I've always thought that Earl Thomas is a huge reason why Seattle has been successful and he allows their guys to be more aggressive and makes players like Browner look better than they really are.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Oct 22, 2013 at 12:24 AM ]
Reid + Brock.


Makes up for a lot of stuff.
Imagine if Cully were healthy. Cully would have put Rogers on the bench by now.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Simple. Eric Reid. Okay, maybe not that simple but Reid has done a phenomenal job at safety, I mean he has been nothing short of outstanding and if you watch him out on the field, a lot of the time he's orchestrating the defense, pointing stuff out to guys, getting them in position, etc. He's also been terrific in coverage so it has to be a confidence boost knowing he's back there and is seldom out of position. He's far more intelligent, seems to have far more awareness than Goldson did. Reid has taken a huge amount of responsibility and has run with it, its no accident that all of a sudden Whitner is playing well, that Brock looks good...etc. I think the corners individually have played well but Reid is the glue helping to put it all together.


Secondaries tend to flow together, when the safeties are doing their job, the corners tend to look better...etc. I've always thought that Earl Thomas is a huge reason why Seattle has been successful and he allows their guys to be more aggressive and makes players like Browner look better than they really are.

I was soooo wrong about this kid its not even funny. Hes a stud.
Originally posted by verb1der:
Sam Bradford, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, and an injured Jake Locker.


This is exactly what I said last year. We ended the season playing a lot of top quarterbacks. That makes a huge difference.

However, I will say that I think Reid and Brock have improved our secondary significantly.
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
I was soooo wrong about this kid its not even funny. Hes a stud.

You and your damn Phillip Thomas and his broken ass. Reid is good but he's no Jonathan Cyprien.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
I was soooo wrong about this kid its not even funny. Hes a stud.

You and your damn Phillip Thomas and his broken ass. Reid is good but he's no Jonathan Cyprien.

To be fair, i did have us drafting JJ Wilcox in the Third, which looks like it would have been a solid pick had it played out that way. Safety is a tough position for me to evaluate. I loved Thomas LOL.
[ Edited by IdahoNiner on Oct 22, 2013 at 12:49 AM ]
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
To be fair, i did have us drafting JJ Wilcox in the Third, which looks like it would have been a solid pick had it played out that way. Safety is a tough position for me to evaluate. I loved Thomas LOL.

http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/nfl-draft/172367-phoenix49ers-updated-mock-draft/search=phoenix49ers


I had 2 right



Some of the other guys I was interested in though......... Harper was definitely one, still holding out hope he winds up back with the 49ers on the practice squad possibly.
  • Buchy
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 768
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Simple. Eric Reid. Okay, maybe not that simple but Reid has done a phenomenal job at safety, I mean he has been nothing short of outstanding and if you watch him out on the field, a lot of the time he's orchestrating the defense, pointing stuff out to guys, getting them in position, etc. He's also been terrific in coverage so it has to be a confidence boost knowing he's back there and is seldom out of position. He's far more intelligent, seems to have far more awareness than Goldson did. Reid has taken a huge amount of responsibility and has run with it, its no accident that all of a sudden Whitner is playing well, that Brock looks good...etc. I think the corners individually have played well but Reid is the glue helping to put it all together.


Secondaries tend to flow together, when the safeties are doing their job, the corners tend to look better...etc. I've always thought that Earl Thomas is a huge reason why Seattle has been successful and he allows their guys to be more aggressive and makes players like Browner look better than they really are.

This.

I saw the thread title and was going to say the same thing. Goldson was out for Goldson, he wanted the highlight reel hits for a big payday and it left our CB's feeling exposed.

Reid is scary good, he's a ball hawk but more importantly he's a general on the field. The CB's know they're gonna get help, and as you pointed out (and Whitner keeps raving about), he's obviously a film room buff and he's telling the CB's where to cover. That pick 6 against Arizona for T Brock was down to Reid, you see him talking to and directing Brock on the pre-snap.

He should also be credited with that 2nd interception against Green Bay - that was a free play for Rodgers and if he'd completed it the TD would have stood for them and it would have been a different ball game.
[ Edited by Buchy on Oct 22, 2013 at 1:00 AM ]