With Alex Smith under pressure, Kendall Hunter improvised and found a soft spot in the Eagles' defense. The resulting catch-and-run gained 44 yards and the coaches attention.
We made a big deal of that in the meeting when the unit was watching the film, head coach Jim Harbaugh said. That was them. Id love to stand up here and say that was something we coached, but that was those two guys being football players making a play.
The rookie has had nine carries and two receptions in each of the last two games, including the 49ers only touchdown in the win over the Bengals, and is likely to see more playing time regardless of Frank Gore's injury status.
Thats very possible, Harbaugh said. Its all part of the game plan week to week. But as far as Kendall, he has done very well. Hes graded out very well in his position. Last week worked with Alex on the scramble play to make a big play in the ballgame. So hes making the most of his opportunities.
O-LINE ACCOLATES: Harbaugh commended the 49ers' blocking in the final two drives in the win over the Eagles.
The timing was there, the angles were there, the pad level was right, Harbaugh said. And also Frank had taken the mental reps during practice and fit right into the scheme without taking a rep. Pretty impressive.
Harbaugh started Adam Snyder at right guard over Chilo Rachal, but Rachal was in at right guard and Snyder as a tight end on Gore's 12-yard go ahead touchdown run. On the next possession when Gore carried five times to pick up two first downs and run out the clock, Rachal and Snyder were both on the field for four of those plays.
Not wanting to start a right guard controversy Harbaugh is reluctant to say who will start at right guard this week against the Bucs.
In some form or fashion, thats all part of the game plan and how you implement the guys there, Harbaugh said. But definitely in a similar form or fashion going forward there.
WITHOUT TUAKUAFU: With defensive tackle Will Tuakuafu on the injured reserve, Harbaugh says either Demarcus Dobbs or Ian Williams will be active this Sunday against Tampa Bay. Both were signed as undrafted free agent rookies and have not been active for any of the 4 games this season.