'Ruthless' Fangio expected to turn up heat on Seattle


'Ruthless' Fangio expected to turn up heat on Seattle

Sept. 9, 2011


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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has watched film and spoken this week to people who have first-hand knowledge of 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.One of those players is Seahawks rookie cornerback Richard Sherman, who played under Fangio at Stanford last season. And Sherman's report on Fangio is something that nobody could've known by watching the 49ers during the exhibition season.
"He's ruthless, the way he calls defenses," Sherman said, as reported by The Seattle Times.The 49ers' defense was basic during the exhibition season, as the 49ers did little more than the occasional stunt and most basic blitzes. But this week Fangio streamlined his plan of attack specifically for Sunday's game against Seattle."Obviously when you're playing your first real opponent in a real game, things get tapered down a little bit," Fangio said. "We're into game-planning. We've been practicing a lot of stuff. Players won't be expected to know as much this week as they were last week because we were putting in a lot of stuff and just piling it on them from week to week to week and never setting in."Whereas now when you're in a game week, we'll have a shorter list of what they're expected to learn, and we'll try to zero in on what we want to play against the Seahawks."Especially with an offensive line in flux, the Seahawks figure that Fangio will turn up the pressure on Sunday. The 49ers figure to challenge Jackson, who started just one game the past two seasons as Brett Favre's backup with the Minnesota Vikings.
"You want to treat every game like a blitz drill until they don't blitz, especially from a guy known for blitzing a bringing pressure," Jackson said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "We haven't seen a lot of it in the preseason, but we're pretty sure they'll have a couple wrinkles in there that they have prepared for us and scouted for us."And the first guy Jackson figures to keep an eye on is 49ers' linebacker Patrick Willis, a four-time Pro Bowl player who worked more on his pass-rush technique during camp this summer.
"He's one of the top playmakers in the NFL," Jackson said. "He can run around. There aren't too many things he can't do out there. Any guy on defense who is the kind of player he is you have to keep your eye out for him. Because he's so close to the line of scrimmage, he's one of the guys you want to identify first."

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”