Sept. 9, 2011
49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEO
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."