Cox will not be needed as much against Lions

September 13, 2012, 8:59 pm
Share This Post

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers face offenses in the first two weeks of the season that share similar pass-first philosophies.But it does not mean the 49ers will employ the same kind of defense Sunday at Candlestick Park against the Detroit Lions that they used Week 1 at Green Bay.The Packers handed the ball off to a running back just nine times in 62 plays against the 49ers. Detroit's main running back, Kevin Smith, had 13 rushes while Matthew Stafford dropped back to pass 49 times in a 27-23 victory over St. Louis.
"They have similar personnel groupings and similar talent," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "So there is some carryover."But the 49ers will not have to spend much time preparing to face a four-wideout set. Green Bay's third-receiver, James Jones, played 62-percent of the time against the 49ers. The Packers' fourth receiver, Randall Cobb, was on the field for 38 percent of the snaps.In comparison, the Lions used their third receiver, Titus Young, on only 40 percent of Detroit's Week 1 offensive plays against the St. Louis Rams. Calvin Johnson was on the field for every snap, and fellow wide receiver Nate Burleson played 80 percent of the time.Chris Culliver, the 49ers' third cornerback, played 90 percent of the snaps against the Packers. He figures to again see a lot of action against the Lions.Perrish Cox, the 49ers' fourth cornerback, was in on 76-percent of the plays. Cox mostly replaced linebacker Patrick Willis in the 49ers' "dime" defense, which calls for six defensive backs. This week, Cox figures to see a dramatic reduction in play time, as the Lions will use two tight ends as much as they play three wide receivers."I just prepare for the most and prepare for the best, the most difficult," Cox said. "If it is less reps it'll be more just going all out and give it 100 percent and do whatever I can."Last week, Cox matched up mostly against Cobb, who lined up in the backfield. Cobb caught all nine passes from Aaron Rodgers that came his way, but he averaged just 8.6 yards per reception."He did well," Fangio said of Cox. "He played a lot of plays. He did a good job. There were things he could've done better and, hopefully, will do better."Cox said he could have been more physical with Cobb. Also, Cox overran a couple tackles out of habit from playing cornerback."I'm used to, at the corner position, rallying to the ball and cutting everything back in to my help," Cox said. "But (in that defense) I am the linebacker. I am the inside help."