Now, we’ll have to add, Prophet, to Hall of Famer, ex. Super Bowl Champ, San Francisco 49er Legend, Steve Young, to his already impressive resume.
At a KNBR interview with Tom Tolbert and Ralph Barbieri, he began ‘to lay it all out’ for us …
He says the Niners will be victorious over the New Orleans Saints. Yes. The Niners will win. That’s right, his words,
“This is the best defense in the league, until I see Drew Brees or Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers do something to this defense that I haven’t seen all year, I’m in.” Wow, it’s written on the walls, Steve Young said it.
But, perhaps Steve is too excited. Actually, the 49ers don’t have the best overall defense, but they do have a few impressive first-notes. This season the 49’ers have only allowed their opponents a meager 71.5 yards on the ground, with an average run of 3.3 yards. It was a grind against the Niners, all year, but the Niners walked away with the first-ranked rush-defense.
Another impressive first-note …when it comes to red-zone defense, the Niners again were best in the league. When inside the twenty, Niner opponents scored a TD only 34.5% percent of the time.
They’re number-one in takeaways, perhaps the most valuable commodity in the league. Also, they’re ranked fourth overall in yards allowed per game, and even hold a number-one offensive ranking: They’re number-one in protecting the ball.
But ‘the real question’ concerning a San Francisco 49er victory is —Can they stop Drew Brees?
Steve Young likes Drew Brees quarterbacking, “I think Drew’s really too good …” Ya …Drew Brees and the Saints seemingly flew across every football Stadium in the league. It was impressive, which left the record-books in tatters, but, were they ever against a D like S.F?
But, it is true, Drew didn’t even look back has he past Dan Marino’s single season passing record, and by several football fields too. Marino, way back then, 27 years ago, threw for 5,084 total yards. Drew Brees smashed that with 5,476 total yards. Drew also broke Peyton Manning’s 2010 record. In 2010, Peyton had 450 completions. Drew broke that by throwing 468 total completions, completing them 71.6 percent of the time.
But, in a very real sense we’re back to square-one: How are we going to stop Drew Brees?
Well …Steve Young answered that too. You have to make life uncomfortable for Brees, of course. When Steve played he said, “Pushing up the middle. It’s Gilbert Brown, the guy who can collapse the pocket where it’s always in your face. You do not want that push in your face (Gilbert Jesse Brown, former nose tackle who played for the Green Bay Packers).
That’s it, that’s the recipe for victory on the ‘Stick’s tundra. And all the ingredients seem to be in place. To make Drew Brees uncomfortable in the pocket, you must collapse the pocket and clog-gaps. Since he’s one of the shortest quarterbacks, at 6 feet tall, and also one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league, I believe ‘gap-clogging’ will be crucial. He drops way back, sometimes ‘holds’ secondary’s, comes forward, and if he needs to, he dances across the pocket, finds his ‘clear line of sight’, and with his quick release, throws through either A (between center and guard) or B gap (between guard and tackle), usually.
So, bring on the Smith’s. Let’s get to some clogging and collapsing. First, let’s get Aldon some more snaps, a lot more. During the 2011 season Aldon Smith didn’t even play half of the 49ers snaps, and still recorded 14 sacks. When the Saints come to ‘Stick’s tundra, he must be on the field much much more, especially if the Saints come with three wide-outs.
So Mr. Aldon Smith will then be clogging any A or B gap he wants, but he especially seems to like the B
gap. And his counter-part, at defensive tackle, and also at defensive end, once again voted into the Pro Bowl, you have Justin Smith, who had 6.5 sacks on the year. He’s assigned any other gaps that present themselves to him.
That’s the Smith family Affair, and now, the abundant help. First, you have Pro Bowler Patrick Willis. He’ll be coming with other gap clogging specialists; Ahmad Brooks, 7 sacks, NaVorro Bowman, Pro Bowler with 2 sacks —to completely turn the lights off on Drew Brees’s passing lanes.
Oh …I almost forgot. The Prophet, Steve Young, has put an actual number on the game — “They’ll figure out a way to keep that score 24 or less.” He says.
Huh? That’s …the perfect number, very Prophet-like? Because —The San Francisco 49ers hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 24 points all year! So …Bring on the Saints! It’s about that number 24 … Steve says …”24,”…