Vikings Vs. Niners Preview: Five Questions With Niner Noise
By Dan Zinski
September 16, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh yells towards the field during action against the Detroit Lions in the first quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Lions 27-19. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
FanSided 49ers blogger Eric Melendez of Niner Noise was nice enough to answer my five dopey questions about the 49ers, including an incredibly rude one about Jim Harbaugh:
Q: The Niners appear to be the best team in the league right now. Solid across the board. But if they do have a weakness, what is it?
A: The 49ers do have a weakness, however you will not find it in any of the starters, but on the bench. The offense and defense have tremendous depth but the 49ers are thin at outside linebacker and on the defensive line. With backup OLB Clark Haggans suspended for three games the 49ers had to re-sign Eric Bakhtiari who was released by the 49ers before the season and has only played in 3 games since 2008. On the defensive line Ricky Jean Francois is only backup with extensive experience on the bench. The defense will need to stay healthy at outside linebacker and defensive line to keep this weakness in check.
Q: If you were the opponent how would you attack that Niner defense?
A: The best way to attack the Niner defense is to run Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart constantly, even if they gain just a few yards at a time. If the Vikings can run the football successfully it will to draw the defenders in and allow Percy Harvin and the other receivers to get open to move down the field. Easier said, then done.
Q: Talk about Alex Smith’s development over the past couple of years.
A: The two biggest things to happen to Alex Smith since 2011 is confidence and continuity. Smith has always had the confidence in himself, he just never had the confidence of his head coach. Jim Harbaugh changed all of that by believing in Smith to be his quarterback and giving him the knowledge on how to be successful at QB. Harbaugh brought in Greg Roman to serve as offensive coordinator who is not only a brilliant player caller, but someone Harbaugh knows well from their days at Stanford. Another important aspect of Smith’s development is, last season and this season, he finally has formidable weapons on offense which he lacked severely in his first six seasons.
Q: Much has been made of Randy Moss’s limited snaps. Is he a relevant part of this team or could you see him getting cut at some point this season?
A: Moss has limited snaps now but that will increase as the season goes on. He has been valuable already to the 49ers during by mentoring and setting examples on how to prepare for a game for the 49ers young receivers including Michael Crabtree. This might not sound like the Moss Vikings fans are used to, but one example is Moss asked Harbaugh what he could do for the team after he signed with the 49ers. Harbaugh asked for him to sit in the front row at offensive meetings and the other receivers followed his direction. That might sound trivial but Niner fans have seen a difference with Crabtree’s play so far this season. Moss is not causing any problems for the 49ers. He has shown he can still make plays and defenses have to account for him which has been an asset for the 49ers offense. He will finish the season as a Niner.
Q: Jim Harbaugh is a giant douche. Agree or disagree?
A: Ha, I am going to disagree with you on that one. Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record, an NFC west title and the NFC Championship game, while the Vikings went 3-13 and watched the playoffs from home. This season Harbaugh has led the 49ers to victories over the Packers and Lions, two teams the Vikings got swept by last season.
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