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Morning Tailgate: O-Line Impresses Titans Coach

Posted Oct 16, 2013

Tennessee's Mike Munchak, a former NFL offensive lineman, said Wednesday that the 49ers win their games up front, at the line of scrimmage.

When Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak sits down to review the 49ers game tape, he’s left with this thought.

“They’ve gotten back to what they’re really good at,” Munchak said Wednesday morning.

In his mind, that’s running the football behind a powerful offensive line. The numbers bear this belief out: San Francisco has rushed for an average of 182 yards its last three games – all wins – versus an average of 102 yards in its first three contests.

When the 49ers visit the Titans on Sunday for Week 7 of the season, there’s no doubt the war could be decided by the battle at the line of scrimmage. And Munchak, who played 12 seasons at left guard for the Houston Oilers, knows his defensive line is in for a challenge.

“I like their whole group,” Munchak said, singling out left tackle Joe Staley and left guard Mike Iupati. “They use them the right way. They use six lineman at times, they have a lot of three tight-end stuff.

“And they’re big – 300 (pounds), 320, 330, 325. There’s some big men out there. Anyone that’s played the position, especially myself as an offensive lineman, love to watch that type of football, and that’s what we’re trying to develop here."

GALLERY: HISTORY OF 49ERS-TITANS MATCHUP

Jim Harbaugh, Munchak’s coaching counterpart, pointed to the play of the right side of his offensive line most recently, naming tackle Anthony Davis in particular for his effort and execution during San Francisco’s 18-play, Week 6-clinching drive against the Arizona Cardinals. Davis made a "textbook" block on the last play of the possession, which spring Kendall Hunter for a six-yard touchdown.

“Thought he had one of his best games, certainly this year,” Harbaugh said. “Did an outstanding job.”

For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links, presented by State Farm.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee focused on the first practice of Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com said Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner will challenge the 49ers.

Mindi Bach of CSNBayArea.com wrote that Eric Wright’s journey hits close to home.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about the team’s 2012 Draft class.

Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News provided an injury update on Glenn Dorsey.

Taylor Price of 49ers.com covered the return of Mario Manningham.

 

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