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Niner Talk Bonus: Primetime Challenge vs. RGIII

Posted Nov 20, 2013

This week's bonus version of "Niner Talk," looks at how the 49ers are moving on from the loss in New Orleans and on to the challenge of stopping Robert Griffin III on "Monday Night Football."

The 49ers are in for another challenge this week.

San Francisco returns to primetime to defend Robert Griffin III, or better known as "RGIII."

The Washington Redskins quarterback is at the helm of a 3-7 team, but remains as one of the most talked-about signal-callers in the NFL. So while Griffin's team has not reached its full potential in 2013, Griffin's squad still presents a quality matchup for a 49ers team on a current two-game slide.

In this week's bonus round of "Niner Talk," we look at the fallout from the 49ers loss in New Orleans and how the locker room is responding with the upcoming matchup in Washington.

Let's get to your questions...

The team is united. There's no doubt about that. They'll continue to fight for each other. Football is the ultimate team sport and the players certainly haven't lost sight of that. All three phases of the game depend one each other mightily. It's no secret that the 49ers defense has helped the offense tremendously in recent weeks. For the most part, the 49ers offense has made the most of the extra possessions.

San Francisco ranks first inthe NFL by scoring 105 points off of 21 opponent turnovers. The 49ers have converted 19 of those turnovers into 12 touchdowns and seven field goals. In order for the 49ers to pick up a road in Washington, it's going to have to be a solid effort from "The Team, The Team, The Team."

The leaders in the locker room don't like the feeling of a two-game losing streak. It's happened twice now this season, both of which were the first multi-game losing streaks in Jim Harbaugh's tenure in San Francisco. I think the biggest thing we can learn from the Saints loss is simply don’t leave the final outcome of a game to be determined by the officials. Also, the offense needs to take advantage of turnovers by scoring touchdowns against a high-powered offense.

We also learned that Ahmad Brooks is a handful to block right now.

Brooks has three sacks in his past two games and currently leads the 49ers with 6.5 sacks on the year. If Brooks is able to sack "RGIII" on Monday night, the eighth-year linebacker will establish a new single-season career high. Brooks recorded 7 sacks in 2011. The 49ers are working Aldon Smith back into the linebacker rotation and he's yet to record a sack in his past two games. That being said, Brooks has picked up his play with Smith's return.

Brooks' pass-rushing will be under the microscope after his controversial hit on Drew Brees. But no matter what, the 49ers will need the edge rush to keep Griffin in the pocket and eliminate his perimeter running lanes.

Monday will be a primetime game for Brooks to showcase his rising play.

Quinton Patton re-joined practice last week, but hasn't been able to do much just yet. The rookie wideout is full of energy in the locker room, just not on the field at the moment. Currently, he's taking a careful approach in rehabbing the foot injury he suffered in a Week 4 win in St. Louis. It came on his only reception of the year.

Jim Harbaugh previously said Patton will be available in the regular season. It's not known when Patton will return. For now, most are focused on the pending comeback of Michael Crabtree, who is "close" to returning, according to Harbaugh.

Way, way too soon to start talking about that. It's great to watch college games on Saturday. There's nothing wrong with taking a peak at some of the best talent in the nation. But as far as evaluating them as being future 49ers, I'd say let’s finish out 2013 before getting into future draft picks. Plus, the draft will be pushed back later 2014. Free agency will begin on March 11 and the draft will be on May 8-10. A lot can change before the draft even takes place.

I'm often asked about this and my best advice is to write every day. If you're really passionate about writing, be an active writer. Also, I would pursue internships. If those aren't available, volunteer. Providing extra help can always open doors. It can also be a great experience builder.


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