Playing in his first NFL game action since Jan. 2, 2011, Cox made a conspicuous return to the field in his 49ers debut. The talented cornerback, who signed a two-year deal with the 49ers this offseason, ran with the second-team defense throughout the night but stayed on the field until the end of the game.
He capped off his night in memorable fashion, recording a diving interception on the left sideline with less than three minutes remaining in the game. Cox was all smiles after the contest, but he left the field with much to be desired.
“I’m kind of low-key mad,” Cox said with a laugh. “They came in the huddle and said on that play, if we get a pick or a fumble to stay down. I saw the end zone but I had to stay down.”
While Cox thinks he would have been able to waltz in the end zone for a pick-six, his teammates weren’t so convinced. Upon hearing Cox’s proclamation in the locker room after the game, fellow cornerback
Cox had a fitting introduction to the 49ers Faithful in his first action at Candlestick Park. It was also just the latest chapter in what’s been a warm welcome to his new organization.
“Just to be around the whole environment, it’s back to what I love doing,” Cox said. “They brought me into make plays and that’s just the whole focus. I’ve got a lot of energy built up in me and I’m ready to go out and have fun.”
Cox’s play wrapped up a dominant evening for the 49ers defense, which held Minnesota out of the end zone and just 208 yards of total offense. San Francisco gave up some uncharacteristic big plays to start the game – including a 52-yard pass from Christian Ponder to Stephen Burton – but the defense clamped down when it mattered most in the red zone.
“We’re not satisfied about some of the plays we had out there as a defense,” Willis said. “But at the same time, one of the things we always talk about is that we might bend, but we’re not going to break.”
Once the second unit took over the game in the second quarter, the Vikings gained just 81 yards the rest of the way. Fourth-year defensive tackle
In their four series of action, the second-stringers allowed just two first downs, with one coming via a defensive pass interference call. Whether it was through the air or on the ground, the 49ers had an answer for every play call.
As he looks at his teammates heading into 2012, Jean Francois said he sees a deeper and more well-rounded group than last year’s menacing defense.
“We go one, two, you might get a third. You might have three teams worth of ‘D’ on our team that can actually play on this level,” Jean Francois said. “We’re real deep.”
The night did feature a scary moment for the 49ers as second-year star
Among the backups, there were several notable individual performances.
Hours before the opening kick-off, the 49ers formally announced
While Dobbs didn’t have any catches on the day, he still saw plenty of action on his natural position of defensive end and on special teams. Reserve outside linebacker
Notes and Quotes
The rest of the 49ers rookie class also got a heavy dose of action. First-round pick
“First impression, I was a little anxious,” James said. “I was just trying to get going, just hit a little more. It’s all fun. It’s really good for me to get out there and play around a little bit just to get used to it and make this transition from college to the NFL.
Sixth-round pick safety