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49ers Mailbag: Aaron Lynch's 'Tremendous' Potential, How to Stop the Pittsburgh Steelers and More

More is more.

This week's bonus round of "Niner Talk" answers the questions on the mind of the 49ers Faithful, plus looks at how San Francisco can defend the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Let's open up the mailbag, shall we?

@TaylorPrice @49ers Who was more impressive on Defense? Acker or Lynch? #NinerTalk — Spencer Rhoads (@SpennyRhoads) September 15, 2015

Tough to say.

We noted Kenneth Acker's regular-season debut earlier this week, so after you read the article, come back for some thoughts on Lynch in the next few paragraphs.

Dating back to last season, Lynch has recorded a sack in seven of his last 11 games. That's pretty good. "Prettay, prettay, prettay good," as Larry David would say.

Lynch's role on the 49ers defense is important to note because it takes a strong pass-rusher to single-handedly bring down "Big Ben" Roethlisberger. Add Ahmad Brooks to that conversation. Both edge-rushing 'backers will be essential in San Francisco's defensive efforts against Pittsburgh. But let's get back to Lynch for a second. I brought up the second-year linebacker to Eric Mangini on Friday to see how he fared agains the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.

Mangini had a robust take on Lynch's efforts in a 49ers win.

"I thought he did a really good job," the defensive coordinator said. "He's another guy that I think has tremendous potential to grow. He's very talented physically, physically gifted. Very smart. He has an excellent play demeanor. But, like all the young guys there's going to be some bumps and growing pains here as he continues to understand things and to sense things."

Here's where Mangini's comments got extremely interesting, and it was also an opportunity for the former NFL head coach and New England Patriots coach to bring up a few well-known pass-rushers into the conversation.

"I was talking to (Lynch) a lot about that yesterday, coaching guys like (former NFL linebacker) Mike Vrabel and (former NFL linebacker) Willie McGinest and players like that," Mangini said. "One of their greatest assets was their intelligence and their ability to not just understand the opponent, what we do then the opponent, then the situation in the game and then the human being you're facing. And those guys were able to go to each one of those levels and then everything slows down so your natural ability is just reinforced and emphasized. I think he's got great growth potential in all of those areas."

So there you go. Oh wait, you asked who was more impressive. The 49ers won. Both players made an impact. So let's not choose one over the other. Let's give them credit for impacting the game and getting the season started on the right note.

You should read this story.

The telling quote from Alex Boone:

"We just go in thinking we're brothers – everyone has everyone's back. We have a lot of fun out there and there's a lot of smart guys, tough guys. That's what you want out there. They're not pretty, they're out there mauling people, having fun, getting dirty with it, and it was a great day."

Boone personifies the attitude of an offensive lineman. If he's talking about cohesion of the five-man group, that's a great sign this early into the regular season. It's a new-look on the offensive line, but a league-leading 230-yard effort bodes well as they continue to learn how to play with each other in their defined spots.

So far, it's been good for Boone, Joe Staley, Marcus Martin, Jordan Devey and Erik Pears. The group also faces a 3-4 defensive front this week in Pittsburgh. They've practiced against San Francisco's own 34 scheme throughout the offseason. That's another aspect of the game that bodes well for the 49ers offensive line.

Let's see how the group responds on the road in a 10 a.m. PT kick off.

I'll see what I can do. No promises, though.

It's good to know that Jarryd Hayne is bringing our team to a whole new fan base.

More on that can be heard here:


Reggie Bush didn't make the trip to Pittsburgh. The veteran running back, who injured his calf in the first quarter of Week 1, was ruled out by Jim Tomsula on Friday.

Here's who made the trip:

View photos of the 49ers as they head to Pittsburgh, where they will face the Steelers on Sunday.


If you're gashing the opponent with 5.9 yards per carry, you don't need to drop back and throw it around the yard. The 49ers had dominant success on the group and so Geep Chryst continued to go with it.

San Francisco will surely change things up on a week-to-week basis, but if you're able to rush for 230 yards and win by 17 points, sign me up for that every single time. Sorry to the fantasy football people folks.

Here's a quick list for you:

  1. Get a good night's sleep. Early morning starts are tough for West Coast teams.
  1. Limit Brown's production on offense and special teams. The Steelers wide receiver gets his touches in a variety of ways. This means the 49ers defense will have to be sound open-field tacklers. You can't let Brown get loose on short passes. You also have to keep in front of you. Brown has the deep-field speed that gives opponents headaches on a weekly basis.
  1. We noted how "Big Ben" is tough to bring down earlier in the piece. If one player is unable to bring down the 6-foot-5, 240-pound passer, the key is for others to swarm and make it a group effort. San Francisco recorded five sacks against a mobile passer last week, Teddy Bridgewater. Five different players were responsible for those sacks. It'll surely take a similar group effort against Roethlisberger.
  1. Lastly, the video below will get you hyped for the game. Thanks for the questions. Keep sending them my way.
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