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49ers Running Game Overwhelms Oakland


The 49ers amassed 275 rushing yards Saturday night en route to a 21-20 win over the Oakland Raiders.

But it wasn't just one man carrying the load. Whether it was Glen Coffee, Michael Robinson or Kory Sheets, the 49ers running backs showed patience and the ability to move the pile.

"I kept telling myself that the line was going to get their blocks and block who they were supposed to block," Coffee said. "So you have to be patient and read the holes."

Coffee did just that, wasting no time before breaking the century mark on the ground after eight carries. At one point he ripped off three consecutive carries of 19, 18 and 35 yards.

Robinson quickly followed suit with 83 yards in the third quarter alone.

"That's a tribute to the offensive line and [running backs] Coach Rathman," Robinson said. "We all have that attitude to go in there and get the job done. Coach Sing says it doesn't matter who's in the game. There are no ones or twos, just people out there playing. When Frank [Gore] is not playing we're expected to go in there and do the same thing."

Coffee set the pace for the running game as the rookie from Alabama racked up 129 yards on the ground, averaging 8.1 yards per carry.

"[The power running game] definitely showed up tonight," Coffee said. "We don't want to end with tonight. We want to improve. We're going to look at the tape, look at the film. Tonight is definitely the identity that we want to take on."

Robinson, who actually paved the way for Coffee as the fullback, had a good vantage point to assess Coffee's play.


"Glen had an awesome game," Robinson said. "He did a great job and we're happy to have him."

The success on the running game was also a testament to the offensive line. Head coach Mike Singletary was pleased with their effort against the Raiders as it's clear that with more experience under their belts, the unit is starting to come together.

"I think our o-line both the first group and the second group really did a good job of executing," Singletary said. "They came out and the very thing we talked about before the game started, the physicality that we want to be able to bring – they did that. I'm excited about that, they're continuing to gel. They're continuing to get better as a unit."

Tackle Barry Sims was thrilled with the performance on the ground. Dominating at the line of scrimmage gave Sims a chance to exact some revenge on his former team.

"Those guys ran hard," Sims said. "We were able to capitalize on the way they were running their defense. We were able to just pound the rock, which is what we wanted to do to make a statement. That's what we want to do as an offensive line every week. To have the opportunity to get that many carries this week was good."

The offensive line and running backs have established a smash-mouth identity so far in the preseason and will look to carry the momentum into the season. Coffee's big night against the Raiders gave him 198 yards rushing through the first two weeks of the preseason to lead all running backs.

"That's more for other people than it is for me," Coffee said. "I don't think stats mean anything really. I think people know what they see when they see you playing. I just want to be a physical runner. Just be a dependable player for the offense.

While being the NFL's leading rusher in the preseason should be a nice accolade for a first-year player, Coffee's certainly not basking in his accomplishments.

"It's a good feeling," Coffee said. "But, it's a feeling I won't dwell on for tonight or next week. We've got to look to improve and move forward. I just want to be ready for the season. Every preseason practice and every preseason game, I want to improve."

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