49ers Nate Clements is taking turns each week with receiver Bryant Johnson in scouting out the upcoming opponent. Get Clements' take this week as he locks down his preparation for the 49ers first go-around with the St. Louis Rams.
I know that Trent Green finished out the game last week, but Marc Bulger is expected to start and we know what he's capable of as a player. We want to be disruptive with him and try to attack him early. We can't let him get anything going because he's proven he's capable of putting the ball anywhere. So, we just want to jump on him early.
We all know who Torry Holt is. He's put a lot of work into his craft over his career. He's shown he's capable of being explosive and he is a sure-hand catch guy. We've got to limit his completions. We know Bulger is definitely going to look for him and throw him the ball.
Donnie Avery has also come on strong. He's an explosive guy, a deep guy. He can run, he can catch, and so we want to slow him down as well. Dane Looker, he knows the ins and outs of their offense. They work him in the slot and he finds a way to get open.
Steven Jackson is a huge part of their offense when he's healthy. He's tough to bring down once he gets going so we want to attack him and not let him get going north and south. He's a load. I looked at the Dallas game and once he got going, it was hard to stop him. So we want to attack him and keep him from getting rolling.
His backup Antonio Pittman has shown he's versatile. They can use him in the backfield as well as receiving. We have to be prepared because those backup guys (Kenneth Darby and Sam Gado) have been getting some reps and some work in the offense with the injury to Jackson. We have to be prepared for any personnel they are willing to put out there.
I think we did some good things as a defense last week. After the turnover we went back out there knowing we had to get a stop. We just wanted to give the offense an opportunity at the end and as a defense we did what we had to do and that was to get off the field. Guys were out there fighting and scratching to get off the field and that's what happened.
But, nobody on this team sees it as a moral victory. We just want to continue to get better, and we need to just flat out win.