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Clements' Coverage: Seattle Primer


49ers starting cornerback Nate Clements continues with his 49ers.column Clements' Coverage, an every other week feature that previews the upcoming opponent. Check out what Clements had to say about Seattle.

Seattle runs the west coast offense and it's a system they've had there for awhile now. They come out and know what they are going to run and if the first read is not there, Matt Hasselbeck knows where to go with the ball. We've got to disrupt the rhythm because it's a rhythm offense based on timing. We have to bump the receivers into their routes, hit the quarterback in his drops and throw that off.

Matt's a very smart quarterback. He'll definitely look you off. He knows where to go with the ball and he gets through his progressions and knows where all of his reads are. We've got to do a great job of disguising things and keeping him off balance. He also has enough foot speed when he gets going, so we've got to keep him there in the pocket and when the opportunity is there for a sack, we've got to take advantage of it.

As for Shaun Alexander, he's a talented back who we have to attack early. We can't let him get in a rhythm either or get going because once he gets going it's hard to stop him. We've got to keep pounding on him, and see if we can get him out of the game. You can shut him down for the first half and the third quarter but then he pops off a big run and then it's just downhill, so we've got to play four quarters against him and keep attacking him every time he touches the ball.

At receiver, they've got some shifty, smaller guys other than Nate Burleson maybe. Deion Branch is more of a quick, shifty guy. He has very good speed, good hands. I was fortunate to play against Branch when I was with Buffalo and he was with New England. He's kind of quick, shifty and has good foot speed and good hands. It's hard to get your hands on someone like that because he's always moving.

Bobby Engram is crafty, and he knows how to get open. You know Burleson has speed, because he's also their punt returner so he can take it the distance.

I'm sure that Darrell Jackson will give us some tips on these guys too, but I haven't had much chance to talk with him yet. I study a lot of film though, and so I usually play what I see on film.

Seattle's offense definitely goes to their tight ends and that's something I've seen on film. They use all of their skill position players, so we've got to take away their wide receivers and then also focus on the tight ends and the running backs when they are hitting them for check downs.

So far we've done very well in defending trick plays. Last week Pittsburgh tried to do the throw with Cedrick Wilson but the defensive call took away the pass and then he tried to make something happen. I happened to be at the right place to make a play, and get him down but I think when teams can't get something on you just using their offensive schemes, they try to trick you. We just have to stay disciplined with our defense and we'll be able to prevent those. Seattle has enough weapons that they usually stay within their offense, but we're always prepared for those.

You always want your defense, your special teams and your offense clicking but as we all know, sometimes it doesn't happen like that. When it doesn't the other groups have to pick each other up. You never know how a game is going to go, so you just always have to be prepared as a unit to play your best football and rise to the occasion.

As a defense, we are going to have to stay focused. When the plays are there we've got to go ahead and make them. We play hard, we play fast, we play physical, and so we just have to get our assignments done and keep playing like we have been.

Every game is important but this one is in particular because it's a divisional game and it gives us a chance to take a step forward in our division.

We are also at home, and it's always exciting to play in front of your home fans. I actually like playing on the road though too because it gets me into the game when the crowd is against you. It's a totally different atmosphere when you are at home though and all the fans are behind you and I'm looking forward to this divisional game with our fans supporting us.

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