Glenn Dorsey, like a lot of Americans this time last year, watched the 49ers postseason run on TV.
Then a five-year veteran with just one playoff game to his name – he and his Kansas City Chiefs lost in the 2010 Wild Card round – Dorsey hungered for a stronger chance at playing football deeper into January.
So when he got off a plane during his free agency tour last offseason and Jim Tomsula told him about San Francisco's Super Bowl hopes for 2013, Dorsey ate it up.
"This is the time we prepared for," Dorsey told reporters Thursday. "He told me when I got here, 'Hey, this is what we're going to be doing, and we're going to work toward it.'"
Nineteen weeks deep into the season and after a 12-4 campaign, the 49ers find themselves one game short of a third straight NFC Championship Game appearance. A win over the Panthers at Carolina on Sunday would send them there.
Much has been said about the similarities between these two teams. It boils down to this: Their offensive and defensive lines play hard, physical football.
"As a nose guard, as a D-lineman," Dorsey said, "you look forward to games like this."
Of course, Dorsey also anticipates this one because he wants to play another. Playing is better than watching, sure, but what did he see out of the 2012 49ers?
"A team that fights, that's physical on both sides of the ball," he said. "Everybody watches the 49ers play."
For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links, presented by State Farm.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle* *featured the surprise 2011 breakout of NaVorro Bowman.
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News quoted Panthers coach Ron Rivera on Michael Crabtree.
Matt Kawahara of the Sacramento Bee noted the workload of Frank Gore.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com debuted his "No Drag Zone" column.
Janie McCauley of the Associated Presswrote about the whirlwind Perrish Cox endured.
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