Each week 49ers.com will feature a column dedicated to special teams and those who play on them. These teamers will share their breakdowns of the upcoming opponent and give you some insight on some aspects of special teams you might not be too familiar with. In the tenth Teams Talk installment of the 2009 season, safety Mark Roman shares his thoughts on the 49ers Sunday road matchup against one of his former teams, the Green Bay Packers. **
I'm looking forward to playing in Green Bay against one of my former teams. I played there for two seasons, 2004 to 2005 and I always look forward to playing there because it's such a special place. What makes it so special is that the fans are so supportive. The city of Green Bay owns the team and they definitely come out to support the Packers whole heartedly.
Rain, sleet, or snow, fans will be at the game to support their team. That's probably the biggest thing that makes the place stand out. It's really like a college atmosphere. I remember after practice during my time there, hundreds of fans would be outside of our locker room after the game to meet us. People would come from all over the country to see the Packers play and that kind of home field advantage can't be ignored this Sunday.
It won't be a factor to us because our special teams coordinator Al Everest does a great job of having us prepared for each opponent.
This week, we're focused on limiting their return yardage as much as possible. They have a young returner in Tramon Williams who has done a nice job for them and we can't let him get comfortable back there.
They key for us is to be on top of our alignments and our assignments. We really have to play assignment-sound football.
Also, another key is capitalizing on the opportunities they give us out there. If we have a chance to break a big return – we have to capitalize on that. If we have a chance to down a punt inside their 5-yard line, again, we have to take advantage of that.
In the NFL, special teams is a fight. And we have to definitely take the fight to them. It's time we come up with some explosive plays in our return game. Getting our offense great field position is going to be a key for us.
Arnaz Battle had some great returns against the Bears last week and that was key for us. When he's able to bring it out to about or past the 30-yard line, that's like getting a first down for your offense. The chances of any offense putting together a scoring drive goes up a lot just by bringing the ball out 10-15 yards more.
It's definitely a huge part of the game that we can impact. On the other side, having Andy Lee back there for us is a big help on our cover teams because of the hang time his punts have. Joe Nedney does a great job on kickoffs too, and we take pride in swarming to the other team's returner.
Whichever team shows up on special teams will have a big say in who is able to dominate this game.