The Super Bowl is mere hours away and it’s hard not seeing the San Francisco 49ers playing for the title. As fans, we’re in one part limbo, one part purgatory. It’s not all that long until the preliminary part of the next season starts up, but it still stings seeing other teams play. One thing there is no shortage of is postseason analysis and speculation. With that in mind, let’s delve into a pretty interesting topic for the San Francisco 49ers; the secondary.
Should we worry about the San Francisco 49ers Secondary?
Let’s look at it by position and see how things stack up.
When the San Francisco 49ers lost Chris Culliver to injury, I expected the secondary to take a fairly large hit. Culliver had been playing surprisingly well as last season wound down and I had been hoping for a good offseason progression and that a weak spot for the team would morph into, at worst, less of a liability and at best a strength. It turned out I managed to get one of my wishes. Corner play improved from last season into what I would consider less of a liability. Carlos Rogers wasn’t as good as he’s been, but he clearly deserved to be a starter. Tramaine Brock seems destined to be the next man up, and was arguably the best corner on the team. There were lapses in coverage, certainly, but as a whole the unit made strides. There is solid (if not spectacular) play available from the starters and the backups slot in nicely when needed. Once Culliver returns, and post-draft, I’m hopeful there will be even more improvements as the defense continues to mature.
If you had asked me before the season started, if I thought the two safety spots would end up being some of the best played by a 49er, I would have laughed at you. Sure I nearly had a front row seat for Eric Reid’s play at LSU (I live in SEC country, and was excited when he was drafted), and knew that he was a very good player in a very good defense, but I would never have expected the monster season the rookie had. I had suspected the hard hitting young man would be a suitable replacement for Dashon Goldson in a season or two, but never expected improved play over him from game one. That, combined with a third solid season from safety Donte Whitner, the tandem made a very good team in Vic Fangio’s defense. Wrapping him back up this offseason in free agency seems like a no-brainer. Replacing him with a rookie would take a leader out of the locker room, and break up a good thing.
Future’s So Bright
Crack out the sunglasses fellow fans, it looks like another year with Fangio and another year of rookies could unlock some serious skills in the 49ers secondary. The chemistry, and the players, should only improve with the coming offseason.