49ers Gunning for Big Second Half

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The NFL’s Best Front Seven Will Return

July 24, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker

Aldon Smith

(99) listens to defensive line coach Jim Tomsula (left) during training camp at the SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The most successful teams in the NFL are built from the inside out. The 49ers understand this, and build their teams accordingly. But in 2014, most of these players are either hurt or suspended.

That’s about to change.

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In the next month, Aldon Smith, Glenn Dorsey, Patrick Willis, and NaVorro Bowman are expected to return. Not to mention that Mike Iupati – who missed last week’s game with a concussion – will be at full strength after the bye.

The 49ers were deep enough to tread water, but playing without four of their best defensive starters beset them over the season’s first half.

Smith and Dorsey will add fire to a lifeless pass-rush. Bowman and Willis are phenomenal in coverage, and the former is the league’s best blitzing inside linebacker.

There will be more pressure, better coverage, and most importantly, better leadership in the second half from this talented front seven.