2014 DRAFT GUIDE
49ers know they face daunting task defending Brady

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-11 17:31

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown turned off the Monday Night Football game as soon as Tom Brady and the Patriots jumped out to a big lead.

Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois tuned out around then, too. Same with defensive mate Ray McDonald, who was hungry and ready for some dinner.

``He's a big guy so you know he's going to eat,'' Francois said with a chuckle.

The 49ers defenders still saw plenty of Brady in that brief time they spent watching his team's 42-14 rout of fellow AFC power Houston to know exactly what they're up against Sunday night in New England.

Safety Donte Whitner can't wait.

``We're going to be able to see where we are as a defense,'' Whitner said. ``We understand who's going to have to win that football game, and we think it's going to be the defense. And we understand that their offense is going to try to control the football and get some big plays and put points on the board. And we can't allow that. So, we'll be ready.''

Former Patriots wideout Randy Moss didn't watch Monday's game at all. Didn't need to. He knows what Brady brings to the Patriots (10-3), who already have clinched their playoff spot and will try to stop San Francisco from securing a berth of its own Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.

A few preliminary observations of Brady from the Niners' locker room Tuesday:

Brown: ``He can make all the throws.''

McDonald: ``He's slingin' it.''

Francois: ``You've got a Hall of Famer playing in the league right now.''

Cornerback Perrish Cox: ``He's one of those confident quarterbacks that basically calls his own offense. ``

San Francisco (9-3-1) already has impressive wins against teams with big-time playmaking quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

Still, no question that slowing down Brady on the prime-time stage is the biggest test yet for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's group.

``Probably so,'' Moss said. ``It'll be a good one.''

The Patriots have won 20 straight home games in December. Brady has been instrumental in that.

The 35-year-old Brady went 21 of 35 and passed for 296 yards and four touchdowns against a typically stingy Texans defense Monday night. He has thrown a touchdown pass in 45 consecutive games, the third-longest such stretch in NFL history. He has 3,833 yards passing and 29 touchdowns this season with only four interceptions and a 104.2 passer rating.

``We've got to hang in there,'' McDonald said. ``We've got to gut it out.''

Only once before have the 49ers faced Brady, a 13th-year pro born and raised in the Bay Area town of San Mateo, some 15 minutes south of the Niners' home at Candlestick Park. Brady went 22 of 30 for 226 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in New England's 21-7 home win on Jan. 2, 2005.

That loss by San Francisco sent the Niners to a 2-14 record and earned them the No. 1 pick in the draft that spring. Their selection? Alex Smith, quarterback out of Utah. After leading San Francisco so close to the Super Bowl last season, he's now the backup to Colin Kaepernick.

The Niners are concerning themselves with only one quarterback at the moment - the other guy.

``He's more one of those laid-back, confident quarterbacks that basically you can tell his demeanor and know exactly what he's doing,'' Cox said.

Or so San Francisco hopes, to know what Brady is doing.

49ers linebacker Aldon Smith leads the NFL with 19 1/2 sacks and needs only three to match Michael Strahan's single-season record set in 2001 with the New York Giants - not that he is counting on anything coming easily against Brady and his outstanding offensive line.

``We've played elite quarterbacks the whole season, so it's just another one on the list,'' Smith said.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh needs no introduction to Brady, a fellow Michigan man whose career the former NFL quarterback has followed.

``I have great respect for him,'' Harbaugh said, ``his career, his ability, his competiveness, all of his unique attributes that make him the great football player that he is.''

Notes: The 49ers placed DT and special teams regular Demarcus Dobbs on season-ending injured reserve after he injured his right knee in Sunday's 27-13 win against Miami. San Francisco now has two open spots on its 53-man roster after suspending RB Brandon Jacobs for the final three regular-season games on Monday. ``From the coaching standpoint, they don't want any distractions on the team,'' McDonald said. ``So, he (Jacobs) was being a distraction. They felt he was being a distraction, so they felt they needed to do something about it.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group