Bye Week- 11/24/2000
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The 49ers finally get their off week this Sunday. The much needed break could of come at a better time, but with Thanksgiving, and a team still trying to recover from multiple injuries, the 49ers are thankful indeed for the bye week. The 49ers moved into second last place of the NFC West last week in what hopes to be a continuous improvement. This bye week will give the 49ers an opportunity to get healthy and give the team some time to practice a few more tactics as it prepares to face the San Diego Chargers, in the following week.

The 49ers are hoping that the break will give star receiver Terrell Owens enough time to recover from a turf toe injury. Owens is the most prolific player who is injured, and the offense has really flattened out since his departure. Derrick Deese is also expected back after having his knee scoped two weeks ago. These two players should help the offense get back on pace after being held without an offensive touchdown last game.

The off week will also be welcomed by the many rookies the team has fielded all season. These players are normally used to a much shorter college season, and are really looking forward to this time off. The rookies have improved their play greatly in recent weeks, and thus the break should give them a second wind to finish off the season on a strong note. Rookie cornerback Jason Webster had an especially tough week. This past week was the anniversary of the bonfire accident at Texas A&M (Webster's College) a year ago. Webster was the only player courageous enough to speak at the ceremony for the many who were engulfed by the flames, and has been reflecting on the incident recently. The break should provide him the emotional time to Webster in order to balance himself, and hopefully has come at a time that it will not effect his excellent development.

The 49ers still have several things to work on this season, and the bye week will provide them that opportunity. Though special teams play has improved in recent weeks, mainly due to an infusion of talent formally injured, this area still needs improvement. Wade Richey will also benefit from the time off after kicking three consecutive field goals on his way out of the slump. The team's offense has been struggling a little recently, especially with the loss of Owens, and thus the time to work on the offense, especially with Owens coming back to work this coming week, will be beneficial. On defense, the team has really improved recently, but the team still needs to practice some new formations and to bolster the pass rush. The rest should provide the 49ers with the opportunity to address some of these concerns, but possibly the most important thing is it will freshen up the legs of the whole team and thus should improve their game too.

There are some skeptics who figure that this bye couldn't come at a worse time seeing to it that the team has been on a winning streak of two games for only the second time this season. The skeptics believe that the 49ers won’t be hungry for victory upon their return. Steve Mariucci however has run this team impeccably and I believe the attitude he has installed in this team will prove the skeptics wrong. This team is one of character, and thus should be able to continue their thirst for victory.

The 49ers have five days off before they will return to practice. The rest, though in the middle of only their second winning streak, will do this team much good. The time to prepare for a San Diego team, which will be charged up looking for what could be their first victory of the season, is much needed. The 49ers will enjoy the time off, and should return healthier and better next Sunday.

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