August 22 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Upon further review of the 49ers pre-season game on Monday night, I noticed something interesting about the Broncos ability to run on the 49esr defense - especially up the middle, which as mentioned earlier is extremely uncharacteristic about the 49ers defense. What I noticed, was that when the 49ers were having trouble stopping the run it was usually because they had both Reggie McGrew and Jim Flannigan subbed into the starting defensive line.
This realization was both encouraging and discouraging to me. Encouraging of course, because it meant that Bryant Young and Dana Stubblefield were both having fairly good games. The initial thought was that the two were having trouble stopping the ground game.
Of course it was discouraging because I had hoped McGrew and Flannigan would have been better than that. McGrew for one is known as a run stopper and Flannigan has enough years behind him to be able to defend against the run too.
The 49ers had hoped to be able to rotate through eight defensive lineman this season, and while they likely can still do that, they will have to be careful about taking both Young and Stubblefield out of the game at the same time. This of course means that the two would see less action together, and thatís somewhat discouraging news seeing to it that they are currently the two best defensive tackles on the team.