Fresh Legs Should Bring Greater Pressure
June 15 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The addition of defensive tackle Jim Flanigan has more relevance than the simple signing of a solid veteran to play on the depth charts. The 49ers expect more than this from Flanigan, who will attempt to bolster a pass rush that suffered throughout last season. The pass rush is one area the 49ers have made a point of improving upon this off-season, and may have done so two fold in the signing of Flanigan.
In Flanigan the 49ers have a tackle that excels on the pass rush. He is expected to sub in and out with Dana Stubblefield who excels against the run. Flanigan will see a fair bit of play time in this manner, and will also spell Bryant Young at times. The 49ers can feel confident in Flanigan taking the field, something they havenít been able to do with a backup defensive tackle since the days that Brenston Buckner was a backup.
By having Flanigan on the field against the pass, instead of Stubby, the 49ers should have a better pass rush. While Stubblefield can certainly rush a passer, Flanigan is more consistent in this area. The 49ers may also be grooming Flanigan to take over for Stubby some time in the next year or two, as Stubblefieldís contract sores after this season.
In giving the teamís third defensive tackle more repetition, the 49ers will also be able to keep Bryant Young and Dana Stubblefield fresh throughout each game, and the season. The added rest should allow the two to go against the offensive line even harder when they are on the field.
Flanigan was great signing by the 49ers. He should step right in and be a huge help not only by adding depth, but also by being a solid contributor.