Heard Knows Defense
October 27 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Safety Ronnie Heard was promoted from the depth charts to the starting free safety position two weekends ago when free safety Zack Bronson suffered a broken foot that will keep him out as many as nine weeks. While the 49ers canít wait to get Bronson back on the field, they are happy to have someone like Heard around to take the reigns.
Heard is one of the most knowledgeable defenders the team has. He is so in tune with the 49ers defense that at times he will correct Brett Maxie on schemes. Heard also never hesitates to give suggestions throughout the course of the game on what the defense can do to improve. Clearly he is well versed in the play book.
Unfortunately Heard has yet to show the play making ability that Bronson possesses so there is clearly a drop off at the position. While Heard came up with a touchdown saving tackle last week, he hasnít been able to make the momentum changing plays as of yet.
Ronnie will have a whole lot of time to improve, and show the team what he is made of. He canít afford to get injured, thatís for sure, and the team is waiting for him to step up and become a difference maker. His counterpart, strong safety Tony Parrish is one of the best people he could choose from to work along side of him. As chemistry builds between them, big plays will happen.