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Defensive Reactions
October 9 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers held the potentially explosive Rams to only 13 points. While the score would be much more impressive with a healthy Rams team, it was great to see that the defense could indeed contend with the diversified talent on the Rams squad. Particularly, it was the 49ers beating the Rams to the point of attack consistently that I found most impressive. The Rams are a very fast team, and that the 49ers showed they were as fast, if not faster was certainly a positive in this game.

I was actually a little disappointed that despite getting constant pressure on the quarterback, the 49ers defensive line was unable to must a sack (though linebacker Jeff Ulbrich recorded one on a blitz). Still the pressure was enough to force two interceptions, one for a touchdown so clearly while the yellow light was out, this group continues to push.

The linebacking core certainly looks more aggressive with Jamie Winborn in the line. Still Ulbrich played well, and Smith may have had his best game of the season. Peterson playing injured still managed to be all over the field. When Winborn returns it will be interesting to see if they shift Ulbrich to Smith’s position. The linebackers kept Marshall Faulk under control but he still managed 110 yards of total offense.

The defensive backfield is simply on top of their game. Tony Parrish lead the team with 8.5 tackles, and he recorded his fourth turnover of the season. Jason Webster had an interception too, as did Mike Rumph - but his was called back due to a roughing the passer penalty (which occurred after the ball was thrown). Ahmed Plummer continues to play at a consistently high level, and Zack Bronson endured a fair bit of pain but still managed to battle it out on the field.

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