Who Will Start
November 2 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The much anticipated announcement came when Steve Mariucci declared the starting receiver opposite of Terrell Owens. Without further adieuÖ itís Tai Streets. Streets will make his fourth consecutive start in the offense, in what could be a key game to the 49ers playoff race within their division. A win would put them 6-2 and in great shape cutting through one of the toughest parts of their schedules.
With Streets in the offense, not only has Jeff Garcia been a better passer, but the entire offense has been more explosive. Suddenly, passes are flying vertically instead of horizontally, and big things are happening down field. In turn, the running backs are able to blast through even bigger holes.
JJ Stokes is expected to play this week. Heís had a good week of practice, playing with a taped up knee instead of his knee brace. Heís expected to play with tape on his knee this weekend, but rather sparingly. The 49ers want to see just how well he responds to the hits he takes, and what type of condition he is in.
When Stokes initially went down, Steve Mariucci explained that starters wonít lose their spot because of an injury. Mariucci however seems to be re-thinking that philosophy. Streets has put together a consecutive streak of games unparalleled by anything Stokes did, except perhaps in the 1997 season. Streets has earned the right to play, so donít be surprised if coaches take Stokes rehabilitation process a little slower than normal.