Dealing With The Pack---1/1/99

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If you haven't heard the story yet, you may as well hear it now. The 9ers have been knocked out of the playoffs for the past 4 year by the Green Bay Packers. Steve Young is 0-8 life time against the Packers. Many believe George Seifert was let go because he couldn't beat the Packers and thus the 9ers have reached to the Packers to aquire Mariucci and Morhinweg. Yet the 9ers still haven't beat the Pack. So what will it take to push the 9ers over the edge? Well they may have it now.

For starters the 9ers should have a healthy Garrison Hearst. Hearst has been absolutely incredible this season and if any one is surprised if he runs over the Packers, well they haven't been watching the 9ers this season. Hearst has shown just how explosive he is. Breaking Roger Craigs season rushing record and having more long runs then any back in football this year. Hearst's effective running also helps reduce the pressure of Steve Young. However the hidden star in the backfield is Marc Edwards. Edwards a second year fullback has shown flashes of brilliance while handling the ball and has blocked well all season. The 9ers need to get the ball in both these guys hands. Hearst naturally will get the ball more. However the 9ers have been shy in giving the ball to Edwards. Edwards showed that he could catch and run with the ball early in the season. However the 9ers have forgotten about him since. Look for them to get him the ball.

The 9ers have 3 great wide receivers. Though this didn't seem to matter in the original game the 9ers played against the Pack, it almost certainly will this one. Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, and JJ Stokes have been majical this season. Along with Steve Young's record setting season, the 9ers passing attack has been impecable. If the offensive line holds up, this could be a long day for the Packers secondary.

The loss of Bryant Young was huge. However the 9ers showed that they might be able to move on. Moving Gabe Wilkins a former Packers from defensive end, to his original position of defensive tackle has proved positively. Brenston Buckner was also a help. However the 9ers may have more help inside and outside on the way. THe 49ers signed Charles Haley. He may play this weekend and looked impressive in his work out with the 9ers. He will wear No. 95. The 9ers worked Haley out at the begining of this year but they passed on him. Haley who is originally a defensive end, will most likely help out inside. The 9ers were very impressed with Haley's workout.

The defensive backfield is finally starting to come on. Merton Hanks has 4 interceptions in the last 6 games, and Tim McDonald is having one of the best seasons of his carear. McQuarters is coming into his own as a corner, and Darnell Walker has been solid all year. The 49ers will have the help of Antonio Langham, and Marqueze Pope and Zack Bronson both returning from injury. Pope might even start in place of McQuarters.

The key to beating the Packers will be going with what works, which will hopefully be a ballanced attack. The 9ers can't become one dimensional, abandoning the run or the pass. The 9ers need to shut down Antonio Freeman, and contain Dorsey Levens and Brett Favre. The 9ers need to explode coming out scoring, and if they can't do that, they have to keep it close until they can pull ahead. The 9ers have the potential to beat the Packers for the first time in 5 games. If they do, it will lift a huge cloud off the 9ers, and may even save the job of Steve Mariucci. . Talk about it in the 49ers forum

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