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Vic Fangio sees no reason the 49ers’ defense won’t get better

Vic Fangio AP

After last year’s tenacious D led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, what can they do for an encore?

Get better.

With all 11 starters returning, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio believes his unit will be better in 2012 than it was in 2011, noting that he and the coaching staff now have a full offseason to work with the players, and that last year they only had a little more than a month to get accustomed to each other after the lockout.

“Last year they grew into playing well with each other, and communicated with each other in an advanced way as the season progressed,” Fangio told the San Jose Mercury News. “We would expect that to continue and take it to an even higher level.”

The 49ers ranked first in the league in rushing defense last season, tied for the league lead in takeaways and were second in the league in points allowed, but Fangio said that when he looks at the roster, he doesn’t see a bunch of players who were at their peak last season. Instead, he sees 11 starters who are capable of improving with another year of seasoning.

“I don’t think we have anybody on our defense that should be descending at this point of their career, who are old enough that they shouldn’t play as well as they did last year or even better,” Fangio said.

There is always the concern with a team that has the same core group of players coming back that complacency will set in. But the 49ers’ coaching staff doesn’t seem likely to let that happen. Fangio has every reason to be optimistic.

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10 Responses to “Vic Fangio sees no reason the 49ers’ defense won’t get better”
  1. mezter says: Jun 14, 2012 10:30 AM

    The 49ers are going to be amazingly good this year. Starting with that defense. I can’t wait to see what they do.

  2. LoCoSu@%s says: Jun 14, 2012 10:36 AM

    There’s unfinished business – win a SB.
    They also have a brutal schedule. No time to be complacent.

  3. golfnutt67 says: Jun 14, 2012 10:53 AM

    This unit has the potential to be scary good, and they get a chance to against some of the best QB’s in the league this year. It should be exciting to watch.

  4. 49erstim says: Jun 14, 2012 10:54 AM

    That group of guys can improve. That run D is outrageously good, but the Pass D has a way to go. That is where I see the majority of their improvement coming from. They may not be a good statistically this season, but I can see them getting better.

  5. sixjak says: Jun 14, 2012 10:59 AM

    Scary thot for the rest of the league. Didn’t allow a rushing TD either until week 16. Even so I think it was 2 total rushing TD’s for the year. Aldon Smith was just in a situational role last year. This year he’s going full time. He had 14 sacks last year as a rookie basically only playing 3rd downs. Smith, Bowman, Willis, Brooks=best line backing corps in the league.

  6. mmsierra says: Jun 14, 2012 11:06 AM

    My only worry: Depth
    Especially on the defensive line
    If one of our 3 starters goes down for any length of time ….

    Let’s hope not, Go Niners

  7. hyzers says: Jun 14, 2012 11:34 AM

    Can’t wait for week 2!

    Good luck 9ers.

  8. time2speakup says: Jun 14, 2012 12:33 PM

    The “key” to the success of our “D” this season?? As soon as you remind yourself that Baalke does our personnel thing, concerns should go right out the window. The quality of our depth this season should, and at the rate things are currently progressing, will improve the team in all three phases. Scary, huh?

  9. schmitty2 says: Jun 14, 2012 2:35 PM

    The defense is never a question in San Fran-they will be TOUGH. What they need to worry about is improving the offense and seeing how all the new wr’s are going to gel with Smith

  10. travisblink619 says: Jun 14, 2012 3:44 PM

    I think with even the slightest improvement in 3rd downand Red Zone efficiency on offense, it will also improve the numbers on defense. This year, we actually face all top 5 QBs from last year. Brady, Brees, and Rodgers away, Eli Manning and Matt Stafford at home. None of those QBs have a lights out running game, so passing D has to step up. Any improvement over last year should result in the 2012 49ers being in the conversation for best defense ever, whether its a goal for them or not.

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