Skip to content

49ers to rotate more this season on defensive line

Ryan Tannehill, Justin Smith AP

The San Francisco 49ers had one of the strongest defensive units in the league a season ago.

The 49ers didn’t rotate out their key defensive players often last season as defensive ends Justin Smith and Ray McDonald and linebackers Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and others were called upon to play nearly every defensive snap.

However, the 49ers saw the effectiveness of the defense wane down the stretch and throughout the playoffs. San Francisco allowed nearly 30 points a game over their final six games of the season (three regular season and three postseason). Smith suffered a torn triceps in December and wasn’t as dominant after his return.

In an effort to stay more fresh throughout the season, the 49ers are changing the way they will handle personnel along the defensive line this season. According to Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle, the 49ers will rotate players with more regularity this year.

The younger guys are getting a lot more reps now. We expect them to come in and take the load off of me and Justin,” McDonald said.

The 49ers added Tank Carradine and Corey Lemonier in the draft and Glenn Dorsey in free agency. They can also turn to Ian Williams, Will Tukuafu and Demarcus Dobbs as guys to rotate in and provide some relief for the starters.

If the 49ers can maintain their performance throughout the season, it may ultimately prove to be a major key toward their hopes of returning to the Super Bowl.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers
12 Responses to “49ers to rotate more this season on defensive line”
  1. seahawksteven777 says: Aug 1, 2013 1:31 AM

    As a Seahawks fan, Navarro, Willis and company playing less snaps? Okay, sounds good to me.

  2. braceyourselffor12 says: Aug 1, 2013 1:49 AM

    So long as they are half as dominant as the usual starters then this will be interesting to watch.

    The one area that needs the most improvement however is our secondary. And that is what I am most interested in seeing develop this pre-season.

    GO NINERS!!!!!

  3. dirtysouthniner says: Aug 1, 2013 2:30 AM

    Ian Williams is gonna start for us,allowing Dorsey to back up all spots

  4. norcalmafia says: Aug 1, 2013 2:31 AM

    Seattle in Indian means “ALMOST”

  5. rmavs says: Aug 1, 2013 4:15 AM

    Taking a page from the Vikings D line coaching from last year.
    Keep em fresh. Rotate the line much like they do in the NHL.

  6. northbynw27 says: Aug 1, 2013 5:05 AM

    They better rotate more..without Crabtree these boys are going to be on the field all game.

  7. alldonesmith says: Aug 1, 2013 5:06 AM

    Bad news for the rest of the NFL.

  8. cali49er707 says: Aug 1, 2013 6:59 AM

    The stage coach must have not reached the east coast yet because, the talk of 49ER camp has been undrafted Ian Williams. Apparently the guy is beating 1 on 1’s & standing his ground on double teams.

    The dude has Glenn Dorsey beat.

  9. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Aug 1, 2013 7:30 AM

    Smart idea because it keeps players fresher and helps to build more depth on the line.

    Just need to make sure they are conditioned well for when they have to play against the Patriots in the Super Bowl since they will use their up-tempo offense to prevent the defense from making substitutions.

  10. bluemonstaz says: Aug 1, 2013 8:33 AM

    One of the best teams in the league and the only thing they’ve proven so far is they can’t get the job done when it counts no matter what changes are made

  11. seahawksteven777 says: Aug 1, 2013 11:55 AM

    They ought to just keep their best defensive lineman on the field. Taking Justin Smith off the field? You’d think they would have learned at the end of last year that’s not a good idea.

  12. shottgun says: Aug 1, 2013 3:39 PM

    And some people just don’t know football.
    #seattlefans

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!