SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said Thursday about the 49ers defense.
We spoke about this on Friday but S Dashon Goldson seemed to have a really good game against the Seahawks, both against the run and the pass. Could you talk a little bit about him and how he’s produced well and what a key component he is to what you do on defense?
“Yeah, talent, work ethic, he’s got a real toughness about him. He’s built up a real callus when it comes to physical contact courage. The going from point A to point B, and go hit somebody. Mentioned it, so far this year we’ve seen some of the best front-up tackles that you’re going to see. It’s an all-out style that he plays Played the deep ball very well. Gets his hands on ball, tracks the deep ball, does everything that you’d want a safety to do.”
Do you typically see that toughness from a free safety, the guy who’s in charge of the deep passing game? Do you typically see that run stoutness from those types of guys?
“Well, I think that everybody that plays this game is tough and has contact courage and he’s one of the top professionals at what he does.”
The last couple of weeks, you guys have had the number one pass defense in the NFL. Looks like you’re a little bit better, specifically in that area. Can you point to something that the secondary or the pass defense is doing better than last year? Is that something you’ve seen visibly?
“I don’t know that I’d compare to it last year. We’re playing well, finding the ball, tackling. I think anytime you look at a defense, if you want to understand if they’re a good defense or not, tackling. In particular, backs that tackle and our guys do that. As well as play the deep ball, break up on short passes or in the run game and hard, tough, rough tackling. That’s what you want to see.”
Have you been impressed with the way LB Aldon Smith has used his long arms against the run and just the way he’s developing as an every down linebacker?
“Yes. He’s been consistently good. I think that is something that really stands out, the ability he has with his wingspan. I know they talk a lot about that in basketball. But it sure shows up in his play and he uses it to his advantage. There’s been several times where you think that you’re outflanked by a runner or a quarterback that’s scrambling out of the pocket and Aldon has the speed, quickness and arm length to get those plays turned back in or stopped.”