Rich Gannon was interviewed Tuesday about the upcoming 49ers-Seahawks game. Here is a transcript.
Q: How can the 49ers beat the Seahawks on Sunday?
GANNON: They’ve got to do a number of things. I’ve been surprised, I thought these guys were the best offensive line in football last year. Even when they were healthy this year, they weren’t dominating like they did a year a go. That’s a big of a surprise. I think that’s had an impact on Gore, but also on Kaepernick’s success as well.
What they’ve got to do to Seattle, they’ve got to have balance – there is no question about that. It can’t turn into a one-dimensional game against the Seahawks.
They’ve got to be able to handle the edge pressure. They’ve got some guys who can rush the passer in Chris Avril and Chis Clemons and, of course, Bruce Irvin.
I think you’ve got to be able to attack underneath. They’re not going to allow you to run by them in the secondary. You’ve got to make yards after the catch against a defense like this, a defense that tackles well.
And I think you’ve got to match their tempo, their enthusiasm, their energy level early in game because what Seattle has done is they have gotten off to early leads and pinned their ears back and gotten after you. They build an early lead and they don’t look back. You’ve got to take the fight to Seattle early in order to keep this game close.
Q: What do the 49ers have to do to knock Russell Wilson off of his game?
GANNON: You’ve got to be very disciplined with the rush lanes. Any smaller quarterback doesn’t like interior push in the pocket, so you’ve got to be able to rush inside, but you’ve also got to set the edge and be disciplined with your rush lanes and not allow this guy to break contain and run around because he can really hurt you doing that. He has rushed for almost 500 yards already, guys. He’s very dangerous. You’ve got to try to collapse the pocket around him and force him to sit in there and function in the pocket. Don’t allow him to get on the edge. They do a good job – Darrell Bevel the Offensive Coordinator does a good job moving him, getting him outside, the nakeds and the bootlegs and the quarterback movement, things to get him outside where his vision is not interrupted.
Q: What do you think Wilson’s No.1 strength is?
GANNON: I think it’s his preparation. He’s a lot like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and Drew Brees and some of these guys. He loves it. He brings a certain level of professionalism that you just don’t see in young quarterbacks.