SANTA CLARA – Greg Roman spoke in the 49ers media tent Thursday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the Rams defense.
“Good afternoon. Getting ready to play the Rams. It was good in the bye week, got a chance last week to really kind of analyze ourselves and start to get to work on the Rams, a team that’s ranked on defense in the upper half of the league. I think they’re doing a very good job. Coaching them, obviously [Rams head coach] Jeff Fisher knows what he’s doing. He’s been doing it a long time at a high level. I think their D-line is playing very well. I think their linebackers are playing extremely well. In the secondary, they’ve got a lot of different looks in their secondary and they do a nice job handling a lot of different stuff. We all know the challenge ahead of us here, a division opponent. Any questions?
There was a player poll that was released today that listed the dirtiest players. Rams CB Cortland Finnegan was up on that list like he always is. I think earlier this year he got under the skin of a Redskins receiver and it helped them win. Do you need to warn your receivers not to get engaged in any extracurricular stuff with somebody like him?
“I think he’s a really good football player, Finnegan, is very productive. He competes extremely hard. When they bring him inside in the nickel, in their nickel package, I think he’s one of the best guys in the NFL as far as understanding what’s going on and what he needs to do and where he needs to be. He understands it and it shows in his play. And I think our receivers are very heady players, they’re about one thing, taking care of their job. I don’t see them getting hijacked emotionally by really anybody. I think they’ve got bigger fish to fry.”
Does he usually go with the opposition’s best receiver or is it sides?
“For the most part he plays to one side. They’ll move him around some, more in their nickel package though. It’s obvious on film that he understands where he needs to be when the ball is snapped. But, he will definitely give you a lot of different looks.”
As a rookie, Anthony had a few rugged performances against Rams DE Chris Long, he seemed to get better against him last year. What are some of the challenges Long presents?
“By rugged you mean tough?”
Not too great, in my estimation, which is expert.
“Well, Chris Long, I think a lot of people have had those kinds of days against him. Regardless of where they were in the last year in the past, which is irrelevant. That guy is a rollling ball of butcher knives, plays with great leverage. A quick, explosive, again, he’s a leverage player. He knows how to play leverage. He gives a lot of people fits. He’s got a great bull-rush. He’s worn out some guys, really bad. He challenges you more than a lot of guys because of his ability to play with quickness and leverage. A lot of those kind of guys, you don’t run across a ton of them, but they just give you fist sometimes. So, you’ve got to be on your game. They do a nice job of how they use him. I think they do a great job with how they use all of their players.”