Eric Mangini on the 49ers defense: “It’s a group of guys that are, for the most part, new to each other.”

This is the transcript of Eric Mangini’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department. Opening comments: “Good morning everybody. We are deep into Arizona, another challenging opponent coming up here, leading the league in scoring at this point and good group of skill players, good backs, good quarterback. The line has done a really nice job protecting the quarterback, so it’ll be a good challenge for us.”  …

September 24, 2015

How 49ers can beat Cardinals

Here is my column previewing the 49ers-Cardinals game. Two things. One, the 49ers have to blitz. Two, Bruce Ellington has to carry the ball. Otherwise, the 49ers could lose to the Cardinals. Ideally, 49ers’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wouldn’t have to blitz. Blitzing comes with risk, involves rushing a fifth or sixth defender. Better to rush with four and cover with the remaining seven. Fangio doesn’t have that option. Without…

September 19, 2014

Every great one meets a Ken Norton, and 49ers will have theirs

Here is my Friday column on how the 49ers are like Muhammad Ali. Of the 49ers’ remaining opponents, which ones have a defense that can cause problems for a 49ers’ offense with a spotty passing game? That is the key question. If a team can’t stop Frank Gore and Anquan Boldin, that team can’t beat the 49ers. But if a team has a good run defense and at least one…

October 18, 2013

Arians on the Cardinals: “One thing we’ve done so far is play the run pretty solidly and eliminate long balls.”

Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians spoke on a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning. Here is a transcript. Q: Do you feel like your team is getting better each week as we go along here? ARIANS: We are starting to improve each week. Offensively it’s taken a little more time than we had hoped, but special teams and defense so far have been playing pretty solid. Q:…

October 9, 2013

Can the Cardinals compete in the NFC West next season?

The Raiders are close to trading Carson Palmer to the Cardinals, reports The Cardinals most likely will draft the best offensive tackle available with the seventh pick in the draft. They signed running back Rashard Mendenhall and cornerback Antoine Cason in free agency. They still have Larry Fitzgerald, one of the best wide receivers in the league, one of the best ever. And they have a new head coach…

April 1, 2013

Fangio breaks down Cardinals offense

SANTA CLARA – Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Friday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the Arizona Cardinals offense.   What do you see in the Cardinals and what are the biggest challenges for you guys going into this game? “Well, number one, when you think of the Cardinals you’re going to think of [WR] Larry Fitzgerald, obviously. And he’s one of the top receivers in our league,…

October 26, 2012

Harbaugh breaks down the Cardinals

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said Thursday about the Arizona Cardinals.   Do you get the sense that the Cardinals are, have been or are a big-time rival for the 49ers? “Division opponent, I really believe that your next game is your most important game and that’s how we’ve approached it around here.”   What habit do you need to keep when you’re defending Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald?…

October 25, 2012

Brown says defending deep passes and open-field tackling are keys vs. Cardinals offense

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Tarell Brown said Thursday about the Arizona Cardinals offense. Q: How do the Cardinals use Larry Fitzgerald? BROWN: He’s their X receiver (split end), so I think I’ll get him most of the game. They move him around a lot. They do a great job of putting him in the slot, putting him in the three-receiver slot as well. I think we’ll all have an…

October 25, 2012

Preview: How the Niners match up against the Cardinals

We’ve broken down the Niners matchups with the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Now let’s break down their matchup with another rival – the Arizona Cardinals. 49ERS DEFENSE VS. CARDINALS OFFENSE: The Niners pass rush is young, excellent and improving, and the Cardinals pass protection is no good. They gave up 52 sacks last season, 2nd worst in the NFL. They gave up four to the Niners –…

May 29, 2012

Tarell Brown says Kevin Kolb is “most definitely” a bigger challenge for the secondary than John Skelton

SANTA CLARA — Here’s what Tarell Brown said this morning about his injured ankle and the Niners upcoming game against the Arizona Cardinals. Q: Did you tweak your ankle yesterday? T. BROWN: Yeah, I’m alright. Q: Is there a difference playing Cardinals with Kevin Kolb at quarterback rather than John Skelton? Bigger challenge for secondary? T. BROWN: Most definitely. Kolb is a gunslinger. He’s been a gunslinger since his college…

December 5, 2011

Vic Fangio on Cardinals QB John Skelton: “He’s got good arm talent. This guy can throw the ball.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of Vic Fangio’s Thursday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers. Is there any question in your mind which quarterback you’re going to be facing on Sunday? “Well, it seems like it’s going to be [Cardinals QB John] Skelton based upon the reports and the comments.” What about him and is there anything about him that stands out? He’s obviously had a couple of nice…

November 17, 2011