Greg Cosell: Star Lotulelei Has Played Exceptionally Well As A Rookie,

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(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

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Executive producer of NFL Matchup and Senior Producer of NFL Films, Greg Cosell joins the guys to breakdown some film. Greg opens admitting to sleeping in the film room and teases another Panthers segment on this weekend’s NFL Matchup show.

On the 49ers: What makes the 49ers run game so good is it’s a combination of physicality and scheme. You could say the same about the Panthers, but the 49ers do it better at this point.They have a really big and physical offensive line, so you get base power runs, but with Kaepernick they also use read-option elements, with enhancements. It’s very difficult to prepare for and very difficult to defend.

On Colin Kaepernick: His learning curve has hit a little bit of a detour. There have been several plays this year when he’s not seen things. They’re aware they need to spoon feed him a little bit. The 49ers are able to cover with their running game. We got a bit of a skewed sense of him last year, he’s still going through the learning curve.

On the 49ers defense: They’re not a high percentage blitz team. This makes them dependent on their defensive linemen beating their blockers. With Aldon Smith out and Justin Smith getting older, they have gone to a more rotational line and are still trying to get all the guys to play at the level they like.

On the Panthers: They have improved every week, their defense and their front seven is very good. Star Lotulelei has played exceptionally well as rookie, but could they go out to San Francisco and get waxed? Sure, but even if they lose that doesn’t mean they’re a bad team.

Greg also discusses the returning importance of the fullback for team’s with mobile quarterbacks, the variance of 3-4 defenses, the concept of spying a QB, the growth of Sean McDermott’s comfort with his defense, the limitations of the San Francisco wide receivers, and a quick preview of the Saints and Cowboys.


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