Do Great Teams Rest their Important Players When the Playoffs are Wrapped Up?

I'd like to officially propose we rest Gore and Smith more. Neither are used to playing more than 16 games in a season. Why take a risk of injury or fatiguing their bodies when we have a very good chance of beating the teams in our division teams without them?

Arguing in favor of this idea, the Green Bay Packers are going to start using nose tackle B.J. Raji less..

He’s rarely come off the field this season. But today Mike McCarthy acknowledged the team needs to be more careful using him, saving him for the playoff run in January.

"B.J.'s played too much to this point," McCarthy said. "We've got to watch his numbers."

Watch his numbers? What a concept. Like a major league pitcher -- how many pitches has he thrown this game, this season? Saving him for the playoffs. .  .this was not always the way a manager or a team thought about pitcher's arms. But now it's standard procedure.

Why not watch Gore's carries? He's been injury prone and is getting on the older side for a RB. We have a young stud in the wings and Dixon is serviceable at the very least. Maybe just needing more touches to break through.

Same thing with Kaepernick and Smith. Alex would do well to rest his arm for a few series, or even a game or two in the coming weeks.

I think these are the two key players on offense to rest. Maybe on D we should rest Justin Smith for a game or at least a half if we're blowing somebody out. All I'm saying is, a coach who has been to the playoffs maybe sets his sites further out, makes sure everyone is getting stronger and healthier going into the playoffs. .  . .

We might do well to start to think the same way.

And before someone criticizes this post for being too "arrogant" let me tell you I am not speaking just about the Niners, nor am I speaking about the Niners every year. But when teams find themselves in the unique situation that the Packers and Niners do, where the playoffs are pretty much a given, we should consider playing to our situation instead of just playing things out in the standard way.

One contrary view to this idea might be that home field advantage is very important. And that even though we're 2 games up on the Giants and win a tie breaker, the Cowboys are starting to come alive, and the Packers if they lose a few games and we win all the rest of ours would lose home field advantage . . to us!

While that would be great, I just don't think some of the moves Harbaugh could make to rest key players necessarily loses us games. I think the players could rally around the second strong players, -- like Kendall Hunter and Kaepernick. 

Another critique is that the playbook is still unfolding and we need to work things out in games. While I agree with the first part of the sentence, I don't agree with the second part. I don't think you necessarily have to put these plays in games and on film. I think your starters may need time to learn these new plays, but that might happen more if Alex Smith, for instance, is taken aside one week while Kaepernick takes all the first team snaps, and works new plays through and gets his timing down better with his WRs on those new plays, without it being prep for that upcoming game. They could be working on "playoff plays," and getting their timing perfected, and none of those plays would ever even get on film. Now that sounds like a Bill Walsh idea. He was always finding some trick play to use against the toughest opponents to catch them off guard.

Okay, let's have it. I know this discussion has been brought up sporadically in a few previous posts, but with McCarthy making a statement like this today, I think it deserves some detailed opinions. Does anyone think it starts to make sense to rest some of our key players at least for parts of some games? Or not?

And how about trying to support your thinking with facts and logical arguments instead of just criticizing someone's idea out-of-hand? I, for one, am willing to change my mind if the arguments against it are more sensible than mine are for it.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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