Vic Fangio talks Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson

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We take a look at some of 49ers DC Vic Fangio's comments about Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch.

Vic Fangio chatted with the media before practice yesterday and there was plenty of Q&A about arguably the Seahawks two most "known" offensive entities: Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. We know plenty about #BeastMode. Marshawn Lynch is an absolutely wrecking ball as a running back and Coach Fangio acknowledged as much:

How much of their offense goes through RB Marshawn Lynch as opposed to maybe last year?

"A good bit of it does. Their running game is the bread and butter of their offense. And everything works off of that. He's one of the best backs in the league. He's the best back we played last year by far. He broke more tackles than any back we played against last year. He broke the most against us. Runs hard. He's a slasher. But yet, he's got really good cutting ability. So, when he's coming off his cut and maybe you don't have a clean, full shot at him, he's strong through the arm tackles."

In light of the Giants game, you gave up over a hundred yards. So, what has to be squared up when you face a strong back?

"We've just got to take on our blocks better. We've got to play a little bit more physical in the front seven. We've got to get off blocks better. We've got to tackle better. In the fourth quarter last week, we didn't get that done."

On the other hand, while Russell Wilson is not a completely known entity as far as what he brings to the table, he has shown that he can make plays for the Seahawks:

What are some things you've been seeing from Seattle QB Russell Wilson?

"Been very impressed with him. He's obviously very athletic, very fast. He's got 4.52-speed in the 40, which is extremely fast for a quarterback. He's elusive. He's a creator when he's moving. When things will break down, you'll see him move all the way around, go anywhere on the field. And he's got a strong arm. He throws the deep ball extremely well, as you guys saw last week against New England. And he's been doing that all year. So, I've been impressed with him. I think he'll be their quarterback for a long time and credit to them for seeing through his height and picking him."

So much was made of his height. Can a defense take advantage of a quarterback's lack of height?

"No. Immediately the thought process is when you see a guy at his height, you think he's going to get a lot of balls batted. But, I haven't seen any more balls of his being batted than I do of anybody else in the NFL."

This may be a stupid question, but I'll try it. So much is made of his intangibles, his leadership and his character. Does that show up on film in any way? Just the way he conducts himself?

"I think he's a pretty confident and poised guy. He handles the situations good. I think he handles if he's ever involved in a bad play, he comes right back. He had great experiences in college playing in two different places, playing in front of big grounds. He's got that, like you said, it's hard to measure or quantify it, but he's got the intangibles."

The Seahawks have had more success with their rushing game, which isn't particularly surprising. The question will be how the 49ers defense squares off with the Wilson and Lynch contingent. The 49ers have been quick to go to their nickel and dime defenses, having confidence they can stop the run with limited numbers up front. I would not be surprised to see the defense going more basic and seeing what Wilson can do against that look.

Lynch was the last running back to surpass 100 yards rushing against the 49ers defense prior to Ahmad Bradshaw on Sunday. However, in Lynch's previous game in San Francisco, he rushed 13 times for 33 yards as the Seahawks could not get their ground game going. The Seahawks plans on the ground, as well as the 49ers own plans against that rush offense will be something to pay close attention to early in the game.

The 49ers rush defense is not quite on the level of last year's dominant run, but it is still quite solid. If the Seahawks are going to win this game, they will need to find some measure of success against the 49ers rush defense. We'll see how hard they force it early on.

Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio
Press Conference - October 16, 2012
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio I Media Center

"We've got a lot of noise here today."

Do you guys hear that at all in your meeting rooms?

"No, we really don't."

What are you doing over in the meeting room this week? Is it less about the Giants and more about the Seahawks?

"Yeah. Very little about the Giants game. We spent 10 minutes on it yesterday in the meeting and moved right on to Seattle. No time this week."

What are some things you've been seeing from Seattle QB Russell Wilson?

"Been very impressed with him. He's obviously very athletic, very fast. He's got 4.52-speed in the 40, which is extremely fast for a quarterback. He's elusive. He's a creator when he's moving. When things will break down, you'll see him move all the way around, go anywhere on the field. And he's got a strong arm. He throws the deep ball extremely well, as you guys saw last week against New England. And he's been doing that all year. So, I've been impressed with him. I think he'll be their quarterback for a long time and credit to them for seeing through his height and picking him."

So much was made of his height. Can a defense take advantage of a quarterback's lack of height?

"No. Immediately the thought process is when you see a guy at his height, you think he's going to get a lot of balls batted. But, I haven't seen any more balls of his being batted than I do of anybody else in the NFL."

This may be a stupid question, but I'll try it. So much is made of his intangibles, his leadership and his character. Does that show up on film in any way? Just the way he conducts himself?

"I think he's a pretty confident and poised guy. He handles the situations good. I think he handles if he's ever involved in a bad play, he comes right back. He had great experiences in college playing in two different places, playing in front of big grounds. He's got that, like you said, it's hard to measure or quantify it, but he's got the intangibles."

How much of their offense goes through RB Marshawn Lynch as opposed to maybe last year?

"A good bit of it does. Their running game is the bread and butter of their offense. And everything works off of that. He's one of the best backs in the league. He's the best back we played last year by far. He broke more tackles than any back we played against last year. He broke the most against us. Runs hard. He's a slasher. But yet, he's got really good cutting ability. So, when he's coming off his cut and maybe you don't have a clean, full shot at him, he's strong through the arm tackles."

In light of the Giants game, you gave up over a hundred yards. So, what has to be squared up when you face a strong back?

"We've just got to take on our blocks better. We've got to play a little bit more physical in the front seven. We've got to get off blocks better. We've got to tackle better. In the fourth quarter last week, we didn't get that done."

Former 49ers LB Matt Millen was saying that was the worst game he's seen from LB Patrick Willis and LB NaVorro Bowman. Was it subpar on your read, too?

"Well, it was subpar for all of us in that fourth quarter in particular. We didn't play the run well."

I want to ask you about you about your pass rush. The sack numbers are down, but yet you guys rank, I think, second in the league in passing defense. How do you view how things are happening up front as far as the pressure on the quarterback?

"Well, I think you answered your own question there when you said we were ranked second in pass defense. And pass rush is a part of pass defense. So, although we don't have the sack numbers, which a lot of people want to sink their teeth into, fantasy players want to sink their teeth into sacks. That's not the only measure of good pass rush. And right now to this point, I haven't seen pass rush as being a weakness for us."

Was that a case for Sunday against the Giants?

"Yes. Now we didn't have a good rush on one of the passes they completed for good yardage. But, that's going to happen some. But, I don't see our pass rush as being an issue right now."

Are offenses playing differently? Are offenses playing your pass rush differently causing you to adjust more this season?

"At times they'll be chipping us, keeping extra guys in, or throwing it quicker. I think it's on their mind. And again, I think that plays into the pass defense, which is what we're all concerned about here, being pretty good because when they do that, they limit themselves also a little bit."

As fantasy folks, they like to argue the point but will say, but they only got one hit on Giants QB Eli Manning.

"Well, that's not a correct stat."

No?

"No."

OK. What was it? What was the headcount?

"I don't know exactly. But, I can remember at least three."

But overall, you were even-pleased with the pass rush against the Giants? Is that what you're saying?

"Overall, yes. There were some plays where it wasn't what we'd like it to be. But, again like I say, that's going to happen some every game, even if you have a game where you're getting a bunch of sacks. And they only threw the ball 28 times last week. And it sounds like that's a low number these days."

Is that needed to be able to get turnovers though, or the takeaways I should say?

"To a degree it does. Obviously I think if you were to do a study, more turnovers happen on passing plays. Obviously the interceptions can only happen on a passing play. The sack-fumble can only happen on a passing play. Receivers catching the ball, getting stripped can happen. There are more turnovers that do happen on a passing play, no question about that."

When you look at the NFC West and see how well the division is doing defensively, do you appreciate that more from a defensive point of view?

"No. I wish they weren't as good as they are."

You talked about some of the different things the linemen are doing, as far as the chipping or whatever. Are teams trying to get the ball out quicker against you this year, too?

"Yeah, that's what I had said earlier. The ball's coming out pretty quick at times, not all the time, but at times, it is coming out fairly quick."

Plays were made last week where there were no blown coverages, nobody was wide open, but players were just there. Yet, the Giants receivers made really solid plays. What do you tell your defense at that time?

"Well, that's part of playing that quarterback, too. He makes great throws. Nothing, you've just got to keep playing. That's what I did tell them at halftime. It was 10-3. And I wasn't, like you said, we weren't screwing anything up. Nobody's wide open. We were tight. We just weren't tight enough. We've got to make those. They're going to make some. We've got to make some. And on that one drive in particular, when they scored their touchdown, they got a couple in there on us."

How much did you guys look at DE Bruce Irvin during the draft process?

"How much?"

Yeah.

"We did. We looked at him thoroughly."

What jumped out at you? Obviously a lot of teams liked him in the draft.

"Well, speed, number one. He's extremely fast. And he's very athletic. I think those are the things, and he's got a good feel for pass rush. So, his speed, athleticism and pass rush ability."

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