The importance of a solid secondary is now overemphasized due to the Seahawks secondary and their success. It is no secret having a good secondary is very important, but it isn't any more important than having a good offense, special teams, or rest of defense. Yet, today's NFL is becoming more pass dominant for a variety of reasons. So perhaps the secondary is becoming more important than it has before. The San Francisco 49ers know this. Not only do they know this from being rivals with the Seahawks who have a top secondary, but also because their own secondary let them down big time in the Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, as well as in the NFC Championship game loss to the Seahawks. The 49ers secondary gave up numerous big plays in both games, including long pass plays as well as touchdown passes that shouldn't have been completed. Knowing this the 49ers have looked to make changes in the secondary, and are doing a good job.
They started last year by drafting safety Eric Reid, who excelled at his position and started his rookie year. Although losing Donte Whitner to free agency, they replaced him with someone who is proven in Antoine Bethea from the Colts. Along with losing Whitner, the 49ers released Carlos Rogers due to his disappointing play and high salary contract, and Tarell Brown left to sign with the Raiders in free agency. Losing Rogers was probably a good thing as he hasn't played well at all recently after having a breakout year. Tarell Brown was a starter but not someone who needed to be kept. After realizing what they had lost and let go, they needed to make some moves. The Niners pondered signing Darrelle Revis but this was something the decided against due to salary cap implications as well as a failed signing of Nnamdi Asomugha last year who they let go.
Since then the Niners have signed Chris Cook from the Vikings, as well as drafting safety Jimmie Ward with their first pick in the 2014 Draft. Ward will likely play the Nickel corner position as well as rotating in at safety, eventually moving there full time. Along with Ward, the Niners drafted corners Dontae Johnson, Kenneth Acker, and Keith Reaser. They look to help provide in the secondary that is getting starter Chris Culliver back from missing last year with an ACL tear, as well as breakout cornerback Tramaine Brock. Brock is poised for a huge year and is the other lock at starter. They also are bringing back Eric Wright and Perrish Cox who have experience and can play quite well.
The 49ers secondary is now full of young, talented players who can contribute on defense and special teams. They will look to develop rookies, as well as make their other young players better with more learning and playing time. With all these players they will have a much better secondary then they have in years past, and along with their pass rush and linebacker play the result will be a very scary defense to play against. The secondary may not be as good as the linebackers or defensive line, but it will no longer be a weak link. They got rid of the wrong players and added the right ones. They made the offseason moves needed to help the secondary get better and are making all the right moves to get better overall, get back to the Super Bowl, and this time win it.