Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) September 16, 2014
This week, the question is "[W]ho is that one leader that helps keep your team focused on the field?"
Given the 49ers struggles last week, folks will have to step up and take care of business. In looking at leaders on the field, we can look at this in a couple ways. You can have a vocal leader, or you can have someone who leads by actions. Personally, I only care about the latter. I get the value of a vocal leader, but when a team is struggling in some form or fashion, I just want to see action. I recognize that it is cliched to some extent.
For the 49ers, on offense, Colin Kaepernick really needs to step up and execute. Kap is going to be inconsistent at times. He is still developing as a quarterback. I can't say for certain that he was rattled at any given point, but I do wonder about that when the mistakes pile up for a young quarterback. We'll see him bounce back from poor performances, but with a young quarterback, it still can be a bit nerve-wracking going through the roller-coaster.
On defense, given the pass rush struggles, Justin Smith is the guy that will need to step up once again. He has three sacks through two games, and seems to be playing as well as he has in a couple years. Smith is generally always making plays, but it is all the more important right now with the pass rush otherwise non-existent. Smith has never come across as an overly vocal leader of this team, but obviously on the field he leads by example. Drew Stanton is not a guy that will be overly threatening as a passer, but even still, the 49ers need to make sure he is pressured all day long.