Add Justin Smith's name to the list of leaders gone from the Niners. On that list is: Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, Jim Harbaugh, and Vic Fangio. This has to be at the top of the list of offseasons where a team lost that much leadership. One of the best coaches, one of the best defensive coordinators, and 3 franchise greats are all gone in one offseason.
Now that the Niners have a void in the leadership department, some players need to step up and be leaders. On the defensive side of the ball, the team has some good candidates. NaVorro Bowman has shown he can lead the defense. The safeties, Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea, also seem to be great candidates. On the offense side, Anquan leads the unit. But the player that needs to step up his leadership role is #7.
This season rests on the shoulders of Colin Kaepernick. With the defense losing key players all over the field, the offense will have to step up. Kap has a new deep threat weapon in Torrey Smith and some new throwing mechanics. If he has a bounce back year, the Niners could be a formidable team. He went right to work after the season ended. He showed that he wanted to be better and a leader. The Niners have talent on the team, but the key to the engine is Colin.
We have talent at DE. Who will step up? | Competition At DE (Williams)
Justin doesn't want to play if it's not at his best | No Tools, Can't Do Job (Maiocco)
Tomsula's Rookie Minicamp (Lynch)
York Supports Goodell (Bell)
The defense going thru some changes | What's Next (Barrows)
Favorite Smith Stories (49ers Radio)
The young players need to step in and step up | Justin Discusses Future Of Niners Defense (49ers Radio)
Profile Of Mike Davis (Gin)
Tomsula: Not A Meat Head (Maiocco)
Expectations For Tank (Price)
New Rule Change (Inman)
PAT More Difficult (Barrows)
Mobile, Alabama Is Now 49ers Country (Emerick)