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Golden Nugget: Defense Gets Big 1st Test

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Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of San Francisco 49ers links from the Internet

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 opener against the Carolina Panthers provides the 49ers a quick test of their new defense. Last season, the 49ers run defense was historically bad. Their 1st loss last season came at the hands of Carolina and their backup running back, Fozzy Whitaker, who ran for 100 yards against them. That game started a run of 7 straight 100 yard rushing games surrendered by the 49ers defense. This season, the 49ers begin by having to stop Jonathan Stewart and rookie Christian McCaffrey, who was an absolute playmaker at Stanford.

One player who will be playing with a chip on his shoulder will be LB NaVorro Bowman. He believes he is the best linebacker in the league and the only thing that has been able to stop him is injuries. He will look to lead the revival of the 49ers defense, who a few years ago was one of the best in the league. When NaVorro is on the field and healthy, he is definitely on the very short list of best linebackers. Only a rough couple of years dealing with injuries has been able to slow him down.

NaVorro is one of the best linebackers in the league and starting by his side could be the next, upcoming best linebacker in the league, rookie Reuben Foster. Reuben is listed as the starting WILL linebacker after impressing in the preseason. NaVorro has played with less talented linebackers the last couple of seasons, but Foster provides NaVorro with a highly talented running mate. The front office and coaching staff hope to have one of the best linebacking duos in the league, which they had when NaVorro was holding the middle with Patrick Willis.

On Tuesday, the 49ers added the last member of their practice squad. Clemson star linebacker Ben Boulware signed with the 49ers. He helped Clemson appear in 2 consecutive national championship games. He was the leader of the Clemson defense, but he went undrafted and was released by Sunday’s opponent, the Panthers.

49ers Links

Looking to be respected | Disrespectful (Smith)

The organization was in need of it | Cultural Rebuild (Wagoner)

Ahmad Brooks (Alper)

The New Home (Sweet)

Brian Hoyer (Inman)

Very intrigued in seeing how they do against Stewart and McCaffrey | Run Defense’s 1st Test (Inman)

Boulware Visits (Branch)

Was a huge part of Clemson’s title appearances | Former Clemson Star In (Biderman)

Definitely one of the best | NFL’s Best LB (ESPN.com)

Impactful Rookies (Kosko)

Ready to prove himself | A Lot to Prove (Williams)

Looking at the Roster (Barrows)

49ers Foundation Launches New Grant (49ers Staff)

Welcome Ben | Clemson Star to the Practice Squad (Maiocco)

Predictions (Biderman)

Pulling off the upset | Week 1 Underdog (Biderman)

On a Mission (Orr)

Big expectations | Big Year for Foster? (Biderman)

Dial Signs with Packers (Alper)

2nd Workout for Leon Hall (Biderman)

Leon Hall (Inman)

Dial to Pack (Maiocco)

2nd 49er to GB (Biderman)

Alex Boone Heads to Arizona (Maiocco)

Jeremy Kerley to the Jets (Smith)

Kerley Back in NY (Maiocco)

Released WR Finds Home (Biderman)

New LB (49ers Staff)

The practice squad is all set | Last of the Practice Squad Players (Biderman)

Reuben’s inclusion was expected | 2 Rookie Starters (Barrows)

Ready to get the season started | Regular Season Depth Chart (Biderman)

Unofficial Week 1 Depth Chart (49ers Staff)

Roster Cuts and Week 1 (Fann)

Depth Chart 1 (Cohn)

Bowman Q&A (Branch)