The 49ers' secondary has taken over for the quarterbacks as the most discussed position on the team, and for a good reason. The defense had to reshuffle the deck once Jason Verrett went down with an injury.
Deommodore Lenoir moved from outside cornerback to the slot. Dontae Johnson and Ambry Thomas took over on the perimeter, and we saw how that ended. Enter Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick as potential replacements for Verrett.
In today’s episode of The Shanaplan, Eric Crocker joins me to discuss the 49ers secondary. We start out discussing why it was so tough to watch Jason Verrett exit the game as he did.
From there, we talk about what we saw from the 49ers secondary Week 1. After re-watching the game, I was thoroughly impressed with Jaquiski Tartt. Instantly, your mind goes to the touchdown he gave up, or the personal foul Tartt committed. Those were two out of 78 plays.
Tartt beat multiple blocks against the run and was the reason San Francisco got off the field. His versatility allows the defense to do so much, and his awareness is second to none. Tartt’s a joy to watch. At 4:32 of the podcast, listen to Crocker rant about Tartt’s personal foul.
From there, we discuss why the Niners haven’t invested in cornerbacks early in the draft during the past couple of seasons and how it’s difficult to expect both of your cornerbacks to go down with an injury two weeks into the season:
Some people said they didn’t address corner. Well, they did. They had two starting corners in Moseley and Verrett. They drafted two guys who could potentially be starting for them moving forward.
The tough thing is it is never ideal to lose two starting corners in a season. If you go into a game like they are this week, I don’t care who you are, you’re going to be in trouble. If any team loses their best cornerback, they’re in trouble. Most of these teams, if they lose their top guy, or two of their top guys, they’ll be in some trouble. That’s kind of where the 49ers are right now.
Finally, we went over the options of who could play, including Dontae Johnson.
Also, we discussed what to expect from Norman and Kirkpatrick and what each has left in the tank. Honestly, we’re all guessing at this point. But, father time is undefeated, and he doesn’t show any mercy for cornerbacks once they hit the age of 30.
Both veterans are on the wrong side of 30, which probably isn’t a good thing once you see the Eagles' speed at wide receiver and the upcoming schedule against wideouts.
Cameron Dantzler has been a hot topic in 49er land. We talked through what Dantzler brings to the table and if he’s bringing anything different than Ambry Thomas:
I think it says more about what they feel about Ambry Thomas than anything else. Essentially, they’re the same guy. Both were first-round picks who were underwhelming who really haven’t played a ton.
Everything we’re seeing from Thomas was the same thing we saw Dantzler go through last year. And Dantzler doesn’t have the same upside as Thomas as he lacks the speed to eventually make up for getting beat.
That’s not to say he can’t make plays. Dantzler is a good athlete and has good ball skills, but, he’s a liability depending on how teams start attacking him. I’d roll with Thomas and take his lumps before giving up any type of draft capital for Dantzler.
After talking through trades and discussing each cornerback, we made predictions for the starting cornerbacks Week 8 and beyond.
I went with Emmanuel Moseley and Dre Kirkpatrick. Crock took Moseley and Josh Norman. What say you?