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Joe Staley: The Rams secondary is going to get pushed around again

“They don’t want to get hit for four quarters”

Joe Staley sits down with Niners Nation to break down the conference title game against the Rams.

Much has been said and written about the 49ers’ rushing attack in their games against the Rams. In their two meetings this year, San Francisco has run the ball 75 times for an average of 145 yards per game. However, the reason for that success isn’t due to an advantage along the offensive and defensive lines. According to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Joe Staley, the advantage is on the edge.

“You know that they’re trying to talk themselves into being ready for what the Niners do,” Staley said on today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard podcast, “I don’t think it’s an upfront trenches battle. It’s more of the skill, speed [battle]. You talk about Jauan Jennings, Deebo, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, even. Every one of those guys are very, very, very committed to run game and being physical during that. The secondary of the Rams are not. They’re great players individually, they have a great scheme, but they don’t want to get hit for four quarters. You’ve seen that since they’ve played for the last three years. It’s come to fruition in every single kind of situation. It might not be pretty early like you saw in the last week, but it will show its head as the game goes on.”

There is a perfect example of what Joe is talking about early in the Week 18 matchup between these two teams.

Despite what Aikman says in the clip, this wasn’t the flex the Rams thought it was. Jalen Ramsey was determined to show everyone that the Rams weren’t going to be pushed around (again). The only problem with that was he gave Deebo everything he had, and it still didn’t knock 19 down.

That’s the difference between trying to be physical and actually being physical. Look at Deebo’s reaction - he’s barely phased. In fact, the only reason the play stopped at all is because he stepped out of bounds. If that’s the best the Rams’ secondary is going to do, they’re in for another long day.

This isn’t to say that LA can’t or won’t win this game, but the edge that Staley is talking about is real, and it’s one that you know Kyle Shanahan will exploit as much as he possibly can on Sunday.

You can download the whole interview everywhere you get your podcasts, or you can watch it on the Niners Nation YouTube channel.

Here are the time codes for YouTube if you’re interested:

1:03 - Why superstitions matter and why Levin is a total fraud

5:00 - How did the 49ers win last week without an offensive touchdown?

7:15 - What are Shanahan and Jimmy G. like when the offense is struggling?

13:12 - Why the offense will be better against the Rams than they have been so far

15:57 - The 49ers will win because they can “out-physical” the Rams

17:49 - San Francisco has the advantage over the Rams on the edge

20:35 - How DeMeco Ryans’ scheme confuses offenses and sets up the D-line for success

24:46 - How Joe knew when Trent Williams was about to go in motion and destroy people

26:15 - The new play that Shanahan needs to run with Trent Williams

27:37 - Kyle Shanahan has a bunch of trick plays ready to go in the Super Bowl

29:15 - How Deebo always comes through in big moments

31:43 - The Faithful taking over SoFi Stadium again would be a really big advantage

34:09- How much does Kyle Shanahan change the game plan against familiar opponents?

37:19 - Will players be too hyped to play for a chance to get to the Super Bowl?

41:16 - What Joe will do if the 49ers make the Super Bowl

42:28 - How Joe almost ended up on Dancing with the Stars

45:50 - How Jadeveon Clowney permanently disfigured him

48:48 - Horrible injuries that guys have played through

52:18 - What it’s like when you actually make the Super Bowl