Question: Putting pressure on the quarterback is key to being successful in defending the pass. Having upgraded the secondary this offseason, do you see the Niners blitzing more? Also, how often did the Chargers blitz last year? We didn't get their defensive coordinator, but I believe we got their linebacker coach. Does he have the same philosophy as Wade Phillips, their old d-coordinator?
Ron, Elk Grove
Answer: Certainly one of the reasons Mike Nolan tapped Greg Manusky to be defensive coordinator is that he coached under Wade Phillips, who is to the 3-4 defense what Monet is to French Impressionism. The other reason is that Manusky promises to be aggressive - something the 49ers' lack of defensive talent has prevented the past few seasons. With Nate Clements assigned to cover the opponent's top receiver, the 49ers will have a lot more freedom to rush two linebackers or even a linebacker and a safety at the quarterback this year.
- Matt Barrows