49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 6, 2013
Revis-related: Exactly how bad was the 49ers secondary in 2012?


The clamor for Darrelle Revis is almost as intense as it was for Nnamdi Asomugha two years ago. Would a healthy Revis improve the 49ers secondary? Of course he would. With apologies to Richard Sherman, Revis is the best cornerback in the league. But his health is not guaranteed in 2013 after Revis tore his ACL last year. Not every player has the Wolverine-like healing ability of Adrian Peterson.

The bigger question is whether the 49ers secondary needs to be upgraded. San Francisco allowed 200 passing yards a game during the regular season, which tied for third-best in the NFL.

Of course, that number jumped to 306 yards per game in the playoffs, and that's what's fresh in the mind of fans. There was poor communication between cornerback and safety that led to a long touchdown for the Falcons. And cornerback Chris Culliver had a terrible outing against the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

But to me at least, the bigger issue was a pass rush that petered out at year's end. Through Week 14, the 49ers had 35 sacks, an average of 2.5 per game. After that, they averaged 1.4 sacks per game. Week 14, of course, is when defensive end Justin Smith tore his triceps tendon. He didn't have any sacks in the playoffs and neither did linemate Aldon Smith.

Could the 49ers secondary be improved? Of course. Any unit could. But the pass rush seems to be the bigger issue this offseason, and 49ers should be - and are - focusing their attention on that area this offseason. Ex-Eagle Cullen Jenkins is visiting today.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have had no interaction with the Jets about a trade for Revis at this point. That doesn't mean that it can't heat up later. (They weren't initially in on Peyton Manning, either). But for now at least the Revis-to-SF buzz is far hotter on the internet than it is in real life.

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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