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September 10, 2013
Catch me if you can: 49ers have new way to prepare for Russell Wilson


The Panthers had Russell Wilson surrounded Sunday, and it seemed like the Seattle quarterback would be sandwiched between two fast-approaching defensive ends for a key, third-down sack.

Instead, Wilson retreated 17 yards, spun away from one defender, ducked under the other one and flung the football - while falling backward - down field to receiver Doug Baldwin, who made a toe-tapping catch on the sideline.

Wilson's Houdini act, which resulted in a first down, is all-to familiar to the 49ers defense. Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks and co. chased him all around Centurylink Field in a 42-13 loss in December but sacked him only once. One play in the third quarter lasted 19 seconds as a scrambling, weaving Wilson evaded four tackles and eventually picked up six yards.

This week, however, the 49ers have their own slippery, sub-six-foot quarterback with a big arm to get them ready for the rematch. Rookie B.J. Daniels, the team's No. 3 quarterback, often has been likened to Wilson because of their similarly low profiles. Both measured exactly 5-10 and 5/8 inches prior to their respective drafts.

"B.J. and Russell are kind of similar," Smith said Tuesday. "They both use their arms and their legs. I'm sure we'll find a way to get B.J. to give us a good look this week. "

Daniels said he didn't know how he'd be utilized during the week of practice, which begins Wednesday, but he ran the scout-team offense in the run-up to the Packers game and he did admit to a likeness between him and the Seahawks quarterback. "There's a lot of guys around the league that I've watched, that I've studied their game and feel that I have similar attributes to," Daniels said. "And he is one of those people."

Running back LaMichael James, who sat out Sunday's game against Green Bay with a sprained knee, said he expected to return to practice this week. Rookie linebacker Nick Moody was seen in the locker room with a large bandage around his right hand. Moody played 23 snaps on special teams against the Packers.

-- 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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