According to Eric Branch of Blog.sfgate.com, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will evaluate his defensive end, Justin Smith, under his close supervision on Saturday evening. Fangio will pull Smith out of the Divisional playoff game if his defensive end is not performing up-to-par.
“If, from my point of view, he’s not playing up to his standard or close to it, we’ll put the next guy in,” Fangio said. “It’s been my experience that someone at 80 percent is not as good as the next guy at 100 percent.”
Unlike the epithet of a rapacious head coach-that-must-not-be-named, Fangio should rest the All-Pro DE for a potential NFC Conference Championship title matchup. Considering that their depth chart isn’t too chock-full of defensive linemen – Isaac Sopoaga, Ian Williams and Ray McDonald in the rotation – I’m curious to how he’ll utilize his front-runners to pressure former MVP-Aaron Rodgers. Game-planning for the Packers without Justin Smith will be a difficult task and questions of how they will manage their fatigue or how well they’ll respond to the Packers no-huddle offense are on the rise.
The 49ers upended the Packers at Lambeau in their season opener, and this time it’ll be Green Bay visiting the Bay with a head-full of steam to seek their vengeance.
Anywho, with the grass at Candlestick Park looking as depressing as the drooping blades over at FedEx Field, I highly doubt the 2-year defensive coordinator will jeopardize his team’s success over a few mistackles.