In anticipation of this week’s game with the 49ers, I was able to ask Gab Network writer DJ Boursiquot a series of questions about the 49ers. DJ is the lead writer over at 49ersGab.com and was able to answer everything I had to ask. Enjoy the read!
EaglesGab: There can’t be any 49ers fans happy with how the teams record sits right now. However, they’ve played some good teams very tough. What is holding them back from getting over the hump?
49ersGab: You said it right, no fan is happy with the team’s record right now. The last time the team was 0-4 was in 2004. The following draft we selected Alex Smith first overall. Smith is partly why the team has underperformed this season. However, I think it all has to do with coaching. The team too often looks like they are not prepared when they are out on the field. I sometimes question whether they had a training camp and preseason. The play-calling has been terrible and needs to improve greatly. The team also needs to cut down on their penalties. They are making too many silly errors.
EG: What are your feelings towards Alex Smith? He seems to be playing very mediocre and I’ve seen some 49ers fans being quite negative towards him.
4G: Alex Smith is a guy you either love or hate. The guy has no reason to be this bad. He is smart and maybe he can play in this league. Mind you, he has had a different offensive coordinator every year that he has been in the league but right now the guy is just atrocious. I have just about given up on him after 5 years. We just need to move one. After this past week, I just cannot stand up for the guy anymore. Analysts often say that “some of his mistakes are that of a young quarterback learning the ropes of the NFL”. I completely disagree. This guy has had six years to learn of what works and simply shouldn’t make the errors he does.
EG: Eagles long-time great Brian Westbrook now plays for the 49ers; however, he’s seen basically no action this year. Why is that? Do you think he should be used more?
4G: That is the case because the people running the offense have no idea what they are doing. Our offense is the most predictable in the NFL. And truth be told, Frank Gore has not found his groove yet this season. I am not suggesting Westbrook get a starting role but things need to be changed in the offense. The OC has to start mixing things up and get more people involved. The 49ers are NOT short of playmakers. I hope that OC Mike Johnson-replacing gets Westbrook more involved. Anthony Dixon, a promising rookie who played well in the preseason has also been very limited this season.
EG: What player has been the most pleasant surprise for the 49ers? Which player has been the opposite?
4G: They have made their mistakes, but I am encouraged by both the offensive lineman the 49ers drafted in the 1st round of the draft, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. On the flip side, the team has too many disappointing players, mainly Alex Smith. This was a make-or-break season for him and he has not performed. On defense, Nate Clements has disappointed me. He can make great plays, but far too often, he gives up big plays. Moreover, his selfishness cost us the game against Atlanta last Sunday. Many fans will say that Gore has been disappointing, but when the opposition knows that your running back will always have the ball and what play he will run, it is hard to be successful.
EG: As a 49ers fan, do you let out a sigh of relief knowing that you will play against Kevin Kolb and not Michael Vick? What are your thoughts on Kolb?
4G: In theory, yes, but you never know with this 49ers defense. If the Eagles get creative, things might be really difficult for us. Matt Cassel had a field day against our defense. The 49ers have shown that they can pressure the quarterback and that is what they will need to do against Philly. I was a fan of Kevin Kolb since his college days with the Houston Cougars but I really do not like what I see from him this season. He does not look confident out there. It seems that something is bothering him. I get the impression that for him to be successful; everything must be clear around him. That being said, the Niners would be foolish to go into this game thinking the Philly offense won’t cause them any problems.
EG: On Sunday, where will the 49ers have an advantage on offense? On defense?
4G: The 49ers will have an advantage on offense if they open things up. That may mean that Alex Smith may be prone to making mistakes, but they have to take their chances. The Philly defense has really taken a hit the past couple seasons. I may be wrong, but they seem to have no real leader on defense.
On defense, the 49ers can be advantageous not only because they will be playing at home, but also because the Philly offense is probably not at 100 percent. I do not think this because Kolb will be at the helm, but because the offense also has some injury issues.
EG: Where will the Eagles have an advantage on offense? On defense?
4G: The Eagles will have an advantage on offense if they attack the Niners secondary. Our secondary unit is just not that good. Also, the Eagles need to attack early. The 49ers have not really shown any resiliency and if they are down early, they will more than likely give up for the rest of the game.
To be successful on defense, the Eagles need to make sure the Niners running game is non-existent. This would put pressure on Alex Smith and the passing game. Alex Smith has no idea how to play under pressure, plain and simple.
EG: What player could be a potential x-factor for the 49ers?
4G: Ted Ginn Jr. The Niners have lacked greatly on kick and punt returns this season. Ginn can be a special player on special teams. If he can run at full speed and gets some key holes, he could let loose and in addition to giving the team good field position, maybe he could some points on the board.
EG: Give me a score prediction.
4G: 49ers win 20-14. I am refusing to pick against the 49ers even though they are not showing much. The team has not started 0-5 since 1979, and I don’t expect that to change this year. I expect them to do just enough to get by an Eagles team which will realize that they really need Michael Vick.
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