- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
In the 49er locker room afterward, Bono was subdued. The man who five days earlier had said his brilliant days in the NFL sun could end at any time now said, "I think I've done my job."
At last, the 49ers looked like the 49ers, the dominant team of the 1980s—though they knew their turnaround had probably begun too late. And while the Niners felt that if they could just make the playoffs, they might cut a swath through the NFC—"We're the team nobody wants to play," Wallace said—they sat and waited for help.
But none came from the Seahawks on Sunday, when the Falcon defense once again did considerable damage to the opposition. Five minutes into the game, Seattle quarterback Kelly Stouffer was overrun by a blitz led by safety Brian Jordan. Stouffer was sacked in the Seahawk end zone for a safety and, more important, was knocked out of the game with a sprained right knee. When the day was done, Atlanta had five sacks and three interceptions and had held Seattle to 33 yards rushing. Falcon cornerback Deion Sanders made two of the interceptions and took a lateral from cornerback Tim McKyer after the other and returned it 48 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
Nor did San Francisco get any help on Monday night. With Hebert playing for the first time in six weeks, New Orleans moved the ball easily against the Raiders and played like the team that started 7-0.
The trials and tribulations of the Saints and the 49ers have mattered not at all to Glanville and the Falcons. They've been in too much of a hurry to get wherever it is they're going. "We've kind of shocked the league this year, haven't we?" says Glanville. "Everybody had predicted us in fourth place again [for the fifth consecutive year and eighth time in nine years]."
"We've been a doormat for years, and suddenly this guy turns us around," says defensive end Tim Green. "Of course, we're going to follow him and believe in him. He said in the preseason, 'We're going to the playoffs,' and he meant it."
What Glanville recalls telling the team is, "We ain't good enough to win this thing [the NFC West], but we ain't got time to wait."
Glanville's system is driven by impatience: the high-risk Red Gun offense (his variation of the run-and-shoot); the high-risk defense, which relics on the blitz and man-to-man coverage; all the "living on the edge," as he loves to put it. His style "definitely has its suicidal tendencies," he says. "As many chances as we take, if things go wrong, you can get beat by 60 points." But he is quick to add, "Isn't that the thrill?"
Boiled down, Glanville's philosophy on both defense and offense is simple: Everybody runs to the ball on every play. Cornerback Bobby Butler says that on defense Glanville wants "11 headgears on the ballcarrier. When he's watching films, if he can only count nine or 10, he's trying to figure out who the other one is so he can get on his case."
On offense, says Glanville, "if we throw the ball on a 10-yard hook, every offensive lineman has to go down and try to knock the tackier off the receiver. Jamie Dukes gets downfield after every throw better than any other center in football. That's demanded. He has to do it."