The look of a winner

Ken Dorsey isn't accustomed to losing. So the 0-1 record next his name as the 49ers starting quarterback doesn't sit too well with a guy who led the University of Miami to a 38-2 record in four years as the starter there. Now that Dorsey has gotten his NFL debut and his first NFL start out of the way the past two weeks with the Niners, he's ready to take the next step Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

And that, unequivocally, is leading the 0-2 Niners to their first victory.

It won't be easy against the 2-0 Seahawks - who haven't lost at home since 2002 - but then, nothing much has come easy for Dorsey in his steady climb to the starting position.

"We work hard for one goal - and that's to win the game," Dorsey said. "No matter what the situation is, that's our goal. That's our focus, and we're going to keep fighting. We're going to fight and fight and it doesn't matter what the situation is. There's no quit in this team."

Recognize the use of the words "we" and "we're" and "our" and "team" when Dorsey talks, and the conspicuous lack of "I." Dorsey is in this together with his teammates, even though he now occupies the most visible position on the team and realizes his duty in that role is to take command of the offense and, in essence, the team.

He certainly knows how to handle the questions that come his way now as the starting QB. He's not guaranteeing victory against the Seahawks or anything like that, but he is confident the Niners are on the verge after two close misses in their first two games.

"We're making strides in the right direction," he said. "We feel like we've been in these games with an opportunity to win these games. They've been heartbreakers, but we're focused on this week and what's past is in the past, and we've got to move on and really just remain confident in ourselves and our ability."

The Niners have growing confidence in Dorsey after he stepped in during the Sept. 12 opener against Atlanta and drove the team down the field before being forced out with a shoulder stinger. When he replaced injured regular Tim Rattay as the starter last week in New Orleans, he quickly adjusted after struggling in the first quarter, bringing the Niners back from a 10-point deficit and putting them in a position to win twice in the fourth quarter before mistakes doomed the comeback.

As he had the 49ers in a position to clinch the win with four minutes to play, Dorsey looked like a winner. The Niners couldn't finish, but it wasn't because of Dorsey, who called the screen pass that took them to the New Orleans 1-yard line (after a 37-yard gain) in the final seconds before a questionable penalty nullified that play and killed San Francisco's chances.

Dorsey found out a few things he wasn't quite expecting in his first NFL start.

"Well, definitely the intensity of it, especially on the road," he said. "How intense it is, how loud it is, how much you just got to be focused on the task at hand in order to have success."

It won't be any less intense or quieter Sunday in Seattle. But Dorsey's got a handle on it now. After taking two important steps in a QB's progression the past two weeks, he can focus now on getting his first win as a starter.

"From a comfort level, I feel a lot better just kind of knowing a little bit more of what to expect and everything like that," Dorsey said. "Just knowing the intensity of starting an NFL game and all that goes with it. I mean, just leading up to it, how to prepare yourself and everything like that, because it's a different world when you're starting than when you're not playing.

"It's going to be a whole different environment (this week), a whole different team and everything like that. But from a comfort level and a confidence level, I feel a lot better this week."

That has the Niners - who are the biggest underdog in the NFL this week, according to the betting line - feeling good about their chances, no matter what anybody else thinks.

And, to say the least, it has them feeling very good about their young quarterback.

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