SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. - In the world of professional football finding and exploiting an opponents' weakness is standard practice.
On Sunday look for it to become standard practice for the San Francisco 49ers, who plan to exploit what they feel is the Broncos most glaring weakness, Brian Griese, at every opportunity.
"We'd like to get in, rattle him early, maybe create unrest on their team and get their guys questioning who should be back there," 49ers linebacker Derek Smith told the Contra Costa Times. "It's up to us to get in his face, pressure him, make his job not easy and make their coach's job not easy."
Griese became the Broncos weakness during the third quarter of last Sunday's game when the four-year veteran threw two consecutive interceptions and fumbled once, causing head coach Mike Shanahan to call for his replacement, Steve Beuerlein.
The replacement wasn't needed and Griese responded by leading and eight-play, 71-yard touchdown drive to secure the victory, yet the tone had been set, and Denver's weakness had been exposed in the minds of the 49ers defense.
At least most of the 49ers defense that is, Jim Mora San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator is the exception.
"He showed maturity and guts. It's hard to discount that," Mora said. "It's not easy to rattle a guy like that. So much is made of his confidence. He's a winner. He had a few down games last year. But he just beat the Rams. He took his team down, went 4-for-4 (passing) and iced the game with a touchdown. He's a tough kid."
Tough or not, Griese's performance today is pivotal in not only his status as the Broncos starter, but his status as a Denve Bronco as well.
Let the show begin.
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