|Ex-Giants receiver Mario Manningham says he has been sharing all he knows about his old team with his new team, the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers host the Giants on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
“I talked to the DBs and talked to my teammates,” Manningham said on a conference call Wednesday. “Let them know, to give them heads up, what’s going to happen here, things like that.”
Manningham has even gone as far as to give them a psychological profile of quarterback Eli Manning. When asked if he’ll tell San Francisco’s defensive backs how Manning thinks, he said, “Oh yeah, I know -- I know what’s going on.”
Predictably, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride didn’t seem too concerned on Monday. (And no, Gilbride didn’t accuse Manningham -- or 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs -- of failing to learn the Giants’ offense during their tenure in New York).
"You certainly wish it didn’t happen, but many of the things we do is predicated on what you do defensively.... So most of our big plays take advantage of situations where guys are trying to overplay or cheat on a route. That’s when our big plays happen. You’ve seen a couple of examples the last few weeks with Victor [Cruz] running through. That’s a read route for us, you know, if a certain coverage allows us to that and that’s something we spent a lot of time on. That’s a, you know, foundation of our routes."
Basically, it all boils down to execution for the Giants. Gilbride says that if his line executes its assignments and the receivers make the right decisions on their routes, Manning should be able to make plays.
“So it really doesn’t matter what you do,” Gilbride said. “If we’re doing it well enough, we’re going to have a chance to get open.”
Bear Pascoe returns to Candlestick: Drafted by the 49ers in 2009, the California native didn’t make the team out of training camp, and he subsequently landed in New York, where he’s now in his fourth season.
“That will always be kind of a sensitive subject,” Pascoe said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world, just the way things turned out."
Pascoe had two catches in last year’s Week 10 loss to the 49ers, but he and the Giants had the last laugh in the NFC Title Game.
The Giants trailed the 49ers by seven when Manning found Pascoe for a six-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The two teams see-sawed back and forth until Lawrence Tynes’ 31-yard field goal gave the Giants an overtime win and a ticket to the Super Bowl.
When asked if that was his favorite moment in his career, Pascoe said, “It’s kind of right up there toward the top.”
Pascoe could be starting Sunday if tight end Martellus Bennett (knee) can’t go, but Pascoe said he’s under the impression that Bennett will be available.
In either case, Pascoe will definitely be relied upon heavily as a blocker this Sunday. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw had his first 200-yard rushing game in Week 5, not only because the offensive line played well but because the tight ends and fullback Henry Hynoski did a good job blocking.
“It seemed like we got in a groove there on that second drive and guys got into rhythm,” Pascoe said.
Back to back 200-yard games? Bradshaw was asked if another 200-yard game was possible.
“Expect the unexpected,” he said. “With this line, there’s no telling what we can accomplish, and we’re just going to go out there and give it our all.”
Who can run with Vernon Davis? The 49ers tight end is one of the few real deep threats at the position, but the Giants happen to have some speedy linebackers.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he’s confident strongside linebacker Jacquian Williams can defend Davis (Williams told CBSSports.com that he doesn’t expect to defend Davis too much on Sunday) and weakside linebacker Keith Rivers believes he can “run with anybody.”
However, it’s more likely Davis will be defended by safeties Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown more than anyone on Sunday. Williams defended Davis quite a bit in Week 10 last season but said that the safeties primarily defended him in the NFC Championship Game.