STACY ROST

Rost: What kind of 49ers team are the Seahawks facing?

Nov 22, 2023, 8:30 AM

Seattle Seahawks 49ers...

A view at the line of scrimmage during a Seattle Seahawks-49ers game on Dec. 15, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Most of this holiday week’s edition of The Huddle focused on previewing the Seattle Seahawks’ Thanksgiving Day matchup against San Francisco, but there was also a chance to ask questions of a player who’s led a rare existence: two decades in the league.

See the uniforms Seattle Seahawks, 49ers are breaking out on Thanksgiving

For context: Tom Brady, who spent 23 seasons in the league, told Stephen A. Smith Monday that he feels there’s a lot of mediocrity in today’s NFL, Brady lamented poor player development and the overall quality of coaching, but most of all, that changing rules have left quarterbacks with bad habits.

So, when tackle Jason Peters joined the show, we had to ask him what’s changed most between his time as a rookie and today — a difference of 19 years.

Peters’ answer? The offseason.

“The training camps are easier now, “Peters said. “Back then, it was double training camp. Guys kind of earned their reputation. Hard-nosed. It kind of built character. Now guys are given spots and you just go in and perform. Back then, they put them in and (if) they didn’t hold up they was on the bench. So that’s the difference between now and back then.”

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A big part of those changes are from restructured CBA agreements that limit practice time and physicality in favor of player safety. It’s something Peters understands, and it’s why he wouldn’t bring back the camps of the early 2000s.

“Not necessarily,” when asked whether he’d go back to that offseason approach. “You’d probably have to meet in the middle. With all the guys now, they’re bigger, they’re faster. So just keeping everybody healthy, you’d probably have to just meet in an easy medium or something like that. Because back then it was tough. There wasn’t ‘oh that guy got a concussion, send him to the tent.’ It was ‘get back in there or your spot will get taken.’ So, it was a little bit different back then… it’s a lot better now health-wise.”

Onward to San Francisco

Now for a look ahead.

Also joining The Huddle was reporter Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, who told us about what happened during the 49ers’ three-game losing streak.

“A lot was (going wrong),” Maiocco said. “The offense wasn’t opportunistic. Brock Purdy was making some uncharacteristic mistakes and some giveaways late in those three games that they lost. I guess if you want to make the excuse that Trent Williams wasn’t out there, Deebo Samuel wasn’t out there, the defense wasn’t getting off the field. So some changes have been made there. Since Chase Young has been with the team, the defense has looked better, the pass rush is better, the coverage on the back end has been better.”
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Since then, the 49ers have improved over two games. Their most recent contest, a win over the Bucs, saw Brock Purdy finish 21-of-25 for 333 yards and three touchdowns – good enough for a perfect passer rating (he already leads the league in that category).

The 49ers have question marks at both guard spots entering Thursday. Left guard Aaron Banks has missed two games with a hyperextended toe, though he has a chance to play. But it sounds like they could be without right guard Spencer Buford (knee) who didn’t practice this week. Otherwise, the 49ers are healthier and back on a win streak, unfortunately for Hawks fans. Still, those three games left some question marks with what looked like a surefire Super Bowl team.

“There’s definitely been three phases to the season,” Maiocco said. “The first five games when they looked unbeatable. Three games when it looked like they couldn’t beat anybody. And the last game which hasn’t been as dominant. So, now is the big stretch of the season for them (too) with two games against Seattle and one against Philadelphia.”

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