Welcome to another installment of Enemy on the Ship, a series of articles where I am graciously given the time and effort of a writer or blogger for the teams the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face in 2013, and they share their thoughts on the team they cover, and how they’ll do against the Bucs in 2013.
This edition will look ahead to the Buccaneers game against the San Francisco 49ers, so Baily Deeter of Golden Gate Sports has joined us to share some thoughts about the Niners. You can find Baily on Twitter by clicking here. Let’s see what Baily thinks of Bucs/Niners this year.
Leo Howell – I think even the most casual NFL fan knows about the 49ers’ run to the Super Bowl last season. What has changed heading into 2013? Are the Niners primed for another run at the NFC Title?
Baily Deeter – I really don’t think much has changed. Nnamdi Asomugha will help a bit in the secondary, Eric Reid will replace Dashon Goldson and Anquan Boldin will step in as Colin Kaepernick’s primary option. Michael Crabtree‘s injury will hurt, but I think Boldin can emerge and help out. Rookies like Tank Carradine and Vance McDonald could chip in, but no one player will change everything.
However, when you consider the all-around talent, you have to consider the 49ers as a contender. Don’t be surprised if they win the Super Bowl.
LH – Colin Kaepernick quickly became one of my favorite non-Buccaneer players in 2013, as I feel like he’s a unique talent who is incredibly fun to watch. Tell me what you think Kaepernick will do in 2013. Can he continue to improve? Or will NFL defenses “figure him out”?
BD - I think Kaepernick’s arm strength, work ethic and accuracy will lead to another solid passing season. Opponents will be prepared for the read-option, but the 49ers can mix up their plays effectively to keep Kaepernick effective. I see another solid year from him.
LH – The loss of Michael Crabtree obviously rocked the 49ers, as he figured to be a huge part of their offensive plans. Give us some information on the other options on offense who will pick up the slack while Crabtree is recovering.
BD - The 49ers have athleticism in Quinton Patton, Ricardo Lockette, and A.J. Jenkins, and they have experience and pass-catching ability in Anquan Boldin. I think the team can make do without Crabtree, as I see a big second year from Jenkins.
LH – The 49ers defense was a huge part of their 2012 success. How will it be different in 2013, especially with the loss of Dashon Goldson, who will be lined up in pewter and red when the Bucs and Niners face-off?
BD - I think the secondary is a concern, but not because of the loss of Goldson. Goldson struggled last season and was overpaid by the Buccaneers, and the 49ers have a replacement for him. However, Donte Whitner struggled last year, and the 49ers have a hole at their second cornerback position. The defensive line is fine and the linebackers will dominate, but the secondary will falter.
LH – Finally, how do you believe the Niners will do against the Buccaneers when the teams meet late in the 2013 season? Is this a lock for the team from San Francisco?
BD - Josh Freeman and Vincent Jackson can easily hook up for deep completions, and I think the two will expose the 49ers’ biggest flaw. Even if Crabtree is back, he can be shut down by Darrelle Revis. This will be a close game, and I think the Buccaneers may end up with a big win here.