49ers Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio Says the Ravens Run Better than Previous Playoff Opponents

January 28, 2013 – 9:15 am by Brad Gagnon

The San Francisco 49ers have been dominant on defense for two years and the Ravens aren’t exactly a top-notch offense in comparison to some of the teams San Francisco has shut down — or at least limited. But Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is cautioning everyone that the Ravens present a unique challenge to this D, especially with Justin Smith not 100 percent.

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio joined Murph and Mac on KNBR in San Francisco to discuss Super Bowl distractions, Joe Flacco, the Ravens offense and the injury to Justin Smith.

On players dealing with pre-Super Bowl distractions:

“It’s somewhat of a distraction, but we gave the players Monday and Tuesday and a little bit of Wednesday off to try and get that handled for them and for our people here to help them get through that. I’m sure there’s still odds and ends people are dealing with, but I’m sure as soon as we get to New Orleans everything will be taken care of.”

On Joe Flacco, whom he’s familiar with from his Baltimore days:

“He’s just grown leaps and bounds and his record speaks for itself. Since he’s been their starting quarterback for five years, they’ve made the playoffs every year and they’ve won, I believe, eight playoff games in that span and here they are now in the Super Bowl.”

On the Ravens running the ball better than previous playoff opponents:

“These guys run the ball better than the teams we’ve been playing lately, both playoff games. These guys run the ball much better. They block it better and they have better running backs that they’re handing it off to. And it’s a challenge that I’m sure they’re gonna put us through here, because they like to be a balanced offense. But if we do stop it and get it under control, then it could be like we saw against New England where they just come out and throw it a lot. So they’ve got the ability to adjust and be a heavy-throwing team or stick with their balance.”

On Justin Smith’s triceps injury:

“No, he can’t play at full-strength because he has an injury that won’t allow him to play at full-strength. Can he play and still be a good player? Yes, and he’ll do that.”

Listen to Vic Fangio on KNBR here

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