This isn't your dad's 49ers.
Is that getting old, already?
Didn't think so.
While the statement holds true for the 49ers current offense and special teams, it's also accurate for their 2010 defense.
Greg Manusky's fortified unit has been the team's most consistent component over the last three seasons.
When the offense sputtered, the defense usually kept San Francisco in games.
When the special teams faltered, the defense would usually bail them out. Even when the defense bent, they typically would not break.
And when they smelled blood, the 49ers defensive standouts forced devastating, game-breaking turnovers.
At the heart of Manusky's resistance force is a philosophy based on mirror symmetry.
For instance, rookie linebacker Navarro Bowman's physique compares with perennial Pro Bowler Patrick Willis'.
As Manusky puts it, "From the stand point of 'do you want all your players strong, fast, good instincts, vision, all that,' yeah, everybody's got their best qualities. But from a mirror image standpoint, if I could have two Patrick Willis's, I'd take 'em."
Cutting more directly to the disguise, it prevents opponents from being able to read the defense.
Manusky says "I think it is across the board. If you have two inside linebackers that can play both the MIKE and TED, it’s the same thing. Same thing with the outside linebackers, I think your disguise is a little bit better with safeties as well.
"The best thing in this league nowadays is to disguise because the quarterbacks are so well-versed in the coverages, especially during the film sessions.”