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NINERS NOTEBOOK
DBs didn't answer Singletary's challenge

  • 49ers' Michael Crabtree (15) and Dre' Bly (31) celebrate after Crabtree caught a 38-yard touchdown pass during the second half against the Packers on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won, 30-24. (JIM PRISCHING / AP)

GREEN BAY, Wis. Coming off a takeaway fiesta against the Chicago Bears, the 49ers defensive backfield knew the standard had been set.

Coach Mike Singletary spent extra time in meetings with the 49ers secondary last week to emphasize that forcing turnovers was something he expected from the teams cornerbacks and safeties.

But Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not nearly as generous as the Bears Jay Cutler.

Rodgers threw for 344 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against the 49ers, who recorded five interceptions four from the secondary in the previous weeks game against Cutler.

We expect it, 49ers safety Dashon Goldson said. Any secondary should do that. You got to get turnovers. You got to get off the field and give the offense a chance to score points.

According to a source, Singletary last week challenged the 49ers defensive backs to make game-changing takeaways part of every weeks recipe. Singletary also asked the players in the defensive backfield what tools he could provide them with to assist them in doing their jobs.

As coaches, they like to get a feel for what the players like and what they dislike, 49ers cornerback Dre Bly said. They dont want to call plays we feel uncomfortable running. They try to put us in a position to win. For a team to be successful, you have to get opinions from players. We had discussions.

When asked about Singletarys message, Bly answered, He was asking for a little more out of us.

Despite their five-takeaway performance against the Bears, the 49ers rank tied for 14th in the NFL with a plus-1 takeaway/giveaway difference.

Because we played well last week, thats got to be the standard, Bly said. When you force turnovers you increase your chance of winning. Im not going to say he basically called us out. The heat is on everybody to perform well, but when we do what we did last week, the chances of us winning are extremely highly.

The time Singletary spent in meetings and discussion with the secondary did not pay dividends on Sunday. The 49ers did not get a strong game from cornerback Shawntae Spencer or Tarell Brown, who left the game in the second half with a left knee contusion.

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