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 team?s 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 week?s 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 week?s 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 don?t 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 Singletary?s 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, that?s got to be the standard,? Bly said. ?When you force turnovers you increase your chance of winning. I?m 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.
?I think our corners were playing a little bit too loose, and I think they took advantage of some of those things,? Singletary said. ?We have to challenge the receivers better. We did not tackle well. There are a number of things we didn?t do well.?
The 49ers? top two active return men were injured Sunday, as Michael Robinson sustained a right shoulder stinger in the first half and Arnaz Battle exited with a right leg strain.
Starting wide receiver Josh Morgan returned two kickoffs for 101 yards, including a 76-yarder that set up a 49ers? touchdown. Spare safety Reggie Smith recorded three punts for 7 yards in Battle?s absence.
Others on the 49ers? preliminary injury report were Brown (left knee contusion), guard David Baas (left ankle), safety Mark Roman (ribs contusion), Reggie Smith (groin), safety Marcus Hudson (back spasms) and tight end Delanie Walker (left forearm).
Tony Wragge replaced Baas and played the entire second half.
The game was costly to the Packers, who lost outside linebacker Aaron Kampman and cornerback Al Harris for the season with serious knee injuries, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.