Sean Payton, Saints preparing for challenging battle with 49ers defense

Sean Payton, Saints preparing for challenging battle with 49ers defense

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Sean Payton and the Saints will have to contend with two Defensive Players of the Month this Sunday when New Orleans hosts the 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa took home the award for October, and linebacker Fred Warner earned the honors for November as staples of the 49ers' stout unit.

During his conference call with local media, the Saints coach was very complimentary of the 49ers' defense and what they have been able to accomplish so far this season.

“Pick a number, red zone, third down, quarterback pressures,” Payton said. “All those components are why they are sitting where they are at with their record and they’ve done a fantastic job.”
Bosa, in particular, has made an impression on the Saints coach. The Ohio State product already has tallied eight sacks, 16 quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one interception. 

“For someone who is young, you see an explosive athlete,” Payton said. “You see power. You see edge speed. You see someone, I think especially for a young player, who uses his hands extremely well. He’s played outstanding.”  

The Saints are known for their passing attack, with the connection between quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas fueling their success in the passing game. The Saints wide receiver ranks top in the league in receiving yards with 1,290.

Payton is very familiar with the veteran cornerback who could throw a wrench into the Saints' aerial game plan. He believes Richard Sherman is back to playing at the level he was prior to his Achilles injury.

“I think so you get everything with this player, along with between the ears,” Payton said of Sherman. “His instincts, his understanding of formations, leverage. He knows the defense cold. And his man-technique looks outstanding. I think his film has been extremely impressive. That back end group has been playing real well.” 

[RELATED: 49ers have logjam at RB with return of Breida]

The 49ers defense has had their challenges with mobile quarterbacks in four out of their last five games facing Kyler Murray twice, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson. The game plan facing the Saints will be decidedly different, but the film from each of those games has been useful in Payton's preparation. 

“Certainly there are game tapes that are better studies for us than others,” Payton said. “Now, 12 games in, you’ve got a real good foundation of what you’re looking at but to their credit, they are very disciplined in their alignments. 

“It’s not an exotic defense with all sorts of looks. And even when they play a team like Baltimore they still have structurally a starting point that they align in and then obviously there are some adjustments or things that they might want to do differently with an offense like that. That tape is important.”

49ers' Richard Sherman claps back at Darrelle Revis over criticism

49ers' Richard Sherman claps back at Darrelle Revis over criticism

Even after completing his fifth Pro Bowl season and being set to make his third appearance in the Super Bowl, 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman continues to seek out his haters.

Former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis called Sherman out on Twitter during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, criticizing the veteran for primarily shadowing one side of the field instead of being isolated in a matchup on the Packers’ No. 1 receiver, Davante Adams.

Per usual, Sherman jumped on social media within minutes of the win over Green Bay and clapped back at Revis.

Revis was quick to point out that in his ninth NFL season, he wasn’t exactly a scrub.

Despite Revis having the same number of Super Bowl titles and playing in just three more playoff games than Sherman, the Niners’ defensive back took one last shot at the now-retired Revis.

[RELATED: Watch 49ers celebrate after clinching Super Bowl LIV berth]

Perhaps Sherman should just focus on the impressive performance he put together Sunday -- including a late interception of star Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- instead of starting beefs with players who have been out of the NFL for multiple seasons.

But hey, it wouldn’t be a night on Twitter without some meaningless arguing.

When is Super Bowl? Date, time, location, halftime show, live stream, TV info

When is Super Bowl? Date, time, location, halftime show, live stream, TV info

It's almost here.

In a little less than two weeks, the lights will shine on Hard Rock Stadium in Miami when 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs clash in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2.

Whether you watch for the game, the commercials, the halftime show or just because your significant other makes you, it's sure to be must-watch four-plus hours of television.

[RELATED: Kittle must take center stage vs. Packers]

Here's all the information you need to know for Super Bowl LIV:

When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 3:30 p.m. PT
Where: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami, Fla.)
Halftime Show: Shakira and Jennifer Lopez
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream: FOXSports.com