Fred Warner & the 49ers’ defense expect a ‘battle’ against the Eagles Sunday

Jan 25, 2023, 4:30 PM
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 in t...
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Coming off a dominant defensive win over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC divisional round, the 49ers will head to Pennsylvania to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game.

Marking the third conference championship game in four years for San Francisco, the team knows they’ll need to bring their A-game against the Eagles. Blowing out the New York Giants, 38-14, last weekend, this week will be a clash of titans in the NFC.

“I think this will be as big of a test as there is,” defensive end Nick Bosa said Wednesday.

Other 49ers feel the same way, including All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner.

Warner has captained the 49ers’ defense into a league-leading unit, producing the most interceptions in the NFL this season. A unit ranking first in the NFC in points and yards per game, the 49ers will now go up against the Eagles’ No. 1-ranked offense, making for a very physical matchup.

“I expect it to be a battle all the way through,” Warner stated. “Both the Cowboys and Eagles are both physical, talented teams, who are really fast and have a lot of talent. So just like it was a battle this past week, I’m expecting that, if not more, this week. You know them being in their home, home stadium, home crowd behind them, they’re gonna be juiced up, ready to go.”

The key for the Red & Gold will be stopping the run, primarily by quarterback Jalen Hurts.

San Francisco has been victims of QB mobility over the course of the 2022 season, allowing Jarrett Stidham and the Raiders to execute the option to near perfection in Week 17. Showing cracks in the armor in recent weeks, the 49ers need to make sure they stay on their toes at all times, wary of the misdirections by Philly.

“With the read option, anytime you’re facing a quarterback that has that type of ability, you just got to be on your assignments for a full 60-minutes, which is way easier said than done,” Fred Warner explained Wednesday. “There’s times in a game where you might be part of a long drive, guys get tired and all of a sudden the first thing that goes is your mind and you forget where you might need to fit in a certain play. But it’s all about being detailed. And everybody swarming to the ball, getting to the ball-carrier, if or when he does pull [the ball].”

Thankfully, the 49ers are aware of all they could face in Philly because of guys like Fred Warner.

The captain of the defense, his peers and coaches appreciate him for always communicating. Whether it’s positive or negative, having a leader that takes pride and ownership is something that goes under the radar with fans. And it’s something that Nick Bosa really appreciates about his captain.

“Super important,” Bosa said with a giggle as Warner watched on. “He’s a great leader and gets our minds right whenever we need it. Glad to have him.”

All chuckles aside, the 49ers will face the consensus No.1-ranked team for much of the regular season in their home stadium. San Francisco will be an underdog for the first time in the playoffs this season, no better time to rise to the occasion once again.


“This team rises to the occasion of each next step that we take. I’m really confident in this squad,” Bosa stated. 
Click here to watch various 49ers players in Wednesday’s presser


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