YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio Michael Vick. DeSean Jackson. Jeremy Maclin. LeSean McCoy.
Vic Fangio, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, said Thursday that the Philadelphia Eagles' collection of offensive skill players makes them the fastest team San Francisco will face this season.
"They have the speed and the quarterback arm strength to throw the ball downfield and they use it," Fangio said.
The Eagles' talent especially their self-described talent is serving as motivation for the 49ers' defense. After the lockout ended in July, when the Eagles were accumulating big-name free agents, newly acquired quarterback Vince Young borrowed a line from the NBA's Miami Heat and dubbed the Eagles the "Dream Team."
As was the case for Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, the title has turned into a target for the Eagles' opponents, the 49ers included. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman on Thursday admitted the name has been discussed among the 49ers' defenders.
"Dream team basically you're given something that has to be earned," he said. "We want to show them what we have, the type of playmakers we have."
Bowman and fellow inside linebacker Patrick Willis will have perhaps their toughest assignment Sunday in keeping tabs on McCoy, the NFC's leading rusher. They also must make sure Vick doesn't break off a big run.
Maclin injured his hamstring Sunday against the New York Giants and was limited in practice Thursday.
Going to the mattresses During Thursday's practice at Youngstown State, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and two assistants brought out what, upon first glance, appeared to be a giant piece of cheese.
It turned out to be an old, yellow wrestling mat about the size of a king mattress.
The mattress, likely discovered in the bowels of the university's stadium, was held up by two assistants and used by Harbaugh as a screen for his receivers.
He instructed them to stand behind it and then "pop out" to snag a pass from the quarterbacks, who were firing passes from 15 yards away.
Et cetera Fangio said strong safety Donte Whitner (hip) did not finish practice. Fangio described Whitner as "highly questionable" to play against Philadelphia.
If Whitner can't play, Madieu Williams will start opposite Dashon Goldson at safety.
Cornerback Tramaine Brock has his left hand in a cast after breaking it two weeks ago against Dallas.
That's partially the reason Shawntae Spencer has seen more action at cornerback, Fangio said.
The 49ers struggled with false starts last week in Cincinnati, even though there were only about 40,000 fans present.
The team is borrowing noise equipment at Youngstown State to prepare for Philadelphia, which promises to have Lincoln Financial Field packed.