The Chicago Bears might want to clear some space on the old locker-room cork board. One of their Thursday opponents, Vernon Davis, was asked about the Bears defensive front this morning, and he didn't exactly mince his words.
"I think we can destroy their front," said Davis, who is one of the 49ers' team captains. "The guys up front, I think we can destroy them. I don't see anything spectacular about their front line. Their linebackers, I think we can handle them pretty well. I like (Adewale) Ogunleye. I like the way he's playing up front. He's about the only player I like on their defensive line. I think he's doing a good job."
Davis also saw an opportunity to exploit the Bears secondary. "They've given up a lot of points," he said. "There's an opportunity for us, especially there in their secondary, for us to make plays. We just have to go out and do it. Enough talking, go do it. "
Davis later admitted that he also had respect for linebacker Lance Briggs, who nearly became a teammate of Davis' two years ago. "He can't check me," Davis said laughing. "... I think Lance is a good player. I totally respect Lance Briggs. He's a good player. He's been around before I came in this league and I respect his game. But we still have an opportunity. If he's matched up against me one-on-one, I'm going to try my best to beat him."
Briggs also had nice things to say about Davis during a morning conference call. "Eighty five's having a great year," Briggs said. "You know, he shows up on film a lot. A Lot. He's in position to get the ball thrown to him in tough coverages, and he's still coming up with the ball, getting in the end zone."
How does No. 55 match up with No. 85? "It matches up well," Briggs said. "It matches up four Pro Bowls well. I've been in the league going on seven years. So at some point the savvy and the know-how start to take over."
Asked about the possibility of a new wide receiver rotation on Thursday, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said the team would first look at how Isaac Bruce's ankle responds in today's practice. Bruce sat out the second half of Sunday's game after aggravating the ankle.
Bruce said today that he first sprained the ankle in Week 4 against the Rams. He aggravated the injury in the first half Sunday and also hurt his knee on the play. Bruce seemed to be moving around well in the locker room and had no wrapping on the ankle or knee. Bruce called the injury "not a real big deal."
Frank Gore's right eye was red today, but not nearly as swollen as it was following Sunday's game. Gore was poked in the eye at the bottom of the pile in the first half against the Titans. He said he watched the tape but couldn't figure out who did it.
-- Matt Barrows