49ers at Bears: Matt Barrows' 5 players to watch
Joe Staley’s scouting report on Sunday’s opponent and Bears outside linebacker Willie Young: long arms, quick first step, heavy head.
Wait. Did he say heavy head?
“Like, a bull-rush,” Staley explained. “He kind of head-butts you.”
The matchup between the 49ers’ veteran offensive left tackle and Young may be the most compelling part of a game between teams that have combined for three wins this season.
Of Young’s three multi-sack games in his seven-year career, two have come against San Francisco, including 1 1/2 in last year’s overtime win by the 49ers.
“It felt like seven,” Staley said.
Staley has watched film from last season’s game several times this week because of the way he played. He said he had faced Young in the past but when the defender was a situational pass rusher.
The 2015 game was the first time Staley and Young battled all afternoon, and Staley admits he wasn’t expecting the long-legged Young to be so powerful.
“He worked me last year,” Staley said. “It was one of the worst games I played last year. … He consistently beat me around the edge. I’m really looking forward to this game. I had a bad game against (Packers linebacker) Clay Matthews one year in 2012 and was really looking forward to the opportunity to go against him again, and this is no different, regardless of our records.”
In 2012, Matthews had 2 1/2 sacks in a regular-season game against Staley and the 49ers. When they met later in the playoffs, Matthews had one.
Kilgore’s mission – The wildfires that have scorched thousands of acres in Tennessee have devastated a part of the state 49ers center Daniel Kilgore said he cherishes.
“It’s just a tragedy. It’s awful,” said Kilgore, who grew up in Kingsport, Tenn., about a 45-minute drive from Gatlinburg, a resort town on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that has been hit hardest by the fire.
“That part of the country is the most beautiful. It’s God’s country to me,” Kilgore said. “Being born and raised in northeast Tennessee, you know about Gatlinburg, you know about Pigeon Forge and the people that work so hard there.”
The fires have killed at least 10 people, injured at least 74 and destroyed more than 700 homes and businesses. More than 14,000 people have been evacuated from the area.
Kilgore said he and his wife are helping with an effort in Kingsport that is sending tractor trailers full of water, food, supplies and anything else to make the upcoming holidays more bearable for those affected by the blaze.
“Whatever we can do to bring some sense of joy for the holidays,” he said. “Whatever we can do, we’re going to do it.”
Kilgore said he and his family recently spent their summer vacation in one of the spots burned by the fire. He noted that Dollywood theme park, which was largely unaffected by the fire, employs actors and other workers who live in the area.
“It’s going to affect a lot of people,” he said. “But the one thing I know about being from that part of the country, being from northeast Tennessee, is that that community is strong.”
Injuries – The 49ers list only two players, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) and wide receiver Quinton Patton (concussion), on their injury report. Both are questionable.
For the Bears, quarterback Jay Cutler (shoulder) was declared out. Matt Barkley, a fourth-round pick out of USC by the Eagles when Chip Kelly coached them in 2013, will start Sunday.