One of the biggest issues for the 49ers defense over the past couple seasons has been the secondary. They've got a good pass rush going and are the best team in the NFL when it comes to stopping the run. Carlos Rogers and Donte Whitner came in last season and provided some serious legitimacy to the secondary and look what happened: the 49ers won 13 games and made it to the NFC Championship game.
San Francisco was able to retain Rogers and Whitner, and they're hoping the progression continues for second-year cornerback Chris Culliver. He played himself onto the field in nickel situations in 2011 and will be doing the same this season. Behind him, there was Tramaine Brock a season ago and ... he doesn't inspire much confidence.
This offseason the 49ers brought in another player: Perrish Cox. There was a ton of pre-draft hype for Cox before he was hit with some serious off-the-field issues, was drafted late, and eventually released by the Denver Broncos. Those issues are behind him now and the 49ers were reportedly one of the few teams to really take a chance on Cox, which might end up working very well for them in the end.
When the 49ers released the official depth chart for the first week of the season, one of the noteworthy bits was the fact that Cox leap-frogged Brock thanks to a strong training camp and preseason performance. He's the primary backup at the left cornerback position behind Rogers.
No matter how you look at it, that's a good sign for the 49ers. They need up-and-comers, especially at the cornerback position. Cox had a lot of potential and if he can realize any of that sooner rather than later, the 49ers will be in good shape. A player like him stepping up to the plate and getting some playing time can only mean good things.
And of course, we all know the Packers have more-than enough wide receivers to worry about. We may see a good deal of Perrish Cox as early as Sunday.