Giants Niners: Enemy Territory


Eric Melendez from was kind enough to weigh in on a few topics for us.

1. What has been the biggest difference Coach Harbaugh has brought to the organization?

Harbaugh has instilled confidence and swagger inside the locker room.  49ers players like Alex Smith, Carlos Rogers and Aldon Smith to name a few, have taken that confidence and swagger and backed it up on the playing field.  It also helps that Harbaugh is an experienced head coach and played in the NFL as a quarterback.  He brought knowledge and experience to the 49ers that former head coaches Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary did not have.

2. Having been to Candelstick many times, it is obvious that either a major renovation or a new stadium is necessary.  Where do the fans come down on the idea of  a move to Santa Clara or San Jose?

Neither. Most fans will tell you, and even some former Niners players like Jerry Rice, that the team needs to stay in San Francisco and I agree.  Santa Clara is in the Bay Area, about an hour drive from San Francisco but the fans want the team to stay true to the city it was founded in.  There is a plan for a stadium in San Francisco but the 49ers owners would rather have the new stadium down south in Santa Clara.

3. The Giants and Niners have had some classic battles in the regular season and the playoffs.  What is your fondest and worst memory of the rivalry?

My fondest memory of the rivalry was the last time they squared off in the playoffs in 2001.  The NFC Wild Card game ended 39-38 with the 49ers coming out on top after being down by 24 points at halftime.  (I was there for this disaster)

The worst memory of the rivalry goes all the way back to the 1990 NFC Championship game.  The Giants not only stopped the 49ers quest for a third straight Super Bowl win, but also ended Joe Montana’s career with the 49ers with a sack by Leonard Marshall.  Montana would appear in one more game for the 49ers.
4. Do the fans believe the York family has settled in as owners, and are now serious about doing what it takes to return this team to it’s past glory, and keep it there?

This season the York’s have shown they can be competent owners.  In the past that was not the case because of the bad hires they made in the front office and with coaches.  Promoting Trent Baalke to general manager and winning the Harbaugh sweepstakes last year has shown the owners can make the right moves to continue the success beyond this season.

5. What do you feel is the biggest need for this team going forward?

The team needs a deep threat wide receiver.  We have a good short route WR in Michael Crabtree and a big target tight end in Vernon Davis.  All the offense is lacking is a deep threat WR to make the defense account for the deep passes opening other receivers.  The 49ers thought they had that with Braylon Edwards this season but he was plagued by injuries all season and was cut.