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Vic Fangio: 49ers' defense boasts 'a lot of leaders'


NEW ORLEANS -- When the San Francisco 49ers found themselves trailing the Atlanta Falcons 17-0 in the NFC title game, safety Dashon Goldson took it upon himself to press into his defensive teammates.

"This is going to come down to us," Goldson said at the time. "We started this. We started slow."

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That was Goldson's day to step up, but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told me Wednesday there isn't one obvious go-to leader on the 49ers. The team is full of them.

"I think that's why we got a good defense," Fangio said. "You can pick a lot of players and put that label on them. We don't have one core leader, but we've got a lot of leaders. I think the group as a whole leads itself, and there's unwritten accountability, everybody's accountable to each other."

You see that dynamic on both sides of the ball with the 49ers. Plenty of star power, but they rise and fall as a group. San Francisco's ability to drown out the noise has been impressive during Super Bowl week. They come across, to a man, as focused, businesslike and putting Sunday before all things.

That comes down to more than just one guy.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.


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