49ers best of bad NFC bunch 1991 NFL PREVIEW With Montana iffy, S.F. defense can rise to beat back Giants, Skins

August 30, 1991|By KEN MURRAY

1 San Francisco 49ers * NEW FACES: First-round draft choice Ted Washington is the heir apparent to nose tackle Michael Carter. The 49ers added former Redskins safety Todd Bowles in Plan B free agency.

* BOTTOM LINE: The Cardinals are doomed without Rosenbach.

14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

* NEW FACES: First-round draft choice Charles McRae gives the Bucs a quality blocker to go with veteran Paul Gruber. Richard Williamson, who replaced deposed Ray Perkins late last season, got a two-year deal as coach amid rumors his reign will be short. Bill Parcells rumors proliferate in Tampa. Also new is defensive coordinator Floyd Peters.

* BEST SHOT: The Bucs need a big season from Vinny Testaverde, the No. 1 pick in the 1987 draft who has yet to make it big. He showed progress last season, but still threw more interceptions (18) than touchdown passes (17). The Bucs appear tired of waiting.

* BIGGEST WORRY: If the players believe Parcells is their coach-in-waiting, Williamson will not last long. His only chance is to break out of the gate quickly.

* BOTTOM LINE: The Bucs ranked 24th in both offense and defense last year, enduring their eighth straight losing season. At least they're consistent.

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