Rough turf has 49ers concerned NFC PLAYOFF NOTEBOOK

January 08, 1995|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Everyone was running for cover.

The overmatched Chicago Bears wanted to get out of the way of the San Francisco 49ers. Side judge Van Golmont fled the vicinity of William Floyd in the second quarter, as the fullback wound up for a spike after the second of his three touchdowns.

And the fans were able to think about shelter from the rain early, as the 49ers went ahead 20-3 shortly after the skies opened with eight minutes to go in the first half.

The five-day forecast calls for rain through Wednesday, and that's bad news for the groundskeeper at Candlestick Park, which is notorious for its poor drainage. It might have been a factor when Doug Brien clunked a point-after attempt off the upright in the second quarter, one of the few things that went wrong for the 49ers in their 44-15 victory.

Except to be lined and painted, the field was covered by a tarp all last week. A dozen members of the grounds crew were working on it under the lights last night, and the 49ers are worried about the condition it will be in for next week's NFC championship game.

"The turf is not in real good shape," coach George Seifert said. "It's a grass field that gets muddy, and we're in for more rain."

From Seifert on down, the 49ers said they don't have a preferred opponent next week, even though Dallas beat them in the past two NFC championship games. Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin has promised a third straight Super Bowl for Dallas, a vow the 49ers met with yawns.

"That ploy was used last year by Jimmy Johnson, and maybe Michael is thinking he can convert the rest of his team to that way of thinking," said center Bart Oates, who nevertheless doesn't think it's the move of a desperate man. "They've got the second-best team in the NFC. How desperate can they be?"

Nonetheless, Oates likes San Francisco's position.

"We have the luxury of watching the Dallas-Packers game and seeing which team has earned the right to come to Candlestick," Oates said. "Whichever opponent it is, as long as we do what we're capable of doing, we're going to be successful."

Miscellaneous

The 49ers' Richard Dent made his first appearance against his former team. The backup defensive end, out most of season with a knee injury, made a token appearance. . . . The 49ers intercepted Walsh twice, the first coming on a play in which left cornerback Eric Davis slipped and was beaten by Curtis Conway before recovering. . . . San Francisco was delighted to get wide receiver John Taylor back in the game plan. Taylor, who had four catches for 51 yards, had 41 in the regular season, his second-lowest output in the past six years.

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