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Tackle Could Be 'Defining Play'

CB Sam Shields (Jeff Hanisch/USP)

Throughout the offseason, Sam Shields was asked about his tackling. Could he tackle? Did he want to tackle? When asked about his tackling on Wednesday, after his big stop of Frank Gore, Shields couldn't hide his smile and the coaches couldn't hide their optimism.

One play can change a season. Maybe even a career. Randall Cobb's punt return for a touchdown got the Green Bay Packers back into the game against San Francisco last week. On third-and-2 on the ensuing possession, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith dumped the ball in the flat to running back Frank Gore. The only player standing between Gore and a first down was Sam Shields. Gore was selected to his...

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