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Shutdown Corner

Cortland Finnegan says Rams offense knows to target 49ers safety Craig Dahl ‘early and often’

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Cortland Finnegan ripped a former teammate (USA Today Sports Images)

St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan has certainly been one of the more feisty players in the NFL in recent years.

When he was with the Tennessee Titans during the 2010 season, Finnegan slugged it out with Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson that earned both players an ejection and $25,000 fines. Late in the fourth quarter of a game last September, Finnegan goaded Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan to throw the football at him after the whistle, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Morgan that took the Redskins out of field-goal range and ultimately cost the Redskins the game.

Finnegan's latest target is safety Craig Dahl, who left the Rams this offseason and signed a three-year, $5.25 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams went 7-8-1 last season, but played the eventual NFC champion 49ers tough. The two teams played to a 24-24 tie on Nov. 11 before the Rams upset the 49ers 16-13 in overtime on Dec. 2.

On Wednesday, Dahl told reporters in San Francisco that upon signing with the 49ers, he immediately told the coaching staff that the Rams were successful against them last season because they were able to diagnose run or pass based on the personnel and formation.

"We had a few tips off of film that we were able to differentiate between run and pass early," Dahl said, via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. "So that kind of gave us an added benefit on defense.

"It was a few different things. Some different personnel and alignment stuff really were the big keys, as far as our giveaways."

Of course, this sort of information gathering is nothing new and happens all the time in the NFL. Offensive coaches will pick the brains of defensive players coming in from other teams (and vice versa) on a variety of things, including tendencies that the coach's own self-scouting might have overlooked.

However, Dahl "spilling the beans" to the 49ers was not something that Finnegan could let slide.

In response to a ProFootballTalk tweet, Finnegan wrote "Craig Dahl is lame and weak for that glad he with another squad we know how he play thanks for the tips we know who 2 go at".

"Craig Dahl we know how you play thanks for the tips we know who to attack early and often", Finnegan added.

The first of two meetings between the Rams and 49ers this season will be in St. Louis on Sept. 26.

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