Gabbert, in New 49ers' System, Faces Same Rams Defense

SANTA CLARA – Blaine Gabbert's last regular season start came against the same organization he faces in Monday's season opener.

Gabbert threw for a career-high 354 yards in the 49ers' 19-16 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Jim Tomsula's final game on Jan. 3 at Levi's Stadium.

The last quarterback under the one-and-done coach will also be the first quarterback for Chip Kelly with the 49ers on Monday night at Levi's Stadium when the Los Angeles Rams come to town.

But while the Rams are much the same team, the 49ers have changed dramatically.

"The biggest thing is they are two different systems, so you're running two different style of plays," Gabbert said. "I would say that's the biggest difference. But at the same time, you attack certain defenses in a specific way. We're just going to call the plays and we've just got to go execute verses the defensive plays that are called."

Gabbert won the 49ers' starting job over Colin Kaepernick, who missed nearly two weeks of practices during training camp with arm fatigue. The 49ers' offense should be improved with Kelly's up-tempo, spread offense.

When the 49ers defeated the Rams to close out last season, Gabbert completed 28 of 44 attempts for 354 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It was only his third career 300-yard passing game, and his previous high passing total in a victory was 217 yards.

While the 49ers' offense has changed, the Rams defense is much the same under Gregg Williams, who begins his third season as Jeff Fisher's defensive coordinator.

"They are a well-coached, hardnosed, tough defense to go against, and they have some tremendous playmakers," Gabbert said. "It's up to us to execute our plays. We've got to focus on the things that we can control and dictate the style of game it's going to be."

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