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Preseason week 1: The Good; The Ugly; The Same Old from Last Year

Originally posted by ClassicNiner:
I don't know what your priorities were for a first preseason game, but these were mine: (1) no injuries to key players, (2) how does our first round pick look? Aldon Smith looked great and is unlikely to be a bust, and (3) how do the free agent players look? Dante Whitner will improve the team immensely at safety, and David Akers hit a perfect FG. Braylon Edwards looked good in limited time, and there was not enough Jonathan Goodwin to judge.

I'm satisfied. For the rest, preseason doesn't mean squat.

Your other priorities are fine, but where's the OL interest? You have to be horrified by this aspect, no?
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Your other priorities are fine, but where's the OL interest? You have to be horrified by this aspect, no?

I'm actually not horrified. What did you expect, for them to be stellar? They practiced for 2 weeks, GW blitzed the hell out of them and it showed. I do not think they will be this bad come week 1.
Originally posted by ApatheticIAm:
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Your other priorities are fine, but where's the OL interest? You have to be horrified by this aspect, no?

I'm actually not horrified. What did you expect, for them to be stellar? They practiced for 2 weeks, GW blitzed the hell out of them and it showed. I do not think they will be this bad come week 1.

Yeah, not crying that the sky is falling yet... just more worried about the pass pro than I was going into the year. (and even then, it was my main worry)
Originally posted by 80sbaby24:
Oldman you were correct in your review of Smith. You know that I personally have been one of the most outspoken "Smith Hater" on this board. IMO, there were 4 pass attempts by Smith yesterday that he was not pressured.

1- First play of the game. dj43 placing blame on anyone but ALex is laughable. Vernon had a few steps on his defender, and ALex threw it at the Davis' feet. That was 100% on ALex. He had time and an open man, and his throw was extremely inaccurate. 0 for 1 on plays that should have been made.

2- 3rd and 8 on our 4th offensive possession and Smith throws behind Braylon. Again, there is little pressure and ALex made a terrible throw. Again, this is 100% on ALex. He is now 0 and 2 on plays that should have been made.

3- 2nd down on our 5th offensive possession and Smith hits Braylon on a screen. Very nice pass. Hits Bray in stride. ALex is now 1-3 on passes that should have been made.

4- 3rd and really long on the same possession. ALex hits a screen pass under no pressure with the D dropping back into long distance coverage. Easy pass to complete, and he did.

So IMO, (after taking out #4 which a 10 year old could complete), ALex went 1 for 3 in passes that should have been made. Every other drop back ALex made can be thrown out the window because of line issues. I know its only game 1, but it frightens me that this could be a foreshadowing of the season. ALex has thrown inaccurate passes for 6 years + 1 preseason game. I really hope he can flourish in this offense, but I just dont think his accuracy is good enough.


DJ made a few points that you did not address, other than suggesting he blamed everyone but Smith. Can you address why you disagree, particularly with the DL hands in front of Smith's face on most if not all throws? And if vision is obscured the throw is better low than and int...no?
I re-watched the game with the NFL.com preseason package last night. It is a steal for only $20 and useful for fantasy degenerates like myself. Here is my summary of the passing plays from a 49er perspective. (We know that they blitzed almost every down, so I won't get into that) I won't cover Kaep yet because I don't think he knows the offense well enough at this point.

Anyway, I can say that Alex's first throw was on him. He should have hit Vernon on that Throw. Though It is telling that none of the recievers adjusted their routes when 3 extra men came on a blitz. The first play was the best protection the Niners had all night and it is no coincidence that Gore was in the game and picked up the blitz very well there. There was some pressure, but not really that much. It didn't look like his throwing lane was compromised at all to me. The Third play of the first series was just Lupati messing up as Staley chewed him out for missing his assignment.

2nd Drive - Vernon Whiffed , or didn't recognize the blitzing back. No routes were broken off for relief, but if Vernon gets that Blovk Morgan was open near a first down. It looked like that is where Smith was going with the ball. Smith has taken two huge blind hits at this point. Frank Gore looks good. *Side note- Donte Whitner looks very good and his coverage skills were better than many had been complaining about from what I saw.

3rd Drive -

Run with gore (bye Gore) Then another pressured Pass. Smith actually handled this one pretty well. He stepped up, changed his throwing ngle slightly, and fired a nice ball to Vernon away from the defender. It may have been just a bit hard if I am nit-picking, but Vernon Dropped it or the defender just tipped it at the last minute. I couldn't tell for sure. I think Vernon just dropped it. If he catches that he had quite a bit of free space behind him. The Next play. Anthony Davis gets beat, and Smith gets sacked. I don't think he could have stepped up in to the pocket much more (maybe a little bit) on this play because it was very small and collapsing. His small hands were able to hold on to the ball somehow even with his arm being raked by Will Smith I believe.

4th Drive- Anthony Dixon is not decisive when running the football. I know it is just one game, but Hunter was way better IMO. 2nd down pass play - Obviously a miscommunication. Delanie stopped running his route. Smith felt some pressure and had to rush the throw a little bit. It looked like Vernon had a step and should have been the target. Smith most likely saw the free DB blitz coming from the right and looked to where the blitz came from for a target. Vernon woud have had a touchdown with a well thrown ball though. Not sure why Moran Norris was split wide and running a Go route, but he was so slow that it didn't really impact the play. #rd Down. Alex made his worst throw of the game. Way behind Braylon on the slant. A good throw there makes it a 1st down. I think this was Smith's worst play of the game because Vernon was also open in the middle.

5th Drive- Run, Good pass to Braylon for a first Down on the Slant. That Play will be there all year as long as teams are blitzing (and they will be blitzing all year). Smith will have to hit it consistently. I wish they would have done more of that throughout. I only counted 3 slant-heavy plays with all that pressure. Interestingly, this is the first play where Smith was not pressured. The final play was a screen that looked to be well set up (for once!) but Dixon didn't turn it up field quickly enough. I think Kendal Hunter or Gore would have had a nice gain on that play.


I won't make any conclusions, but my observations were just that Smith looked rusty and out of sync, and there seemed to be little game-planning for blitz relief-especially on the first 2 Series. I look for that to be a priority in the coming weeks. Seeing Vernon open so much was kind of nice though, if the line can protect a little bit more, he might have a huge year now that there will be other play makers to draw some attention away from him.
[ Edited by dtcomposer on Aug 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM ]
Originally posted by GNielsen:
dtg_9er, thanks for the kind words! And, you're absolutely right. Hey, if they can't handle a blitz by the start of the regular season, I'll feel a lot differently about it, but right now, I'm not sure they've even spent hour one working on that aspect of the game. The thing that gets me about the Saints is that everyone knows that no team has had much time to work on that facet of the game. That was one of the worst no-class stunts I've ever seen in a preseason game - the equivalent of a hazing or something like that. Very, very weak.

Sean Payton is known for pulling that kinda crap. I seem to remember people getting angry with him for running scores up on teams. He is arrogant, and it doesnt surprise me at all. Im not even sure Rex would pull that crap.
i thought a few players were deserving of recognition as top performers in their game efforts and here they are.


chris culliver is the real deal. i didnt hear his name called out once in our pass defense and thats a good thing for a corner. every time i got a look at him he was glued to his assignments hip. but to his credit they didnt throw at him, and that can only mean one thing, he shut it down. i really liked what i saw last night and i think he quietly had the best game of anyone on the team last night. my 1st top performer goes to chirs culliver.

aldon smith played pretty much the whole game and he showed that he was worthy of a #7 pick. he was all over the field showing off all phases of the game. his instincts as a football player are amazing. this guy is going to be a great all round player for us. i thought he would struggle in the running game but he excelled and really disrupted a bunch of plays and even had a tfl or 2. he showed all around good awareness for a rookie even getting in on and sniffing out a screen pass. my 2nd top performer goes to aldon smith.

demarcus dobbs wasnt even on my radar for last nights game but he was impossible not to notice. he was nearly unblockable and the guy was all over the field making a ton of plays in both the passing and running game. yes he was doing it against backups, but at least he did what he was supposed to do. dominate backups. my last top performer goes to demarcus dobbs.

honorable mention
alex boone
[ Edited by OptimusPrime52 on Aug 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM ]
Originally posted by TheRatMan13:
Sean Payton is known for pulling that kinda crap. I seem to remember people getting angry with him for running scores up on teams. He is arrogant, and it doesnt surprise me at all. Im not even sure Rex would pull that crap.


Yeah, I think Rex would...chip off the old block. His dad did that a few times that I recall. Not worried about it though as no players injured and our offense needs to work on this, even without preparation. The OLine has to adjust and actually block someone!

Thanks dtcomposer! Good data.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Aug 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM ]
Originally posted by 80sbaby24:
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by maximill15:
Originally posted by CrownJP:
I am guessing you didnt watch the game ... And if you did you do not understand anything about the QB position or how an offense operates successfully ... You see its quiet simple really, if you have no time to throw the ball you can not make quick enough adjustments, because you are rushed and that is what causes him to throw the ball behind and low .... if he has time he generally plays well ... just because you have blind hate for Alex doesnt mean you can just be blind to the fact that the OLine did nothing to block anyone ... I mean i read these posts about Alex this and Alex that and all of these arm chair QBs who sit back and say he sucks and he shouldve just done this or thrown it here or there ... How many of you have even played QB??? Do you even know what it takes to move in the pocket or to have 3-4 people in your face as you throw??? More then likely you do not ... you sit there and ignore the fact that he had A) NO TIME TO THROW THE BALL and B) HE HAS HAD 5 F**KING PRACTICES WITH HIS OFFENSE ... My God People .... Step back off the ledge

Yeah you are right I didn't watch the game... I didn't fault smith for being hit/ sacked did I? No! That was VD blowing assignments and Anthony Davis not being able to handle speed rushers. Oline looked terrible, and they were unprepared but that doesnt change the fact when smith had time (and he did on 5 or so plays) he looked terrible! Theres always an excuse for smith, but THE FACT IS, HE ISNT ACCURATE! Pass to VD, ball at his feet (incomplete), Pass to Edwards, behind him (incomplete) Pass to either Walker or VD (not near anyone, but that was prob walkers fault). Good qb's are pressured too, but they remain calm and step up and still get off an accurate pass, smith can't do it. Point remains smith has no pocket presence, no accuracy, and once he gets flustered he has no composure.

As I recall, Alex was at fault for 2 passes. One of the first passes that fell low to VD (and VD was even motioning for Alex to put it a lil higher) and the Braylon Edwards slant that was behind him (one of if not his last pass attempt). Everything else was on the OL, IMHO.

On the first pass that was low to VD, Smith had the DE in his face with his hands up. He was forced to throw off his back foot and appeared to be throwing around the hands of the DE who was taking away the lead in the throw.

Okay, I'll have to look at it when I get the chance. This is what I get for judging the play after only watching it once live.

Oldman you were correct in your review of Smith. You know that I personally have been one of the most outspoken "Smith Hater" on this board. IMO, there were 4 pass attempts by Smith yesterday that he was not pressured.

1- First play of the game. dj43 placing blame on anyone but ALex is laughable. Vernon had a few steps on his defender, and ALex threw it at the Davis' feet. That was 100% on ALex. He had time and an open man, and his throw was extremely inaccurate. 0 for 1 on plays that should have been made.[/quote]

[quote]2- 3rd and 8 on our 4th offensive possession and Smith throws behind Braylon. Again, there is little pressure and ALex made a terrible throw. Again, this is 100% on ALex. He is now 0 and 2 on plays that should have been made.[/quote] agree

[quote]3- 2nd down on our 5th offensive possession and Smith hits Braylon on a screen. Very nice pass. Hits Bray in stride. ALex is now 1-3 on passes that should have been made.

4- 3rd and really long on the same possession. ALex hits a screen pass under no pressure with the D dropping back into long distance coverage. Easy pass to complete, and he did.

So IMO, (after taking out #4 which a 10 year old could complete), ALex went 1 for 3 in passes that should have been made. Every other drop back ALex made can be thrown out the window because of line issues. I know its only game 1, but it frightens me that this could be a foreshadowing of the season. ALex has thrown inaccurate passes for 6 years + 1 preseason game. I really hope he can flourish in this offense, but I just dont think his accuracy is good enough.

We agree on all but #1. Go back and look at the play. Your filter is on so tight you are not seeing what actually happened. Will Smith has shoved everything back in Alex' face and he has to throw off his back foot. If you can't see that then I have nothing further for you.
[ Edited by dj43 on Aug 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM ]
error
[ Edited by Shorteous on Aug 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM ]
Originally posted by dj43:

We agree on all but #1. Go back and look at the play. Your filter is on so tight you are not seeing what actually happened. Will Smith has shoved everything back in Alex' face and he has to throw off his back foot. If you can't see that then I have nothing further for you.

Not at all demanding that you believe me, but I am watching the play right now again. The OLB (Shanle) rushes but gets blocked pretty well by Gore. There's not a lot of room in between them and Alex, but there's enough to not alter the throw. The pass just didn't have enough on it and kinda dies at VD's ankles... could have been a little more out in front as well. Nothing to rip a QB over... but just not a well thrown ball.... it happens to all QBs.
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by Shorteous:
Gotta love the nfl network preseason package. We can really go back and easily review a play multiple times. It has a 10sec rewind and a 10second fast forward, it allows you to continuously review a play looking at all the angles. great stuff. Review the two worse hits on smith I noticed a few things.

The first play was a 3rd and 7 and after it's conclusion, Staley was livid with Iupati. The defense disguised their cover 4 as a cover 2 with bump n run. When the play starts you see the front 6 and the NCB come on an all out blitz. Iupati blocks down on the DT where he should have picked up the RDE. Staley was putting a chip on the RDE and then went to pick up the NCB. Unfortunately Iupati did not hear or missed the pass off and the RDE came barreling in on smith and got to him as he reached his 3 step drop. The DB where all a few yards pass the first down marker waiting on the receivers whom all were running skinny posts. Given time and the pass being accurate the play would have resulted in an easy first down. That defensive front was well disguised and not a basic vanilla preseason blitz.

The second play I wont go into great detail into, The niners where in a 22 formation, if I remember correctly that means two rb two te and 1 wr. The saints bring 7 on the blitz including the a Saftey. Smith runs a play action and a 5 step drop and once again is demolished as he reaches his drop point.

Both plays smith was decked as he reached his drop point, disgusting oline play.

IF you want contrast go watch some of the TB oline. Freeman is able to sit back there for ever and read and react.


Thank you for the info! I couldn't watch much of the game last night and did not record!
I would recommend paying for either the NFL rewind or the preseason package. It is very nice to go in there a be able to easily rewatch a play a few times.
[ Edited by Shorteous on Aug 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM ]
Originally posted by ClassicNiner:
I don't know what your priorities were for a first preseason game, but these were mine: (1) no injuries to key players, (2) how does our first round pick look? Aldon Smith looked great and is unlikely to be a bust, and (3) how do the free agent players look? Dante Whitner will improve the team immensely at safety, and David Akers hit a perfect FG. Braylon Edwards looked good in limited time, and there was not enough Jonathan Goodwin to judge.

I'm satisfied. For the rest, preseason doesn't mean squat.

Great perspective. The o-line was disconcerting, but I was looking at this game from a very broad point of view considering the lack of a pre-season and the blitz-happy Saints.

Anything deeper is people simply overreacting, or jumping to conclusions to fulfill their own longstanding opinions.
Originally posted by dj43:
We agree on all but #1. Go back and look at the play. Your filter is on so tight you are not seeing what actually happened. Will Smith has shoved everything back in Alex' face and he has to throw off his back foot. If you can't see that then I have nothing further for you.

Vernon should be able to catch that one. It was a little low, not to the ground low. Very catchable. There was another one to Vernon where the defender was draping him, Smith threw it a little high. Hit Vernon in his outstretch hands. Should have caught that one too. These are not ideal accurate throws from Smith. But still catchable and have seen them caught by other receivers in the NFL.

Even the one that was behind B.Edwards in a crossing route. That one was catchable too. Hit him in the waist. You will always see some throws that are behind the receivers in a crossing route LBer level, with every qb, it's not specially with Smith.

Overall Smith needs to be more accurate, receivers need to catch the ball.

First preseason game, everyone went crazy with the criticism
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Aug 13, 2011 at 11:09 AM ]
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Vernon should be able to catch that one. It was a little low, not to the ground low. Very catchable. There was another one to Vernon where the defender was draping him, Smith threw it a little high. Hit Vernon in his outstretch hands. Should have caught that one too. These are not ideal accurate throws from Smith. But still catchable and have seen them caught by other receivers in the NFL.

Even the one that was behind B.Edwards in a crossing route. That one was catchable too. Hit him in the waist. You will always see some throws that are behind the receivers in a crossing route LBer level, with every qb, it's not specially with Smith.

Overall Smith needs to be more accurate, receivers need to catch the ball.

First preseason game, everyone went crazy with the criticism


Nice post! I was watching some of the other games and was amazed at some of the catches the wr's were making. One guy was running across the end zone and has a ball thrown way behind him but he contorts his body and does a 180 degree body turn and nabs the ball at arms lenght behind him while still moving in the opposite direction! Now I don't expect that kind of catch but a ball over the head or on the back hip or on the knees has to be caught this year. Alex needs to improve his accuracy but the wr's must help him out this year by making the tough catches. Like they say, if it touchs your hands you catch it.