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

Off hand:

Good: Whitner (very active and around the ball), Aldon Smith (he looks like he will be good), Chris Culliver (good tackling), Philip Adams (coming along well from that injury), Kyle Williams (got open for Kaepernick a few times, seems focused and energetic), Ronald Johnson (made sharp cuts in his routes), Harbaugh (seemed calm and collected during adversity and didn't vilify any players publicly)

Bad: Kaepernick (2 and almost 3 INT, but to be expected for a raw rookie - needs the year to learn and improve), Dixon and Hunter (didn't make the plays, seemed tentative and missed blocks), Offensive line coaches Mike Solari and Tim Drevno, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman and Harbaugh (in postgame interviews, team members expressed that they had not expected the constant Saints blitzes - thoroughly preparing players for all scenarios and making quick adjustments is their job)

Ugly: Offensive Line (could have gotten a QB injured), Special Teams (seemed disoriented and gave up a touchdown), Keaton Kristick and CJ Spiller (took terrible angle, missed tackle and allowed Ingram to score rushing TD)
Good:

Defense - Defense held Brees to a 39.6 QB rating and was impressive for the 1st preseason game and only 12 practices
Whitner - Seems to be the real deal (Major improvement)
Rodgers - Much better then Clements
Gore - Usual self
Aldon Smith - A star in the making
Ahmad Brooks - Looks to be improved and was pressuring Brees from the start
Edwards - He's the real deal but QB needs time to throw to him
Akers - Great pickup! Booted one from long distance
Hunter - Quick and moves well
Kyle Williams - Looks to put some pressure on the receiving core as he made some plays

Bad:

Oline - Atrocious! Worst I've ever seen it...Needs major work and may even need to be addressed with a free agent
Anthony Davis - Burned multiple times
Joe Staley - Didn't look good as Will Smith went right by him
Dixon - Dancing the entire time, wasn't impressed at all

Miscues -

Vernon Davis - ignored the blitz on one play and Alex Smith paid for it
Delanie Walker - Had a good catch and cut, but on one play didn't know the play call or something because he missed a 30 yd pass from Kap
Kaepernick - Alot of issues were with the Oline breakdown but, needs time to learn speed of game and get the ball out of his hands quicker (Was impressed with his running ability as he had a 30 yd run)

Basically, it was what I expected from the offense, but the defense surprised me in a positive way against the 1st team offense of the Saints. Alex Smith had no time at all to throw the ball hence why his stats looked terrible. Our defense is going to be improved in my opinion from last year and that's with all the guys we didn't resign leaving. Once all the blitz packages have been implemented, you're going to see the 49ers coming after the QB more then you've seen since before Dennis Erickson. The offense needs to work on timing, progressions, and assignments.
Mays was good
The Good/Bad/Ugly:

Defense:
Linebackers - no doubt Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith will be your starting OLBers and they look great; wait until they play together! That means Haralson is going to the bench sooner rather than later. I also liked the play of Bowman and paired with Willis, we are looking at a very strong four with Grant and Haralson/Applewhite/Rowe backing up. This is the heart of our defense.

Defensive Line - RayMac looked great as did Dobbs and Smith. RJF is way too small and that was evidenced on a five yard run where the Saints pushed the pile for another ten yards. Ian Williams looks a little more promising. But we are still missing that wide-bodied NT as the DE's and NT's all have the same exact build an again, when a team is in our red zone, they always run easily up the gut for a TD (happened twice last night)

Secondary - it's expected to have a blown coverage here and there and that happened but overall, we looked solid esp. at safety with Whitner. We still need that other starting CB though. CB's played tight and up at the LOS, physical. Neither Brock nor Culliver looked promising

Scheme - No more sitting back and bleeding to death slowly. Fangio will bring it from everywhere and no runs were able to break out off tackle, we played more in their backfield and had many more passes defended (and chances for TO's). We were able to get off the field on 3rd downs and held Brees and company to nothing and a 39.6 QB rating. I saw more "team tackling" which was encouraging

Offense:
O-line - mostly garbage save for Boone and a few runs with Iupati. Staley continue to blow as did <insert any RT>, Rachel, center was getting blown up; constant missed assignments, lack of communication, TE's not blocking, etc.

QB - hard to say; the only good was that some how, some way, neither got seriously injured. Again, no fire in Alex; he needs to get in people's faces and hold his teammates accountable when they blow assignments. 6 sacks and it should have been much more if not for Colin's athleticism.

RB - Hunter looked promising, Dixon has put on way too much now and has lost his mojo, constantly dancing, etc.

WR - Edwards dropped one and caught one. Other than that nothing to report here d/t the poor o-line. Need to see more slants, crossing patterns and screens

Special Teams - Rowe blocked a punt, Akers = 59 yard FG and Lee rules but coverage was very poor

Coaching - Welcome to the NFL Harbaugh! You will thank the Saints for this later if you can correct the problems. Roman needs to call quick slants or screens to protect his QB if the o-line can't block.
Staley was and always will be a BUST!!!!!! Cant believe we gave up a first rounder for that bumb!!!!!!!
Okay, there are 9 pages in here but i want to get out what my opinion on the game was before i have to take my little sis to her school orientation. Some of these things might have already been said, but it's just stuff off the top of my head.

After sleeping on it a little bit, I have a pretty good grasp on how I feel about yesterdays game. I was PISSED while watching the game. Our oline was terrible, just all around. No one was making blocks and there was constant pressure on the QB. It was just hard to watch.

Now, after sleeping on it here is what I think: Everyone knows this team has only had 12 practices together, some of them only 6. At this point, they have the core basics of the offense down and most of the line guys are still trying to memorize the blocking schemes perfectly. Where do they go, on this play who are they supposed to pick up, on this play are they supposed to pull to the right and block for the running back, etc. Because of how little practices they got, they're still going through the motions and trying to get a good grasp on that. But then the dick defensive coordinator last night ruined that for them. They had no time to think, at all. blitz blitz blitz. All they could think about is, "OH CRAP THIS GUY IS ABOUT TO BLOW PAST ME" and try to pick him up, meaning that there were times where they missed their assignments. A lot of times. There were barely any plays where they could just do what their assignments were and do it well, at any given moment a linemen had two guys in his face and had to deal with it as best as he could. New Orleans has had the same defense and offense for awhile now, it's hunkered down in their skulls and they know it by heart. Same with their offense. For them to know where we were at in the learning process and still blitz every play, it was a dick move, no doubt about it. But this is football, not a game of "hello let's be friends." Ultimately this game will help our olinemen. They'll watch the film (I know people hate that saying but oh well) and they'll grow. Most of that line is still young, the new offensive schemes are still being installed and they were going against a complete dick of a defensive coordinator. They did terrible, but they all KNOW they did terrible and they'll get it fixed up.

Now because of all of that, i'm not even try to evaluate the QBs. When you constantly have pressure from every side and have half a second to drop back, make your reads and throw the ball, it aint happening. It would be unfair to judge the QBs right now and honestly I think less of people who try to pin this on either Alex or Kaep. Saying, "he needed to get rid of the ball quicker" is just ignorant. Did you want him to get rid of it while he was dropping back? Because they barely had time to do that most of the game. I think next weeks game or the week after will be a much better game to judge them on.

The running backs... Frank looked solid for the most part. Like he said, he still has his camp legs, but it's still preseason. He'll be fine. Kendall Hunter is FAST. He's going to be a great pickup for us, I feel it. Still need to see how he catches the ball though, I want to see how his hands look in the NFL. Anthony Dixon... Man, I love me some Dixon. I really do. He was the preseason king last year and I love his attitude towards the game. He needs to stop dancing around though. He needs to sit down with Frank and pick his brain, have Frank mentor him a bit. He's too busy looking everywhere but where his assignment is. Not good at all this game.

Can't judge the WRs mostly. Hell I don't even think there's much recording of them, the ball was mostly staying near the line of scrimmage this game.

Now this is where I loved watching the game yesterday. I'm not going to talk about most of the backups because they were average at best, but i'll talk about a couple. First, our defensive line. actually getting pressure, hallelujah. Aldon Smith was AWESOME to watch. He was making tackles, got the sacks, etc. He was pressuring the Saints every play he was in, it was great to see. He's going to be a huge weapon for us. And Culliver. I can't say enough about him. I think he gave up... One play? Two plays? Not many. His coverage was awesome for the most part. Really dug watching him do his thing. and Whitner was great too. He's a real playmaker.

I gotta run so this is shorter than i wanted it to be, but I was impressed with a few things last night. OH, the big one I wanted to mention. Now, this was vanilla playcalling. Everyone knows it. Even the announcers mentioned it a lot. But it was STILL 400% better playcalling than we saw last season. I am really excited about where Harbaugh is going to take this team. If he can get this oline fixed up, I think we'll have something special.
Originally posted by 49ersOnMINE:
Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by 49ersOnMINE:
on the good side they can finally evaluate themselves after a game, and not based on practice. I understand why everyone is mad but what do you expect from a team that had little practice, no mini camp? First preseason, I'd rather have them go 0-4 during preseason and correct what needs to be corrected rather than go 4-0 and when season starts they 0-4 first four games . A lot of work needs to be done. 49ers faithful right? so lets live up to that.

I am just more concerned about the coaching. How can we look at Greg Williams' history and NOT majorly game-plan against crazy blitz packages??? I like that this happened because we simply HAVE to now, but wow... who didn't expect a blitz-happy defense? ... and our response? another wow... very inept.

I was shocked that greg williams kept blitzin like he's trying to prove something, but i hear yah, but then again this will be corrected because this is not the Sing era where they have no game plan. I wouldn't be worried about the coaching part, im more worried about the OL, NOW that needs work. move snyder to RG and Goodwin to C.

This, plus most teams to not prepare team-specific game plans in the first 2 preseason games. They ar all about knocking off the rust on your base stuff, and evaluationg talent. If Harbaugh didn't ask Payton and Williams to send it, then they are d!ckheads.
Originally posted by Travisty13:
Originally posted by PatrickWillisHOF:
Alex Smith went 2 for 7, for 10 yards. I was expecting more from a 7 YEAR VETERAN!

I know and that guy on the other team..... what was his name.......oh yeah....Drew Brees or whatever he was only 1/4 for 6 yards from an 11 YEAR VETERAN! Poor Saints are going to have a rough year with that guy as their qb......

Originally posted by WRATHman44:
This, plus most teams to not prepare team-specific game plans in the first 2 preseason games. They ar all about knocking off the rust on your base stuff, and evaluationg talent. If Harbaugh didn't ask Payton and Williams to send it, then they are d!ckheads.

It's commonplace for coaches to speak to each other prior to a game and ask them to do certain things to help evaluate their teams. I would NOT be surprised, one bit if Harbaugh asked Payton to unleash the defense b/c THAT is how it will be in the regular season in 2012 until we prove we can counter, something we could NOT do all of 2011.

So this should be a humbling experience for the o-line, good for the WR's to break off routes when there is pressure and excellent for the RB/TE's on blitz pickup assignment. And most of all, it humbles Colin re: the speed of the game, quickly reading through progressions, pocket awareness, etc. Alex/Colin will learn that you pas to where the blitz is coming from.

So it's not ALL doom-and-gloom. There is a lot of good things that can come from this with a goo coaching staff. Starting jobs rely on it so expect the Niners to be studying heavily this week!
Originally posted by 49rz4Life:
Staley was and always will be a BUST!!!!!! Cant believe we gave up a first rounder for that bumb!!!!!!!

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Originally posted by WRATHman44:
Originally posted by Travisty13:
Originally posted by PatrickWillisHOF:
Alex Smith went 2 for 7, for 10 yards. I was expecting more from a 7 YEAR VETERAN!

I know and that guy on the other team..... what was his name.......oh yeah....Drew Brees or whatever he was only 1/4 for 6 yards from an 11 YEAR VETERAN! Poor Saints are going to have a rough year with that guy as their qb......

Originally posted by NCommand:
It's commonplace for coaches to speak to each other prior to a game and ask them to do certain things to help evaluate their teams. I would NOT be surprised, one bit if Harbaugh asked Payton to unleash the defense

We better fu*king HOPE that this isn't what happened.... because this would suggest we knew they would bring it and we simply had no answer.

I tell you what... preseason game 1 or not, I am worried... we can't be totally clueless like this again. This was Mike Nolan pass pro out there last night.
Originally posted by 9erred:
The good- We appear to be going for the #1 draft pick Andrew Luck

The bad: The teams O line has how many 1st round draft picks, and they cannot pick up blitz's or stunts?

The ugly. ALEX SMITH- He should be cut tomorrow, I would rather see Mesoli start than watch another coach go down becuase the SEVENTH year Smith says the right thing, practices good, than chokes the big chicken more than a college male freshamn in his own dorm room every game.
I like how you blame Alex Smith and say the Oline cannot pick up blitzs or stunts and think that those performances dont go hand and hand .... QB can not throw from his back people or with 3 Dlineman circling him like vultures .... Alex didnt look sharp (dude had like 5 practices in pads with his team what did you expect) but he couldnt even move in that soo called pocket .... Support your team or GTFO ... Stop crying about the QB play because he didnt throw for 400 yards and 10 TDS ... Watch the game and open your eyes
Originally posted by CrownJP:
Originally posted by 9erred:
The good- We appear to be going for the #1 draft pick Andrew Luck

The bad: The teams O line has how many 1st round draft picks, and they cannot pick up blitz's or stunts?

The ugly. ALEX SMITH- He should be cut tomorrow, I would rather see Mesoli start than watch another coach go down becuase the SEVENTH year Smith says the right thing, practices good, than chokes the big chicken more than a college male freshamn in his own dorm room every game.
I like how you blame Alex Smith and say the Oline cannot pick up blitzs or stunts and think that those performances dont go hand and hand .... QB can not throw from his back people or with 3 Dlineman circling him like vultures .... Alex didnt look sharp (dude had like 5 practices in pads with his team what did you expect) but he couldnt even move in that soo called pocket .... Support your team or GTFO ... Stop crying about the QB play because he didnt throw for 400 yards and 10 TDS ... Watch the game and open your eyes

Originally posted by oldman9er:
I am just more concerned about the coaching. How can we look at Greg Williams' history and NOT majorly game-plan against crazy blitz packages??? I like that this happened because we simply HAVE to now, but wow... who didn't expect a blitz-happy defense? ... and our response? another wow... very inept.

With all do respect, there is only 24 hrs in the day. This was week two of training camp, not possible to implement a new offense and scheme/game plan. Just not possible to do both in my mind. This is why we got smoked, I'm sure our blitz pick up and adjustments are in their true infancy so far and we got exploited because of it. New coaches, new offense, and 36 hours of on field practices. It's unfortunate that the Saints showed up in December form because I don't think it gave a fair estimate of where this offense is and what direction it'll be heading.

The Oline will be able to use the film and do some real good, this is the type of film we normally wouldn't get to digest until the start of the season. So as long as people stay on the wagon and don't freak out, I think this will be more positive than negative at the end of the day.