1) Offensive Philosophy: Yup, still a running team. ;-) The league is cyclical. Everyone sees a team having success with a particular style of offense and they copycat. Pretty soon, half the league runs an offense like that and defenses are forced to adjust. In this case that offense is the wide open spread style offense that you see in New England, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Detroit. Defenses have countered now with Detroit and Philly running that "Wide 9" stance to get extra pressure on the QB and now have put much more emphasis on DBs and Safeties who can cover. Guys don't need to be big or great tackers...they want guys who can cover.
Enter Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman. They build an offense that innovates in the RUN game. They MAUL those defenses designed to stop Brady and Brees. All I've heard no for over a year is that "You need to have a QB and a great passing offense to win". BS. You need to have an imagination and a game plan to defeat the team lining up on the other side of the ball. The Niners will run the hell out of the ball this year and with Gore, Hunter, Jacobs, and James they will have ALOT of success.
2) The QBs: I was very suprised by my reaction to the QBs in this game. After Alex, the guys I wanted to see most were in this order: Johnson, Kaep, Tolzien. I came away likeing them in this order: Tolzien, Johnson, Kaep. Look, the 78 yard run was great, but they really had Kaep back there running the Pistol from College. I already know he can run that. Every time they put him in a conventional set, he just looked really unnatural. He didn't look comfortable. I still don't like the release either. Johnson looked smooth and played fairly well. Tolzien tho...I was VERY impressed with him. FAST release. Handles pressure. Looked comfortable. Numbers would have looked much better if recievers had caught the ball and he had had slightly better protection. Going into this I figured Tolzien was the odd man out. Now I'm wondering if Kaep becomes trade bait.
3) Aldon: OK....heart attack. Yikes. That scared me. Can't afford to lose him. In the very short time he was in there tho he looked pretty good.
4) Moss: He played very little so this comment really has more to do with what I saw at the Fanfest on Sunday. I think he's done as a speed reciever. I just didn't see it. Its entirely posible that he wasn't going 100%, but I saw ZERO burst and very little speed. That said, I think he is still a very dangerous red-zone threat. He knows how to get open, he's very tall and he still has great hands. It would be great if he could stretch the field like he did several years ago, but if he can just deliver a red-zone threat, I'm fine with that.
5) LaMichael James: Its the first preseason game, this isn't an indictment, but I didn't see the speed and elusiveness I was expecting. VERY limited sample size and I could very well completely reverse this statement next week. I only mention it because he was the number 1 guy I wanted to see so was watching him very closely.
6) Brandon Jacobs: NICE. He looks like the Brandon Jacobs from several years ago. Nice to have a guy with that kind of size to go along with the rest of the smurf RBs on the team. He does still run a bit upright tho. Hopefully that won't be an issue. Rock Cartwright also looked pretty good.
7) O-Line: Wow: I mean....WOW. That....was impressive. I don't know how much of that was the Niners being good and how much was the Vikings being bad and how much was that it was just a preseason game...but for one game the O-Line looked REALLY good.
8) Parrish Cox: I have to admit I'm iffy on the guy just because of his past. It's tough for me to root for a guy who was accused of what he was accused of. Having said that, he played very well on Friday. He's got size you don't see all that often in a CB. He could be an asset this year when playing that murderers row of QBs on the squedule.
9) Chris Owusu: I think hes gonna have touble making this team that is very deep at WR, but he looked pretty damn good out there. Not just the speed, but they RAC ability he showed on one of the passes he caught. I'm hoping this guy makes it through waivers and ends up on the practice squad.
10) The D: Barring that long pass by Ponder (looks like a broken coverage...Rogers was expecting help from Goldson), they are still DAMN good. Goldson still can't tackle tho. Sigh. Why would you even attempt to tackle Toby Gerhart up high? Thats like trying to tackle Roger Craig by hitting him in the knees. It's just make you look foolish. Other than that tho...these guys are GOOD. It should be fun this year. ;-)
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Aug 13, 2012 at 8:18 AM ]