Originally posted by niners420:
I thought FINALLY after last year people would stop putting any stock whatsoever in preseason performance. Otherwise Thomas Clayton would be the next Jim Brown. Remember our OL in last year's preseason opener vs. New Orleans? It looked like we couldn't block a pop warner team. Yet when the regular season rolled around, Staley was a pro bowl starter and All Pro, our youngsters in Iupati/Davis took a nice step forward and should again this year with their first real offseason. Goodwin is rock solid and our RG play can't possibly be worse than last year.
The Baltimore game was very similar to the NO game, but was in the middle of the season. Our line was totally confused by the stunting and blitzing Ravens...so much so that it disgusted me, which almost never happens. But I had to hand it to the Ravens that they were just flat out great.
Why did it work? Our RG helped out the LT and C to such an extent that there was a four yard hole over RG at the 2 second mark and LBs (Suggs) came through untouched. It didn't just happen once but seemed to happen at least once in every series. When that wasn't happening the C was being pushed into the pocket so Smith could not step up. And the third problem was the RT being beaten by a quick rush around the end.
Baltimore out played SF that game and Smith was almost killed. That game was the worst because the Ravens are the best, but the same things happened during other games.
You say things like, "our youngsters...took a nice step" but what does that really mean? While I might agree that they are growing and developing, the line has to play as a unit and if there is a weak link it affects the whole line. The RG was a weak spot but mistakes by Iupati caused Staley to yell at him for allowing guys to come untouched between them to the QB. RT was OK but not solid yet.
I am not blaming the line as they had a bad RG, two young guys, one youngish mid-aged guy and a somewhat over the hill center. They played OK given those facts. They desperately need Boone to play better than Snyder did and they need Iupati and Davis to become veterans, holding their area on almost every play. AND LIMIT THE STUPID PENALTIES! If you count the number of penalties and add them to the times Smith had less than 2 seconds you will see that the offense did a phenomenal job overcoming and winning games.