Marvin, insightful and enlightening as always. Here are my comments. There may be some overlap, but I always like adding my take to your posts:
1.) The innovation and creativity Roman shows in his running attack is mind boggling. They must have had 25 DIFFERENT running plays, all of which were effective. I remember when Denver had a string of no-name 1,000 yard backs (Olandis Gary anyone?) and they were considered the gurus of the running game. The offensive line gets some credit, but I am especially impressed with Delanie Walker and Bruce Miller. The schemes that Roman runs call for quick guys getting to the edge and consistently isolating lanes. Walker has been TREMENDOUS this year. I know his hands have been less than desirable, but he is indispensable in the run game. Watch him when he is leading the blockers or he is asked to "wham" a D-lineman. He almost never misses a block and rarely gives up ground that would shut down the lane. Same for Miller. I think he is still learning the position, but he has the speed to get to the edge and seal it quickly.
2.) I'm worried about Randy Moss. I know Harbaugh has his back, but I saw something in his eyes yesterday. He is bored and it might get ugly. Manningham has taken his place as the starter after catching up through the first month of the season. Remember, Mario missed significant time because of the death in the family. Yesterday was the first time he looked in sync with Alex. I think coach was trying to massage Moss's ego a bit, but I wouldn't be suprised if he ended up getting cut, like Braylon last season. I know he has gotten kudos as a mentor to Crabtree and Williams. I hope that continues, but I feel like Moss needs a big day soon or he will regress. Of course, if he were to get cut, that would only mean that Jenkins would, or could, get some time on the field. We'll see how this plays out.
3.) Special teams worries me. It just seems like teams are getting chunks of yards they never would have gotten last year. McBath, in my opinion, needs to improve the most, but I haven't seen anyone make a huge play this year. The energy and sense of dominance that was pervasive last year is gone. McKelvin seemed to give up by halftime. Who knows what he could have done if he had tried to return a few more kickoffs. The aces from last year, Spillman, Gooden, Dixon, and even Delanie have been disappointing (though I don't know how much Walker had been on coverage units now that I think about it). Brock has really been the best coverage guy on the field this year. Either Seely needs to change something up, or we the players need to rally around something new.
4.) Has Kaepernick had a run that was less than 6 yards? When he runs the QB keeper, it has seemed unstoppable so far. I would really like to see them use the tape from the last two weeks to run a fake that has Kaepernick passing in that situation. I'm sure it is coming. The only concern I have is that it stunts his development as a QB, but what do I know? I just want to see him air it out more. I know they have tried twice, but those plays seemed poorly designed. If we had him bootleg behind a few lead blockers and have a WR/TE run a medium crossing route from the opposite side, I bet that would work beautifully. The LBs would come up in run support, leaving a huge gape in front of the safeties.
5.) The theme for this year seems to be "Mentoring". The veterans seem to be doing a great job of preparing the younger guys for their time. Here are the mentoring relationships as I see them:
Gore -> Hunter and James. His work ethic is something for everyone to admire, but the key lesson he is definitely teaching is how to be patient and set up your blocks. As Marvin mentioned, Hunter seems MUCH better at reading his blockers, waiting for seams, and hitting them quickly. That is Gore's bread and butter.
Moss-> Crabtree, Williams, and Jenkins. I know I mentioned my concerns for Moss's future here, but it can't be a coincidence that Crabtree FINALLY had a full preseason and seems much more clutch this year. Add Williams play in light of his awful showing at the NFCCG and you can see Moss's influence on a young guy facing media scrutiny for the first time. Time will tell with Jenkins, but his skill set seems to be the most like Moss's of the bunch, so I hope he is using this year to soak in any lessons.
Carlos Rogers-> Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox. Culliver was a suspect pick, according to some, and Cox was a troubled kid looking for redemption. Rogers has shown them how to prepare. Rogers also shows these young guys that knowing multiple positions is essential. He gladly mans the slot when needed and has helped Cox learn the position as well.
Willis-> Bowman. Did Bowman really have a choose? He knew last year that if he didn't play like an animal that Willis was just going to eat his lunch. Iron sharpens iron.
Vernon Davis-> Delanie Walker. This has been going on for years, but look at Walker's improvement in blocking situations. Davis proved to be one of the best blocking TEs in the league from the start, but Walker was seen as an undersized TE with speed. Granted, Walker's emergence as a blocker has a lot to do with Roman's system, but Davis' example has shown him that blocking is essential to success at this position.
Alex Smith-> Kaepernick and Tolzien. Has any QB been through more adversity in one city than Alex Smith? If anything, Alex is showing these young guys that there is ALWAYS progress at this position. As electric as Kaepernick has been running the ball, he still needs work as a complete QB, but all he has to do is look at Smith's career to see that development is an ongoing process when fueled by hard work and toughness.
I could probably add more (Leonard Davis-> Alex Boone; Sopoaga-> Ian Williams), but you get the idea. I love the pipeline this is creating!