Michael Wilhoite photo by Kelley L Cox of USA Today Sports

Michael Wilhoite photo by Kelley L Cox of USA Today Sports


Preseason Week 1: 5 Things To Watch For

Aug 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM


The San Francisco 49ers open their 2014 preseason slate Thursday night in Baltimore. There has been a lot of discussion this offseason about potential changes to the 49ers offensive scheme. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman tend to hold their cards close to the vest, and because of that I wouldn't expect to see much different during week 1 of the preseason.

With that as a backdrop, here are five things to watch for tomorrow night.

1) The Offensive Line:

Winning football starts up front, and three-fifths of the starting offensive line will be different than the group that started the NFC Championship Game last January in Seattle. Jonathan Goodwin (FA), Alex Boone (holdout), and Anthony Davis (injury) are not available. In their place the right side of the line has consisted of Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney and Jonathan Martin. Kilgore and Looney have a total of 0 combined regular season starts between them, while Martin struggled at left tackle during his time in Miami and needs to earn a spot on the roster.

2) The Defensive Line:

Just like with the offensive line, the defensive line will look a lot different tomorrow night. All three starters from last season will be missing. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald have missed almost every practice in training camp and starting nose tackle Glenn Dorsey may have been lost for the season with a torn biceps. Expect to see a lot of 2013 draft picks Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial. Both have been drawing rave reviews throughout camp and will see their first extensive action in 49ers uniforms after missing almost all of last season.

3) The Battle In The Middle:

With All-Pro middle linebacker Navarro Bowman out for at least the first half of the season the battle for his starting spot is between Michael Wilhoite and 2014 third round draft pick Chris Borland. Wilhoite is likely to have a slight advantage having started 2 games in place of Patrick Willis last season, but Borland has been impressive in the early stages of camp. This may be the best position battle throughout the preseason.

4) Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:

By almost all reports second round draft pick Carlos Hyde has been very impressive in camp. The only negatives so far have to do with the fact he is from the Big 10, did you know backs from that conference don't do well in the pros, and a rough day early on with a few dropped passes. Fortunately it appears that he has put those issues behind him. A strong performance in pass protection, combined with a few nice runs could go a long way to cementing his position as the heir apparent to Frank Gore.

5) Old McDonald Had a Farm:

But on his farm does he have more catches? Vance McDonald, a 2013 second round draft pick, is coming off a somewhat disappointing rookie campaign that saw him haul in only 9 passes. To be fair, he was only targeted 20 times in 19 games. Reports are a bit mixed on his performance through camp so far as the coaching staff seems to be forcing the ball in his direction to get him up to speed.

With Garrett Celek out as the result of a disc issue with his back, Derek Carrier and undrafted free agent Asante Cleveland are both making strong pushes to make the final roster as well.

Be sure to follow Jack on Twitter @JackHammerNFL
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers-Rams: How to watch, stream, and listen to the Week 4 matchup

By Site Staff
Sep 28

The San Francisco 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams in a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game on Monday Night Football at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers lead the all-time series 75-68-3, winning seven of the last ten matchups, and will be looking for their fourth straight home win against the Rams. The Niners are coming off an 11-10 loss against the Denver Broncos. Offensively, the 49ers registered 267 total net yards, 106 of which came from RB Jeff Wilson Jr., who registered 12 carries and had a career-long run of 37 yards while catching three passes for 31 yards. QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 18 of his 29 passing attempts for a total of 211 yards, including a three-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandon Aiyuk, giving him his first receiving touchdown of the season. WR Deebo



49ers-Panthers: How to watch, stream, and listen to the Week 5 matchup

By Site Staff
9 hrs

The San Francisco 49ers hit the road this week for a matchup against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. This marks the first matchup between the two teams since 2019 and the first time San Francisco has traveled to Carolina since the 2016 season. The Panthers, a one-time NFC West foe, lead the all-time series, 13-9. The 49ers are coming off a 24-9 win against the Los Angeles Rams. On offense, San Francisco registered 327 total net yards and found the end zone twice. WR Deebo Samuel registered 115 yards on six receptions, including a 57-yard touchdown. QB Jimmy Garoppolo completed 16 of his 27 passing attempts for a total of 239 yards and finished with a passer rating of 100.7. RB Jeff Wilson Jr. tallied 74 yards on 18 carries, including a career-long 32-yard



Ronnie Lott: 49ers still seem to be in preseason mode

By David Bonilla
Sep 27

The San Francisco 49ers defense appears to be in mid-season form. The same cannot be said about the 49ers offense, though. The unit has struggled, and the team owns a record of 1-2. One Hall of Fame player believes the 49ers offense is suffering from something which seems to plague several teams around the league. The unit appears to still be in preseason mode. "Look, to me, that game was one of those games that was still a preseason game," Lott said of Sunday night's 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos during an interview on KNBR's Murph and Mac show. "And the reason I think it's a preseason game was when I watch around the league, there are a lot of teams that are just not ready. You think of Jimmy [Garoppolo], you think of what he was trying to do, what



Watch: 49ers rookie Drake Jackson reaches Russell Wilson, records first NFL sack

By David Bonilla
Sep 25

San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Drake Jackson recorded his first NFL sack. It came against Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. That's not bad for your first QB takedown. You can watch Jackson's sack of Wilson below. Drake Jackson gets his first NFL sack 👏 pic.twitter.com/G9wUVSfGGF— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 26,


Featured

More by Jack Hammer

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone