Straight out of the Rabbit’s Hole - What to look for at the 49ers’ 1st preseason game (and what NOT to look for)

Diego Del Barco
Aug 11, 2011 at 8:07 AM



Welcome to the Rabbit's Hole, where I chew it like I feel it and will give you my most honest, hopefully unbiased, opinion 100% of the time.

Football is semi-officially back, and preseason games kick off today. As an NFL fan, I can sense the excitement in the air. The San Francisco 49ers kickoff their preseason extravaganza tomorrow when they visit the 2010 NFL Champions New Orleans Saints, here are a few things I'm looking forward too, and a few things I'm not:

Looking Forward To
Colin Kaepernick: Seeing the kid let it rip, yeah I'm definitively looking forward to that. Preseason game #1 means the backups will get a lot of playing time, and I expect to see Kaep get more than 15 minutes worth of playing time. Harbaugh has said he expects to give all four quarterbacks playing time, but Kaep is his project, his ambition, his most "game-ready" rookie. I wouldn't be shocked to see him play most of the second and third quarters, and I'm definitely looking forward to see how he performs vs a NFL defense, even if he's also facing second and third stringers.

The West Coast Offense: welcome back, we have missed you so. I don't even need to say anything else.

WR Depth: Michael Crabtree is rocking a boot and Braylon Edwards may be a game-time decision. So how good can Josh(ua) Morgan be in this offense? Has his game improved? What about the rookies? Will Ted Ginn Jr. finally establish himself as a legit threat in the receiving game?

Ricky Jean-Francois: I love me some Isaac Sopoaga, but he's injured at the moment and may not play in this game. Jean-Francois definitely has the upside to thrive as the NT in our defense, and I would like to see how much his technique has improved, if at all, since last year. We need to have a backup plan if Sopoaga can't hold his own at the new position, and Jean-Francois is the guy I'd expect to step up if needed (no disrespect to rookie NT Ian Williams, whom I also have high hopes for)

Aldon Smith: receiving high praise during practice, can he actually be a starter from Day 1? I'll look forward to his pass-rushing skills, won't be too disappointed if he fails in other areas of his game as he's just getting started.

NOT Looking Forward To
Alex Smith: don't get it twisted, I actually root for the guy and hope he thrives with us this season, but as a starter he'll see about 20-25 plays and won't really be exposed enough for me to have a good take on what we can expect from him this season in the West Coast offense. Ask me again when the third preseason game comes around.

Our Secondary: Colored me unimpressed by the "improvements" we made to our secondary this season. I'm expecting us to struggle in pass defense, and Brees & Co. will definitely put us to the test and give us a preview of what the season may be like.

The Overraction: Hi, my name is Diego and I'm here to tell you that tomorrow's game will be the first preseason game. Let's not jump off a bridge if the Saints win by 30, and let's not bet our savings on the 49ers winning the Super Bowl this season if we absolutely dominate the Saints. Did I mention tomorrow's game will be the first preseason game? (But if you do enjoy the overreaction, or if you have yet to check them out, please visit our Forums to read/interact with other 49ers fans).


Looking forward to tomorrow's game and my thoughts on it this weekend.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


7 Comments

  • pleximus
    "[Alex] won't really be exposed enough for me to have a good take on what we can expect from him this season" Really? We know what to expect from Alex Smith. We've been watching him play off and on for SIX years. I'll sum it up for you: Sub-par accuracy: He is fantastically accurate about 37% of the time. His throws are catchable about another 23% of the time. That leaves 40% of the time, when he throws uncatchable balls. This is the reality of Alex Smith and that reality makes him a failure at the NFL level. Mediocre to just plain bad decision making: This preseason game was a perfect example. Attempting to throw the ball when he is clearly being clobbered by a 300 lb lineman is just poor judgment and leads to game-losing turnovers. Throwing the ball to a covered Delanie Walker when VD is wide open and on his way to the endzone is just poor judgement. And brain power is supposed to Alex's strong point. Sorry folks. Alex sucks in the NFL. And he is going to suck again this year. Haven't you all learned that lesson yet? How many years does it take to learn it?
    Aug 13, 2011 at 9:57 PM
    0
  • Dmic
    Holy Cow- I wish the fans would take your last point and not overreact.... I keep reading how terriible we will be- Blah blah blah.... It was the first preseason game with only 12 practices for most players and for some only a handful of practices. My Question is what did they expect- great article!!
    Aug 12, 2011 at 8:56 PM
    0
    Response: Bah, don't give me any credit for predicting the overreaction, that was as easy as predicting the sun will come out tomorrow
  • The_Real_Randy
    Personally, the guy I can't wait to see on the DL is Will Tukuafu. Anyone remember what a terror he was on QBs last preseason? Granted, he was going up against scrubs but to generate the amount of pressure he did from the NT position is pretty impressive.
    Aug 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM
    0
    Response: I'll keep an eye out for him
  • 16to87
    I cant wait for CK to show JH that he will be the 49ers #1 QB by week one of regular season. No looking back, move foward go niners.
    Aug 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM
    0
    Response: Be careful what you wish for ....
  • 16to87
    I look foward to see CK outplay AS @ QB and force JH to rethink who is #1 QB leading up to 1rst regular season game.
    Aug 12, 2011 at 9:32 AM
    0
  • Rogercraig
    Muchas gracias, Diego. No vamos a ganar, pero NO ES LA COSA MÁS IMPORTANTE. I just don't to see a three ring circus as we often saw last year. Mike S. sometimes looked as if he was not sure what planet he was on.
    Aug 12, 2011 at 7:07 AM
    0
    Response: Ganar o perder este juego no tendra significancia.
  • Scott
    I agree on everything you wrote : ) BSU fan and the wife is still hating Kap for beating us. I'm excited as hell to have him. I like the kid.
    Aug 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM
    0
    Response: thanks, that Nevada-BSU game made my fiancee understand why I love college football.

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