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 opinions 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.

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers mailbag: Is Shanahan on the hot seat? Did the coach not want to draft Trey Lance? How's the interior OL look? And other questions answered

By Marc Adams
Sep 21

The San Francisco 49ers won...and lost on Sunday. The win came by beating the Seattle Seahawks, something the 49ers have not done much of over the last 10 years. The loss came when Trey Lance broke his ankle. He's believed to be lost for the season. It's been a rough first two weeks for 49ers fans. First there was the frustrating loss in Chicago, and now the injury to Lance. And to make matters worse, running back Ty Davis-Price sustained a high-ankle sprain that could sideline him for a few weeks. As you well know, Elijah Mitchell will already miss about two months with an MCL sprain. Injuries are beginning to mount. But fortunately for you, I'm fully healthy and ready to share this week's 49ers mailbag with you. Let's get to it. How many QBs



49ers work out several quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends ahead of Broncos game

By David Bonilla
Sep 20

On Monday, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted that the team would look to work out running backs after losing rookie Ty Davis-Price to a high-ankle sprain for several weeks. The team will also seek another quarterback, with Trey Lance's season over due to a broken ankle. Those weren't the only injuries from Sunday's 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Tight end Tyler Kroft suffered an MCL sprain and will also miss several weeks. That prompted the 49ers to work out former North Carolina tight end Garrett Walston, who signed with San Francisco as an



49ers-Seahawks: George Kittle not expected to play but remains a game-time decision

By David Bonilla
Sep 18

On Friday, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was unlikely to make his 2022 debut today against the Seattle Seahawks. Two days after Branch's report, ESPN's Adam Schefter still hears the same thing. The 49ers will likely play their home opener without their All-Pro offensive weapon. 49ers' TE George Kittle, questionable for Sunday due to a groin injury, is not expected to play vs. the Seahawks, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)



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


Featured

More by Diego Del Barco

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone