Well, here we are, after the ecstasy of the playoffs, the agony of the Super Bowl, the anticipation of the draft, the tedium of the offseason, and the intense hyperbole of the fans, poised on the start of the 2013 season. Beyond the fact that Dennis may expire due to the excitement of seeing Peyton Manning hand the ball off three times before he retires to the sidelines, this game could very well be a precursor to a game in February. I can’t stand Denver, I don’t think Manning will get that far (and beating Denver in another Super Bowl would be spectacular), but they certainly had their shot last year, if not for the epic playoff fail vs Balt.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, there are some issues to iron out in this preseason. Mainly who will step up to become the wide receivers on this team? Bouldin and ? KW is off the PUP list, but is not a bona fide #2 at this point. AJ Jenkins is still buried on the depth chart. The rest are either young, untested, or damaged goods. Manningham is still PUPped. Crabs of course is more than likely out til December.
RB is more than good to go. Gore is rested and ready. LMJ is strong as well. Kendall Hunter is hurt, as is Marcus Lattimore, but Dixon and Hampton are fine if unspectacular backups. TE is set with VD and VM. I’m curious to see how he does in his blocking assignments. The line remains pretty much intact. They even got perennial backup Adam Snyder back from AZ.
Defensively we get to see how the loss of Dashon Goldson affects the defense. Culliver is out. Eric Reid and Nnamdi Asomuaga take their spots. Rogers and Whitner are coming off fairly non-productive seasons, and Tarrell Brown is coming off a contract screwup of epic proportions. He may be the key to the future of the defensive backfield going forward (and my hope is they renegotiate a deal for him this year) as Rogers and Whitner will not return. But that’s a topic for another day.
It’ll be interesting to watch for guys like rookies Corey Lemonier and Vance McDonald. Eric Reid certainly will get a lot of playing time. I’m also interested in seeing Ice’s replacement Ian Williams up front. I’d also like to see if Dorsey can play, and if this D line can gain needed depth. That won’t be known for a while though. Preseason heroes are a dime a dozen.
ST? Well, the Niners brought in Phil (don’t call me Richard) Dawson after the debacle that the Joe Nedney season turned into.
Other than that, the Niners would be very happy to dodge the injury bug that raced through the team in practice.