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  • you could obviously tell that the niners were holding back tonight because they play each other this season. i think that is why the game felt sloppy.

    other than that, this is what i saw:

    -Willis looks better then ever.
    -Philip Adams has definitely won a spot on the roster.
    -Bowman looks to be making a lot of plays, and is following in Willis' footsteps
    -Reggie Smith got beat deep on a few occasions
    -Laboy is going to be hard to cut
    -Anthony Dixon is finally slowing down becoming patient
    -Alex Smith's pocket presence is outstanding

    also, i hope that Staley's injury is not too serious. I heard he is day to day


    • I don't want to jinx anything, but we might have a QB. Most of the weapons didn't even play; pretty good if you ask me.


      • Offense

        Alex Smith - Looked very good for the third week in a row. Finished the game 9/15 for 113 yards and a touchdowns and that includes 3 dropped passes. The first drop came on 3rd and 9 on our opening drive and if Walker had caught it he wasn't going to get the first down anyway so in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. The same thing was true for the second dropped pass, a slant to Zeigler on 3rd and 12. The third dropped pass was different, though, Byham was dragging across the middle and the pass hit him perfectly in stride and he might have taken it in for a touchdown if he caught it. Smith really only made one ill advised throw and that was the bomb to Walker when he was well covered and Walker had to turn into the defender. The touchdown throw was great, though. Sims got pushed back and Smith had to roll out but he kept his eyes downfield and lobbed a perfect pass over 3 defenders right to Morgan.

        David Carr - Did not look comfortable for most of the time he was in even the he had plenty of time on a majority of his dropbacks. There were a couple of dropped passes when he was in as well but even if they were completed his numbers would have ended up less than impressive. If Alex Smith does get injured we know that we can expect Carr to come in and dump the ball off, make the safe throws, and not make mistakes which is encouraging. He did look good on the final drive, though, and that run to get the first down was a very dangerous but respectable thing to do in a preseason game. If he was our starter that would have made me mad, to be honest.

        Frank Gore - On his two carries he literally exploded through the hole and looked as fast, if not faster, then he has ever been. Also showed his strength when he just made two bounce off of him without even slowing down. I am very excited to see what he can do this year when defenses aren't loading up the box to stop him 90% of the time and when he has fresh legs and is going against Dixon and Westbrook worn down defenses. It should be a big year. He did fumble a pitch from Alex Smith when it looked like he could have had a nice gain, though.

        Anthony Dixon - Started off very slow getting stuffed at or close to the line of scrimmage a lot on his first few carries but really wore down the Raiders defense and was very good on the final drive of the game, gaining 35 yards and a touchdown on 7 carries and also adding 2 receptions for 13 yards. He basically was that final drive and for a rookie to be able to do that, even against backups, is impressive and encouraging.

        Brian Westbrook - When he first game in the announcers were being so nonchalant about it that I did not even realize it was him for a second. Had two carries for 17 yards, though all 17 came on the second. It was a third down draw play where a big hole opened up and Westbrook looked like he was still pretty fast sprinting through it and then he pushed the pile for an extra couple of yards once he was wrapped up. I like what I have seen from all three running backs this preseason.

        Moran Norris - Had a great lead block on Gore's 49 yard run where he stonewalled the defender and even had a couple of nice catches out of the backfield. On one of them, though, he never got his balance and was flipped by a Raider defender and appeared to have hurt his leg at first glance. I don't think he was hurt seriously but I don't believe we will see any more of him in the preseason, we know what we have.

        Delanie Walker - If you didn't know the 49ers you would swear you were watching a wide receiver when you saw Walker in action. He moves like a receiver both with and without the ball and he is almost always covered by a defensive back because he is just too fast for the majority of linebackers to keep up with. His 38 yard reception showed his tremendous RAC ability and he made a good play when he knocked down a pass that might have otherwise been intercepted. He did get called for a false start early on and dropped a pass on the sidelines but neither really changed the game much.

        Nate Byham - As a receiver Byham took a step back in this game. As already mentioned, he dropped one pass that might have went for a touchdown and didn't give a very good effort on another where a Raiders defensive back might have gotten away with PI but Byham still could have caught. His blocking was up and down. On a few runs he got pushed back pretty easily by Raider defensive linemen, on one he got knocked on his ass but still made the block, but on others he controlled his man pretty easily. On the latter he was usually matched up against a linebacker or smaller defensive lineman. Made a great catch on the two point conversion.

        Josh Morgan - Saw three passes thrown his way and caught all three for 31 yards and a touchdown. I don't think this team has really run enough slant routes in the past but 2/3 of Morgan's receptions came on perfectly thrown quick slants and on his touchdown he showed very good awareness finding a soft spot in the defense and making sure his quarterback knew where he was. He did throw an obvious block in the back on Walker's big gain but it was at least good to notice him doing things on the field as opposed to the first two weeks when he might as well have not even been there.

        Ted Ginn - His best play was when Asomugha jammed him at the LoS but somehow got Asomugha called for a pass interference, and it was questionable at best. Other than that he caught a quick slant from Smith and made a pretty good downfield block on Gore's big run. He seemed to be having trouble getting much separation throughout the game but at least he wasn't dropping passes.

        Dominique Zeigler - It is pretty obvious that he is going to make this team now and he might even be ahead of Ginn on the depth chart. He mad a fantastic leaping catch on a 3rd down and was targeted 10 times, catching 5 for 47 yards. He did dropped a very well thrown slant from Alex Smith in the first quarter but still seemed to be the go to guy, especially for David Carr, later on. Ziggy is not the fastest guy on the field but he runs smooth routes and has the ability to create just enough separation and good hands, making him a very good possession receiver.

        Joe Staley - Left the game towards the end of the first quarter but looked good in the short time he was in. Did a good job keeping his man to the outside on Gore's 49 yard run and did not give up any pressures.

        Mike Iupati - This kid is going to be a flat out stud guard. On Gore's big run he got to the 2nd level very quickly to open the hole and every time the 49ers ran behind him it seemed like there was a big hole. It did not give up any quarterback pressure either.

        David Baas - I don't know why we did not try him at center before because he seems to be twice as good there as he was at guard. I don't know what it is but he doesn't get pushed back nearly as much, he held the point very well on passing plays all night, and his run blocking looks improved as well. When Heitmann gets healthy we are gonna have a tough choice to make.

        Chilo Rachal - After the first couple of games I was ready to start calling for his head but played much better last night. Just like the rest of the first team offensive line he did not give up any quick pressure and he looked strong in the running game as well. I am still worried that he is going to be the weak link of the offensive line but last night made me feel a little better.

        Anthony Davis - To be honest, Davis wasn't much better than Rachal for the first couple of games but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he is a rookie and he looked very good last night. His pass blocking was great compared to what it had been the first two games, he did not get beat once either with a inside move or around the corner. In fact he basically kept whomever he was blocking stationary at the LoS on the majority of passing plays he was in for.

        Barry Sims - I sang his praises after the first two games but he had only a decent performance against the Raiders. He came in a LT after Staley got hurt and played decently for the majority of the time but on a few plays he got straight up bull rushed back into the quarterback forcing him to leave the pocket and it is a good thing Davis and Rachal were doing such good jobs or those plays could have ended in sacks pretty easily.

        Alex Boone - Also had a pretty solid game outside of a couple of plays. As I have already said, when he locks onto someone they basically should just give up but his problem is that is blindly lunges forward a lot. There were two times on the final drive, including Dixon's touchdown run, where he did just that. Luckily we ran to the right on both of those plays, though.

        Tony Wragge - Came in at left guard after Iupati and played just as well as he has all preseason against backup linemen, very well. Against starting caliber players he can hold his own but against backups that might not even be on rosters later on in the season it just looks like a guy throwing around kids, honestly.

        Cody Wallace - A Cody Wallace sighting!? After Baas left, Wallace took over for him and actually looked decent. He held the middle of the line well and made a few very good blocks on the final drive, including driving his man 2 yards left and to the ground on Dixon's touchdowns run. The problem is that it might be too little, too late for him to make this team.

        Brian de la Puente - I could not be more impressed with this kid whenever I see him play and I hope that he is PS eligible because I really want to keep him around, or at least try. He plays a lot like Justin Smiley. That is he isn't the strongest guy but he makes up for it with quickness and very good technique and leverage. All preseason I have not seen him make one mistake, whether that be whiffing on a block or getting pushed back, and last night was no exception.

        Adam Snyder - Showed last year that he is not a starting right tackle in this league but clearly needs to be kept around because he is a very good backup and can play every position along the line. He got very good push and took 3 Raiders out of the play on Dixon's touchdown. Between just he and Wragge I would say our second team offensive line is one of the best in the league.


        Justin Smith - Looked surprisingly blockable when he was in and that was the main reason why the Raiders offense was having no trouble moving the ball through the air, in my opinion. Last year he could not be blocked with just one man and whenever a team tried he forced the QB to get of it quickly and when they double teamed him someone else got pressure. Last night the Raiders were doing a pretty good job one-on-one and that meant that the QB had a while to throw the ball. I never even considered it before but if he does not play as well as he did last year then our entire defense suffers a lot because Manusky isn't a very good coach.

        Ricky Jean Francois - Held the point of attack reasonably well on running plays but putting pressure on the quarterback from the nose tackle position was not in his agenda, it hasn't been all preseason. Still I thought he played better last night than he did the first two weeks.

        Isaac Sopoaga - He and RJF do basically the same things out there, they don't allow offensive linemen to push them back but they do not get much push themselves either. The difference is that Sopoaga takes on more double teams than RJF and that makes him an important part of the defense. One thing I don't get, though, is how he can basically hold up to linemen at the LoS but cannot push one back.

        Khalif Mitchell - In the first two preseason games he impressed me a lot with his quick first step and ability to get into the backfield but last night he looked no better nor worse than RJF or Sopoaga.

        Derek Walker/Will Tukuafu - Putting them together because neither has a chance to make the team but they deserved mentioning because both of them had a couple of good plays last night. Both put some pressure on Gradkowski and both got penetration on running plays more times than RJF/Sopoaga/Mitchell did. That might be the result of playing against the Raider's backups, though.

        Patrick Willis - Obviously the defensive player of the game for the 49ers. Three times he was unblocked and three times he pushed the Raiders back with two tackles for a loss and a sack. So far this preseason it seems as if Manusky sends Willis at the QB a lot more than the last two years and I am all for that. His instincts and nose for the ballcarrier looked as sharp as ever last night, as did his speed.

        Takeo Spikes - There were a couple of times that he pressured the QB when he blitzed but he was always just a tad late and the quarterback was able to get rid of it. The one bad play he made was when he was caught trailing on a Gradkowski dump off early in the 3rd quarter but outside of that he was where he was supposed to be doing what he was supposed to do.

        NaVorro Bowman - He honestly looks like a little mimi Patrick Willis out there, the way he flies around and hits people. He had three tackles last night and on those tackles the Raiders gained 0, 3, and -2 yards. Looked good in coverage as well. Dare I say he looked better than Spikes last night.

        Manny Lawson - There is not much that I can say about Manny Lawson that I have not already said. He has all the talent and athleticism in the world, and it shows in coverage and against the run, but he has no pass rushing moves to speak of other then (A)try and run by opposing tackle or (B)if that fails push opposing tackle backwards. There is more good than bad with him at least, on his two tackles he destroyed the tight end that tried to block him once and the second time he made the tackle with one arm while being blocked. He does a great job of setting the corner.

        Parys Haralson - It would not surprise me to see Haralson benched. I don't even see him on the field at all for basically the first two games and when I finally do notice him last night he is way behind a fullback in coverage or getting called for an offsides. For the past couple of years these things aren't really surprising from him but at least before he pressured the QB, he has not done that at all this preseason.

        Travis LaBoy - While Haralson might as well not even be there LaBoy is definitely making his presence felt. He recorded a sack for the second straight week and, while he wasn't terrorizing the quarterback like he did last week, he was putting on more pressure than anyone else in a 49ers jersey. Not only do I think he will make this team, I think he will overtake Haralson as the starter by week 1.

        Diyral Briggs - After being all but unstoppable the first two games Briggs came back down to earth last night. There were still quite a few plays when he was getting around the tackle but it always seemed to be slightly late and they did not come nearly as often as they did the first two weeks. It would still be hard to keep him off of the roster given his performance.

        Nate Clements/Tarell Brown - Considering we were playing them way off of the LoS in a soft zone coverage with no pass rush (I thought Nolan was gone?) I cannot condemn their games. Both made the tackles in their zones immediately and that is really all you can ask for in that situation. Give any NFL QB time to throw against a zone coverage and someone will be open.

        Dashon Goldson - For most of the game I would put him in the same boat as the corners, played his zone well, but there were a couple of plays when he was out of position. The 74 yard touchdown at the end of the half was not one of them, though, even if it looked it. His zone was on the other half of the field and he had the man that came into it blanketed but his speed allowed him to get over and almost make a tackle on Murphy.

        Michael Lewis - Great by the line of scrimmage but not very good in coverage. He had decent coverage on the Miller touchdown, most of that was just a great throw by Gradkowski, but I feel like a more athletic safety would have been able to make a play on that.

        Taylor Mays - Had definitely his best game so far, imo. In the first two games he seemed to disappear for most of the game but then come in and make a big hit or good tackle once in a while but last night he seemed to be close to the action on pretty much every play. On one of his tackles he flew in from way back and knocked the crap out of the Raiders back.

        Reggie Smith - Was way out of position on Murhpy's touchdown before the half and looked very slow running way behind him to boot. Before last night I thought he could play cornerback in a pinch but I have changed my mind about that, he is strictly a safety.

        Phillip Adams - Looked very good for the second straight week. All three of his punt returns were very good and he was good in coverage as well, though not to the extent of last week. He knocked down a couple of passes again. One of them was kind of lucky but it also took skill to turn around and find the ball and knock it down without knowing exactly where it is. At this point he is basically a lock as the 4th corner.

        Special Teams

        Joe Nedney - I can't say I wasn't surprised when he shanked that field goal but I'll attribute it to shaking the rust off. He looked very good on kickoffs.

        Andy Lee - Had one subpar punt but 3/4 were great and 2 pinned the Raiders inside the 20.


        • holy crap, phillip adams looked fast haha.

          Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011


          • Maybe there's something to be said about holding starters out in preseason vs. teams you will face in the regular season, last yr's #1 pick Crabtree was held out by the HC in a last minute scratch as well as Vernon Davis. Over on the Cowboys team pg. everyone is talking about how Dallas held out OL & other starters in what could be described as a half-hearted effort at best in Houston last night & they got brutalized by a Texans team that took the game very seriously. Both teams were clearly aware of playing again in Houston in < a month.

            Just ask the Raiders' best RB Michael Bush (fractured thumb) & Campbell (knocked out of the game by Laboy sack, possible concussion) about that. Once again the Raiders, easily the worst-managed team in the NFL, starts the season in a hole.

            Biggest story of the game IMO is that Laboy sack, that's his 2nd in 2 preseason games. He might be the 9ers best offseason acquisition & is starting to look like the textbook 3rd & long designated pass rushing OLB they had hoped Manny Lawson would become but hasn't. Line him up at the WILL or SAM spot, doesnt matter, the guy is showing the QB headhunter form he displayed at Tennessee.

            The fact that Chilo Rachal did not turn in another absolute suckage performance forces the coaches to make some tough decisions at cut time. Keep Rachal in the starting lineup? That's still a big gamble, & as much as they would like to avoid the Wk. 1 OL shuffling they were forced into with injuries in 09 they might have to do it again. Wragge or Snyder might have to back up at both guards so that means they have cut depth elsewhere. Whoever performs best at pass blocking in their revamped, Smith-friendly shotgun spread formation for passing downs s/b the starter, only 1 more preseason game to determine that.
            Last edited by LizardState; 08-29-2010, 12:07 PM.


            • I think they keep Chilo statring at RG, because Sing seems to like him and Anthony Davis has said he's comfortable next to him. Let this young right side of the O-Line mature together. Gore can just run left and cut back right if they get a push. :)

              #thestruggleisreal with Tomsula in as HC after the "Harbacle"
              Operation Pile Up Draft Picks for Re-Build: In progress, with much work to be done

              "He who thinks he knows it all has the most to learn"


              • yeah, they could easily pull a Shaun Alexander-type deal and just run left all game.

                Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011


                • That is not gonna help in the passing game, which is where Davis and Rachal both need the most help. To be honest I would have no problem if the coaching staff goes with Wragge and Sims until they feel like Rachal and Davis are really ready. I wanna win now :-D


                  • We will have to hope that Smith and Davis can build on what they had last year and Smith and Crabtree develop needed chemistry so the offense can sustain more drives this year. Zeiglar and Byham could play key roles this year. The crowd is going to cause some problems for a young line in Seattle this year.

                    On defense the key is going to be getting off the field on third down. Again.... More Brooks and Laboy on third and long may help remedy this, but part of it is the corners not playing close enough and that has a lot to do with confidence in their safety support imo. It is hard to say how much of the corners' big cushion is because Manusky doesn't believe in them or if it is the safeties' inability to do their jobs. The coaches will never say publicly what the reasons are so it is just guesses on our part.


                    • If they keep Rachal in when Heitmann comes back and bench Baas, that would be really disappointing. The best 5 olinemen are right there, and Chilo isn't one of them; put the best 5 on the field.

                      If they kept Haralson in every down when Brooks/Briggs/LaBoy are all on the roster, I would seriously have to question our coaches.


                      • I just want to remind everyone that this is preseason. If you judged players based on what they do in preseason, then players like Chris Johnson would get benched.

                        I expect Haralson to play more than Laboy this year even though Laboy had a better preseason.


                        • While I agree that the preseason is overrated in some aspects (the Lions going 4-0 in preseason 2 years ago then going 0-16 in the regular season) you can see flashes (good and bad) during the preseason from players, especially younger players that are progressing, that will give the coaches an idea on how they are coming along, and what they can expect from them production-wise during the regular season. Preseason is an inexact science like the combine, but it's still important.

                          #thestruggleisreal with Tomsula in as HC after the "Harbacle"
                          Operation Pile Up Draft Picks for Re-Build: In progress, with much work to be done

                          "He who thinks he knows it all has the most to learn"


                          • Originally posted by Goon61 View Post
                            I just want to remind everyone that this is preseason. If you judged players based on what they do in preseason, then players like Chris Johnson would get benched.

                            I expect Haralson to play more than Laboy this year even though Laboy had a better preseason.

                            The problem is Haralson has stunk for a while now. All of the OLBs have talent; personally I would just rotate them all on a consistent basis so the other team doesn't know what to expect, plus it keeps everybody fresh.


                            • I like the OLB rotation idea as it will lead to the relentless pursuit of the opponents QB and show who really is the best at the position, as there isn't much of a gap between our OLBs right now.

                              #thestruggleisreal with Tomsula in as HC after the "Harbacle"
                              Operation Pile Up Draft Picks for Re-Build: In progress, with much work to be done

                              "He who thinks he knows it all has the most to learn"


                              • Except that Lawson is miles ahead of everyone else against the run and in coverage. If you meant pass rushing then, yeah, I agree. Lawson should be on 1st and 2nd down no matter what and he should be in on most 3rd downs as well. Haralson should be rotated out with Brooks, LaBoy, and Briggs (if Brooks doesn't take the starting job when he comes back)
                                Last edited by abaddon41_80; 08-30-2010, 03:29 PM.



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