One week into camp and already Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis have moved into the starting lineup, replacing David Baas and Adam Snyder. It’s possible that this is only a temporary move to give both of these rookies as many reps as possible before the real games begin. And it’s possible that they will not fare well enough in the exhibition games to warrant staying with the number ones. But the most likely scenario is that they will stay right where they are for many years to come.
Starting these rookies in game one is a bit of a risky move, given that game will be on the road at noisy Qwest Field in Seattle. But it’s in keeping with Mike Singletary’s motif of pushing superior young players into the lineup and letting them have at it. He did it with Chilo Rachal in 2008, and Michael Crabtree and Dashon Goldson last year. This is in stark contrast to Mike Nolan’s motif of sticking with less talented veterans, while making young players sit and learn, rather than play and learn.
Nate Davis entered camp with Jimmy Raye and Smith Haters, Inc. hoping he would compete with David Carr for 2nd string QB. Prominent spokespersons for this corporation, RTFirefly, Ninermd, Sophrosyne and TIM were confident that Davis would probably be supplanting Alex Smith before camp was over. Instead, it looks like Davis is regressing and you have to wonder if he can even beat out Jarrett Brown for the 3rd string/developmental QB spot.
If this happens, we’ll have a new HOF 3rd string QB for the SHI* crowd to drool over this coming year. Already we see them sliding off the Nate the Great bandwagon that has been parading through the blogosphere for over a year, complete with Youtube videos of this gentle fellow’s fantastic performances during scrub time of last year’s exhibition games. TIM, the gushing disseminator of this video on every blog in Niner World, is back pedaling from himself so fast that you have to wonder if he’ll get self-induced whip lash. Ninermd has jumped over to the Carr bandwagon. Sophrosyne has thrown in the towel and now pretends to only have hoped Nate would do well. We have yet to hear from RTFirefly, but it’s likely he’ll just settle for hissing at Smith whenever possible.
Meanwhile, the chemistry between Smith and Vernon Davis is becoming an unstoppable force. Most considered VD’s 2009 season a breakout year, and it was, but he might very well surpass that record tying effort this year. Two of the blogosphere’s favorite dart boards over the years seem to be coming into their own in tandem.
When NaVorro Bowman was drafted in the 3rd round, there was some head scratching among the blognocenti. ILB did not seem to be a position of dire need. Now, with the season ending injury to Scott McKillop and the kidney laceration injury to Ahmad Brooks, that pick is beginning to look mighty good. And so is Bowman. In pass blocking drills over the weekend, Bowman whipped Glen Coffee, Moran Norris, Michael Robinson, and Anthony Dixon in a dominant display that had the fans in attendance whooping. Of course, he did not have to go up against Frank Gore, which would have been a bit more difficult. The 49ers looked poised to enjoy a very dynamite pair of ILBs going into the future.
You have to wonder about the veracity of remarks by players who aren’t sweating Abrayo Franklin’s hold out, and that he’ll be good to go whenever he shows up. That may be true, but in effect, they are saying vets don’t need to practice or go through the rigors of training camp. If that is true, why the heck aren’t they all sitting it out? If it’s wise for Abrayo to reduce his chances of needless injury, doesn’t it make sense for every vet to do likewise?
A team that did that would hardly be ready to play ball on opening day. So it’s really a bit of player horsepatoot to support his reluctance to sign a $7 million contract, which he has practically no choice but to sign, and get his butt into TC. Franklin is a popular player, but if he were not, the support would be pretty close to “no comment.” They are busting ass and he ain’t.
Jerry Rice was inducted into the HOF Saturday, so it must have been five years since he retired. Seems a lot longer, since the last time he played for the 49ers was the year 2000. Hard to believe he played another four years, three for Oakland and one for Seattle. What a guy. He can’t dance worth a lick, though, and his gig on Dancing with the Stars helped usher in a bunch more athletes who can’t dance a lick, either. I’m sure DelMarDennis watches this show and belongs to a Fantasy Dancing with the Stars league, so I’ll leave it up to him to identify which of these gridiron greats was the biggest stiff.
We’re less than a week away from the 49ers first exhibition game, against the Colts in Indianapolis. A week from today, the blogosphere will be gushing over a win or howling over a loss. The fact that it’s a practice game and plays that look great might not actually be great, while plays that look bad might actually be good, will be mostly lost in cyberspace. It will be noisy at any rate, which will be music to any fan’s ears.