The 49ers closed out the 2010 Exhibition Season by beating the Chargers 17-14 in a largely empty Candlestick Park stadium. There were no initial reports of any serious injuries. Whew!!!
The emergence of Phillip Adams has got to be the most surprising story of a Training Camp full of good stories. The entire rookie class looked very capable. Not one stiff among them. It’s not hard to imagine that this class will someday be viewed as one of the better drafts in franchise history. An unlikely scenario to be sure, since it was conducted by a rookie GM only one month on the job after the stunning dismissal of Scot McCloughan.
In going 4-0 in pre-season, the 49er scrubs beat the scrubs of Indianapolis, Minnesota, and San Diego. If there was a Scrub Bowl at the end of the year, the team would definitely be considered a serious contender for the SB, Jr. title.
The most surprising not so good story of this year’s camp would have to be the flaming out of the surefire HOF career of Nate Davis. This site pondered recently the notion that Davis would be cut, and Thursday night’s performance did little to expose that ponderment as rubbish. He began TC with aspirations of moving up to #2 QB, but has instead gone from “Wow” to “Whoa” to “Whew” in record time. In the past two games, he has looked slow, pudgy, and very ordinary. Next stop for Nate could be the UFL.
The final cut down day in recent Ninerland history has been more exciting for whom we might pick up off waivers from another team, rather than for which players we will actually cut. Not so this year. It will be 49er players that other teams are happy to get and there are several players that will be tough to see leave the team. And there will probably be some surprises among those who do make the team.
The biggest sigh of relief from this year’s TC has been the impressive play of the two first round picks, Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis. The team needed these two to be instant starters and they have both done precisely that. Davis especially seems to get noticeably better with each game he plays. It is entirely possible that the right side of the 49er offense will actually be secure this year, allowing the QB to make his first read downfield to his receivers, rather than to his right to judge how many milliseconds he has before getting flattened.
Taylor Mays has also looked better and better each game. He made a nice end zone interception Thursday, as well as some other nice plays, but this scribe noticed particularly the tackle he made on special teams. Here’s a guy who has been a star player all his life, and suddenly he’s looking at a whole year of playing mostly on special teams. A lot of star guys would not put much heart into this effort, but Mays seems more than willing to pay his dues.
NaVorro Bowman has also looked stellar during the pre-season. This guy can play. Enjoy your last season as a starter in SF, Takeo Spikes, because it will be Patrick Willis and Bowman forming an awesome set of inside linebackers for the Niners for years to come.
Mentioning that Anthony Dixon has looked okay is asking to be awarded the 2010 “Duh Ya Think So” award. Bloggers who have been experiencing premature worrywart syndrome over Frank Gore’s biological time clock can rest a little easier now. Dixon may not ever be as good as Gore, but he looks to be plenty good enough.
With the eye gouge experienced by Jason Hill, which parked him once again on the bench in Thursday’s game, I’d say Kyle Williams will get a well deserved roster spot, also. He earned it, but Adams’ emergence as a punt returner has stolen some of Kyle’s thunder. Still, having Williams as a backup option to Adams is not a bad idea, and Williams has definite potential as a slot receiver. It appears Hill’s potential will have to be continued elsewhere.
This site has openly pined for Dominique Zeigler to make the team, if only to be used as a Red Zone receiver. His height, jumping ability, and incredible hands were never more vividly displayed than that nonchalant one-handed sky hook effort in the end zone Thursday night. Wow. This guy has hands.
Okay, gents. That’s a pre-season wrap. Let’s get out there now and kick some ever lovin’ butt in Seattle. Roooooaaaarrrrr!!!!!