The 49ers appear to have sufficient depth at every position on the offense, but there are some nervous making areas on defense. The drop off from starter to backup at OLB and the safety positions is down right scary.
It could be worse, of course. You could be the Raiders and have no quality players ABOVE the backups.
It’s possible the team will scan the waiver wire at the final cut down day next Friday, looking for a veteran safety and/or OLB, but the team is 30th on the pecking order list, so it’s doubtful any player of quality would slip past all of the 29 teams ahead of them.
By my own count, there are 48 players currently locked in for roster spots, with an additional spot going to eithr Scott Tolzien or Josh Johnson. That leaves 4 roster and 8 practice squad spots available among 41 candidates. Those are better odds than finding one honest politician in the entire country, but not by much.
Around 2:45pm Sunday afternoon, the competition for those precious jobs begins in earnest. Good luck, ye unwashed masses of marginal NFL abilities. May the Turk have mercy on your careers. Just remember, if luck goes against you, there’s a place in the blogosphere waiting for you. You can go from a nobody to an expert in one day flat!
The starters normally play at least the entire first half in this third exhibition game, but I doubt that will be true in this game, at least for Alex Smith. I don’t see him playing much more than one quarter, with recently anointed Number Two QB Colin Kaepernick getting the second quarter action. This will be a rare opportunity for Colin to play against another team’s number one defense, and play with our own number one offense. It will be good to see how he holds up.
Denver has a formidable pass rush duo of Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. Miller will be going up against Anthony Davis at right tackle, which should give us a hint whether Davis has improved as reported this offseason. So far in the exhibition games, the run blocking, as usual, has been great and the pass blocking, as usual, not so great.
Peyton Manning has yet to take a good, solid, didn’t-see-it-coming backside spearing, so maybe our own Aldon Smith will perform that task in this game. Then again, who wants to be the guy who laid out Manning and put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life? Manning doesn’t think four or five neck surgeries is a problem, and evidently his doctors agree, but if it’s me, c’mon man. And don’t tell me we won’t hear a gasp heard round the world if Manning gets hit and lays on the ground for even a couple of seconds afterwards.
If Manning has an evil little boy in him, he could lay there until somebody ran over and looked down at him, then give him the old “Ha. Ha. Faked you out!” More likely, though, knowing Manning, he’ll probably milk every roughing the passer penalty he can possibly get out of the refs any time somebody gets within halitosis distance of him.