In the 2009 Draft, the allegedly great GM Scot Pioli of the Chiefs drafted D-lineman Tyson Jackson with the 3rd over all pick. Rumors at the time had it that Jackson was the guy the 49ers wanted to draft. Instead, the team ended up with Michael Crabtree. Crabtree was a star right out of the box. Jackson did squat all year and yesterday was dislodged from the starting lineup by an undrafted three year player.
What a crap shoot football can be. Our recently departed players, Kentwan Balmer and Glen Coffee, have provided a lot of logs on the roasting fire of the fans who did not like our recently departed GM, Scot McCloughan. These same fans also think our team will win the NFC West this year — with the players McCloughan stocked the team with.
This scribe is more worried, long term, about McCloughan in Seattle than Pete Carroll. In St. Louis, Sam Bradford is the guy that gives me long term worries. I don’t normally pay much attention to other players in the league, but this year I will be watching Bradford closely. Is this guy just another over-hyped college QB or will he look like a dangerous guy to square off against twice a year for the next ten years or more?
Arizona is a head scratcher at the moment. We’ll find out how much of their success was Kurt Warner and how much is Ken Whisenhunt. To me, Whisenhunt has an unearned rep about like Pioli does. It would not take much adversity for the guys on that team to start paying more attention to the end of their current contracts than the end of the current season.
The Raiders are hosting the 49ers Saturday and the game is blacked out. So is my knowledge of that team. I can’t bring myself to pay a single bit of attention to them. Almost by osmosis, I have come to the feeling that they are going to be a pretty good team this year. Their defense is good, especially with Rolando McClain upgrading their weak area at linebacker. Their offense has been a laughing stock lately, along with their HC. I don’t know if laughing is the right emotion for describing their owner. Some area of surreal is more like it.
But they will be a good test for our offense come Saturday. Our new O-line guys will be going up against some pretty stout characters on their D-line. And the Crabtree versus Nnamdi Asomugha battle will be interesting.
Still, it is hard to get worked up over this game. Or next week’s game against San Diego. 49er fans have been looking to get this season started since last January. Last year, the starting QB was still a carefully guarded secret and a hot topic in the blogosphere going into the third pre-season game. No such Training Camp drama exists this year. Just get the damn season started.
Practices this week have been less and less intense and many players are resting and healing. Again, last year Mike Singletary was driving this team right to the end of camp, trying to discover who was tough enough to play for him. This year, he knows who those players are and seems more focused on making sure they are as healthy as possible for the opening game.
Apologies to readers of this site for a somewhat uninteresting, non insightful, desultory, rambling, uninspired effort today. I was thinking of blaming it on the heat wave in the Bay Area, but the team was practicing in pads during the heat yesterday, and the beat guys were out there wearing straw hats and sweating, so it seemed a little sacrilegious. I also considered blaming my grandson, who was running around the house all afternoon displaying his young monster personna, but jeez, the kid’s only two. You know you’re running on empty when you can’t even think of a good excuse to absolve yourself with.