A Rude Awakening

You’ve got to wonder if Gregg Williams – Saints defensive coordinator – is still being haunted by arguably one of the greatest runs, that would eventually lead to the elimination of the Saints in the playoffs last year. The reason I postulate this is because for a game that was played in the first week of the preseason, it wasn’t vanilla or played close to the vest by any means. Gregg Williams brought everything but the kitchen sink. At one point, Alex Smith was 0-5 with two sacks in the game. Alex Smith in the post game media session even admitted to not expecting that kind of pressure in the preseason. Despite the trampling, no one was injured miraculously. Alex Smith finished with those two jarring and Colin Kaepernick brought home four of his own.

The spotlight for most of the game, if you’re a 49er fan, was on Kaepernick. He got off to a great start with a dart through a small window, to Lance Long for 20 yards and a first down. After that, well, the next three plays pretty much sums up the kind of night he had; when the Saints would scrape up three consecutive sacks. Kaepernick’s to do list with the coaches in my personal opinion should start with working on his three step drop. In a west coast offense having that three step drop down is crucial. Kaepernick was way too close to the offensive line. As observers we have to take into consideration that he’s from a pistol offense and he has only had 11 with the coaching staff. A few other edges he has to polish is that he was too loosey-goosey with the ball, which led to two fumbles. Clock management needs work, but this should all get better with time. What to like about Kaepernick’s preseason debut, is that he wasn’t playing conservatively. Tried taking some shots to make things happen. Unfortunately he was intercepted twice. Another thing to like is that he got a lot of experience versus the exotic look provided by the Saints’ D.

Onto the stellar performance by the first string defense. Three straight three and outs against Drew Brees. We weren’t sending the house either. Whitner nearly picked off Brees trying to jump a short route. The 49ers had pressure on the QB – Rejoice! As it seems like the niners never able to create any pressure. The defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, earlier in the week excited the niner fanbase when he implied that he’d be rushing Willis this year from his MIKE linebacker position. Talking about how Willis can improve. Just when fans thought Willis has reached his pinnacle, Fangio is asking for more. Reportedly, there’s a banner in the 49er’s facility that reads, “You are either getting better or you are getting worse; you never stay the same.” I believe this mantra perfectly describes Fangio’s disposition.

And no review would be complete without the mention of rookie standout: Aldon Smith. The hype going into the game from his impressive practices, Alex Boone referring to him as a future Pro-Bowler, now we got to see it in a game. He sacked Chase Daniels and forced him to fumble the ball on the play. If Aldon can break into the starting lineup, as the census expects him to, him and Ahmad Brooks would make a fierce tandem on the outside.

Next week onto Oakland!

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