I have been on vacation since Friday with limited access to the internet. Here is what went down the last couple of days:
- The 49ers lost to the Chargers 20-17 in an exciting preseason finale. Well, as exciting as a final exhibition game can be with third stringers and players trying not to get cut. Although I wanted to see him start QB J.T. O’Sullivan didn’t play Friday night, along with six other starters, as the 49ers prepared for this weekend’s season opener.
- Alex Smith got the start with the second unit and did not do well not only in the game but for the future of his career. He all but supplanted himself the most expensive backup in the NFL by throwing two interceptions going to the same man CB Cletis Gordon (who?) with a possible third going over his head and out of his hands. Smith started out well with 23-yard completion to WR Bryant Johnson and he came back in the second half to lead the 49ers to a 90-yard touchdown drive that ended with a TD pass to TE Bill Bajema. It gave the 49ers a lead that they squandered with a muffed punt that lead to a late touchdown giving the Chargers the win. We might see Smith at some point in the year if O’Sullivan cannot get through the tough first half schedule the 49ers face. However with a demoted QB as your backup, and if O’Sullivan can’t get it done, then how can Smith?
- Roster Cuts:
Offense: RB Thomas Clayton, FB Moran Norris , WR Ashley Lelie, WR Dominique Zeigler, WR Cam Colvin, WR Robert Ortiz, WR Jerard Rabb, G Brian de la Puente, T Alan Reuber, T Joe Toledo, T Chris Patrick, TD J.J. Finley
Defense: DT Atiyyah Ellison, DT LaJuan Ramsey, DT Walter Curry, DE Louis Holmes, LB Larry Grant, LB Dennis Haley, CB Markus Curry, S D.J. Parker
Special teams: P/K Ricky Schmitt
Lelie and Norris are the two biggest names cut by the 49ers. Lelie should have been released with Darrell Jackson earlier in the year, but the 49ers were hoping he could make the team and have an impact as a deep threat in the Martz system. But just like his time with the Broncos and Falcons, Lelie was not much of a factor. Norris was the lead blocker for Frank Gore the last two years, however with surprise standout FB Zak Keasey’s speed, he was like more by Mike Martz and fit better into the offense. Keasey also helped himself out by playing well on special teams in the preseason. He is a big hitter and the 49er Faithfull should expect big things from him this year as he is now the lead blocker for Gore.
- The official start of the NFL season in on Thursday. The 49ers will play the Cardinals in week one at Bill Walsh Field. I post a season preview tomorrow. Go 49ers!