Denver Broncos (0-0) vs. San Francisco 49ers (0-0)
7:00 PM (PST)
Bill Walsh Field at Candlestick Park
The useless games that are the preseason start tonight, but for the 49ers this game is important as Mike Singletary and his coaches try to decide on who will be starter under center for the Niner’s this year. First up, Shaun Hill. The incumbent quarterback is expected to be named the starter for the regular season and what he does tonight will cement his status. Alex Smith is expected to run the first team offense tonight as well but Singletary has said the amount of playing time for both will depend on the flow of the game and how each have done when on the field. If not for Hill being 7-3 as starter, Singletary should give the starting job to Hill because he is one of the reasons why Singletary had the interim tag replaced by a permanent status as head coach.
49er players out for tonight
RB Frank Gore will rest his legs and WR Isaac Bruce is sitting out because he has missed practiced the last couple of days due to being poked in the eye.
Players not seeing action tonight due to injury: LG David Baas (foot), LB Patrick Willis (ankle), CB Tarell Brown (toe), RB Michael Robinson (groin), TE Delanie Walker (concussion).
What to watch out for
Other than the Hill vs. Smith competition there are some notable players you should be watching for tonight’s game:
WR Josh Morgan: The endless saga that is Michael Crabtree has no end in sight and with Bruce sitting out with an eye injury and the fact that he is on his last legs makes tonight’s game for Morgan all that more important. Regardless of what happens with Crabtree, Morgan has been on the rise and gets a chance to show the coaches why he should be the starting WR opposite Bruce.
RT Adam Snyder: Snyder has been lining up at right tackle with the first team offense in training camp more than free-agent signee Marvel Smith. Smith was brought in to take over the starting job but he has a history of back problems and with Snyder’s versatility the last couple of years being able to play not only left and right tackle but also at the guard position gives him an edge.
RB Glen Coffee: Coffee was drafted to keep Gore’s legs fresh and to actually have an impact when Gore is not on the field. The 49ers have not had an adequate backup for Gore since he has been on the team. We have seen the likes of DeShaun Foster and Michael Robinson as backups but none had the potential impact that Coffee could have of making the defense account for both running backs. Gore will not play tonight so Coffee’s time to shine is now.
CB Dre’ Bly: When CB Walt Harris went down with a season ending injury in OTA’s the 49ers signed Bly to compete with backup Tarell Brown. Brown has been leading the competition in camp but he is out tonight due to injury. Bly has an opportunity to show the coaching staff he still can be a playmaker and relied on for coverage.
TE Vernon Davis: Every year since he has been in the NFL was suppose to be Davis’ breakout year and this is what we hear again. Most have said he looks good in practice and is on his way to being an elite tight end but I disagree. I hope Davis has his breakout year but that is not going to happen. The 49ers have grown tired with Davis’ inability to be a consistent receiver which is why they drafted Bear Pascoe to pressure him to be productive.
Both teams will come out playing shaky as the players try to come their nerves and energy in trying to show and do too much. Both teams are installing new offenses so don’t expect a high scoring game especially once the scrubs come in. The 49ers will pull out the win 17-13.
Oh, yeah and Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan returns to the place that fired him.
Keep updated automatically through email on 49ers news at Niner Noise. Subscribe here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/NinerNoise
Tags: 49ers 49ers 2009 Training Camp 49ers Injuries 49ers Preseason 49ers QB 49ers Quarterback 49ers Training Camp Adam Snyder Alex Smith Arnaz Battle Bear Pascoe CB Tarell Brown (toe) DeShaun Foster Dre’ Bly Frank Gore Game Day: Broncos Vs. 49ers Glen Coffee Isaac Bruce Jimmy Raye Josh Morgan LB Patrick Willis (ankle) LG David Baas (foot) Marvel Smith MCT Michael Crab Holdout Michael Crabtree Michael Robinson Mike Nolan Mike Singletary Moran Norris Patrick Willis RB Michael Robinson (groin) San Francisco 49ers Scot McCloughan Shaun Hill Tarell Brown TE Delanie Walker Vernon Davis Walt Harris