The 49ers traveled to Dallas on Saturday to play in Jerry Jones’ new billion dollar stadium. No punts hit the video board during the game but here are some things that I noticed:
Pass rush: The 49ers seem to have gone nowhere in the pass rushing department compared to last year and the game against the Cowboys really showed the pass rush still has a long way to go. It seemed like Tony Romo had 4-5 seconds to find and throw to a receiver on every pass attempt. The secondary made some plays to make up for the lack of pressure but as we saw last year the secondary will start to breakdown in the second half of the game trying to keep up with receivers. The only time there was pressure on Romo, Safety Mark Roman intercepted the ball returning it for 57 yards. The pass rush is really the only cause for concern on defense for the 49ers but if they play like they did last year with only 30 sacks all season the linebackers and secondary will fail too.
Shaun Hill: Hill did not have a spectacular game playing all of the first-half but he did play well for having missed most of the last weeks practice. He went 9-17 with 79 yards passing and said he was not bothered by his back. Hill’s only scoring drive, which resulted in a field-goal right before halftime, lasted 12 plays for 66 yards. The 49ers had a chance to go for the end zone with 11 seconds left but Mike Singletary went for the field goal. No touchdowns but no interceptions so overall Hill was effective.
The Mike Singletary Offense: What surprised me the most during the game was the conservativeness of Singletary’s decision making. In the drive mentioned above Singletary had plenty of time left to test Hill and his offense to see if they could score a TD before the half as Hill lead an impressive drive down to the Cowboys 24-yardline. Instead he opted for Joe Nedney to kick a field goal and 7 seconds remained on the clock after he made the kick. Late in the fourth quarter and after Nate Davis lead the 49ers to the Cowboys 9-yardline Singletary had an opportunity to go for it on 4th and 1 but had kicker Alex Romero try a 24-yard field goal tying the game at 13-13. Grant it the 49ers did come back to win the game as Davis played a very well game under center in the second-half but I would like to have seen Singletary test his offense especially with Hill . I guess the 49er Faithful will have to get used to this.
Marvel Smith Retires
Offensive lineman Marvel Smith retired on Saturday due to back problems that have plagued his career. Smith signed with the 49ers in the off-season and was competing with Adam Snyder for the starting job at right tackle. Smith was signed to deal that mostly paid on incentives so the 49ers are not on the hook for his contract. Sydner is still recovering
The 49ers released WR Mark Bradford, WR Chris Francies, K Alex Romero, CB Carlos Thomas and CB Jahi Word-Daniels to make room on the roster.