The San Francisco 49ers have quite the situation on offense. They had a great rushing attack last season with RB Frank Gore and RB Kendall Hunter leading the way. In the offseason the Niners signed former New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs and drafted Oregon RB LaMichael James. The backfield looks to be a little over crowded but it’s better to have more than less. Jacobs is going to be insurance for Frank Gore. Both are getting up there in age, but combining the two should equal to one lasts productive year. This leaves Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James as the Niners running backs of the future. Hunter showed last season that he can run between the tackles and James is going to be a homerun treat any time he touches the ball. In today’s NFL teams rarely have a do it all running back, many teams have the two back system and looks like the Niners will be adopting it as well.
With the acquisitions and draft picks of WR Randy Moss, WR Mario Manningham, WR A.J. Jenkins, and LaMichael James is it no secret that the Niners are looking to be more explosive on offense. James will most likely start his NFL career contributing in special teams as a returner. As the season progresses expect him to become more involved in the offense and if there was to be an injury to Kendall Hunter, count on seeing James sooner than expected.
By adding Jenkins and James through the draft, the Niners got themselves two players that can run in 4.3’s, something that QB Alex Smith is excited about. Smith had his best season as a pro last year and with the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and new weapons on offense; expect Smith to possibly make his first Pro Bowl. Yup, that’s right, Alex Smith a pro bowler.
There are many high hopes and expectations for the upcoming season, but Niner fans will have to be patient. We cannot expect Jenkins and James to contribute from the start of the season. Currently it looks like Jenkins might be fourth in the depth chart behind Moss, Michael Crabtree, and Manningham (and possibly Kyle Williams). Same can be said about James. He finds himself behind Gore, Hunter, and Jacobs. I do believe that James will be our returner in special teams, which means WR Ted Ginn Jr. might be on his way out of San Francisco. Eventually both Jenkins and James will be a big part of the Niner offense, especially come playoffs (Not trying to jinx us, but I’m very confident we will be in the post season again).
I love the Manningham acquisition because he makes big plays in crucial moments and he is a chain mover on third down. The player that can push the Niner offense over the hill and make it a power house is Randy Moss. During “football school” the Niner players were raving about Moss. Even defensive players were taking notice that Randy had not lost a step. If it’s true, than the Moss experiment might work and make the Niners a dangerous team in every aspect of the game.
Super Bowl is the buzz in the Niner community. It’s hard not to be in that state of mind after last season and with the new pieces the Niners have added. Do not forget we do not have all 11 starters back on defense yet. FS Dashon Goldson has not signed his franchise tender. Hopefully he signs soon; he is a hell of a player. GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!