The San Francisco 49ers travel to Missouri to take on Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs for their Week 2 game of the preseason. A lot of eyes will be on the Niners’ wide receivers to see who will emerge from the pack to take over the No. 2 spot on offense. Equally as important will be watching Smith and how he is developing with the Chiefs as their new quarterback.
This will be the eighth time the 49ers and Chiefs have faced off in the preseason. The Niners currently hold the advantage over the Chiefs with a 5-2 record. To preview the Week 2 preseason matchup, Niner Noise teamed up with Chiefs fan website Arrowhead Addict for a Q&A to get some insight in the enemy’s camp. Enjoy and Niners!
Q: How has Alex Smith been looking at training camp and in the first preseason game? Do Chiefs fans believe in Smith as a starting QB?
A: I wasn’t personally able to get up to St. Joseph so I didn’t get to see Smith play live. That said, almost all news outside of the Jamaal Charles injury scare was positive coming out of Chiefs camp.
I was also impressed with Smith’s one and only drive in preseason game No.1.
Chiefs fans seem to be split with their opinions on Smith. Some fall into the camp that I tend to lean towards. We’re the people that think Smith is an accurate quarterback who has the potential to thrive in an Andy Reid system.
Others, including a few in our comment sections, have nicknamed Smith “Captain Checkdown”.
Q: The Niners signed former Chiefs defensive end Glenn Dorsey in the offseason. Dorsey was the fifth overall draft pick in 2008, so why didn’t he work out in KC?
A: I did recently read something in the San Jose Mercury News where Dorsey admitted to there being a lot of pressure. Here’s the link: http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_23841407/49ers-glenn-dorsey-glad-get-fresh-start
As a coach, I can tell you that I’ve seen players get thrown off their game from just having a bad day mentally and not being dialed in. Pressure has a way of messing with people’s minds, so I wouldn’t doubt that it played a role.
Q: Running back Jamaal Charles was carted off the field at Monday’s practice with a right foot injury and he is not expected to play in the game. What is the backup plan at running back if Charles is out for a significant amount of time?
A: Charles won’t be out for a significant time. Reid and his staff have been playing it safe with injuries, so this is only a precaution. Chiefs Kingdom almost fell apart when that news broke, but it was basically a big overreaction.
As far as backups are concerned, I know a lot of fans are happy that rookie Knile Davis will be getting some important reps.
Q: How is first overall draft pick Eric Fisher developing? Will he be in the starting lineup in Week 1 of the regular season?
A: I don’t see why he wouldn’t play in week No. 1. Much like with the Jamaal Charles injury, Fisher was kept out for precautionary reasons. Again, I wasn’t able to get to camp to see Fisher in person, but I haven’t heard of any issues.
Q: Which position battle at training camp are KC fans keeping a close watch on?
A: I think the backup quarterback battle has most fans pretty intrigued over here. Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Ricky Stanzi are all getting reps, but there’s not going to be room for all four. Daniel is a Mizzou guy so he has somewhat local ties, and Tyler Bray has great size and nice potential.
Truthfully, I believe Stanzi is going to be the odd man out. He just doesn’t look ready to compete among this group.
Here are Niner Noise’s answers with Arrowhead Addict:
Q: So, this is only a preseason game, but it feels like it’s a lot more than that over here in Kansas City. What’s the vibe in SF heading into this game?
A: Most Niner fans are excited for preseason games because that means its August with the start of the regular season just around the corner. There are a lot of interesting position battles, like at receiver and cornerback, which is making training camp and the preseason exciting. Playing against Alex Smith is making this week’s game the highlight of the preseason.
Q: Alex Smith seems to be playing in cool in regard to playing his former team. What are your thoughts on AS11 (as we call him here in Chiefs Kingdom)?
A: Nice, you already have a nickname for Alex! He can be more than just a game-manager if has good personnel around him on the field and he’s in an offense that is tailored to his strengths. He flourished under Jim Harbaugh, so it will be interesting to see how develops and plays with the Chiefs.
Q: What’s the biggest thing you’d like to see the 49ers work on Friday night?
A: One area is finding a No.2 receiver to start opposite Anquan Boldin. A lot of eyes will be on wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and how he plays in the game. Jenkins was a first-round draft pick in 2012, but he only appeared in three games and had zero catches last season.
With Michael Crabtree injured, the Niners offense needs one of their young receivers to step up to start as the No. 2 receiver. Many expected Jenkins to take over that role, but he has struggled so far at training camp and in the first preseason game. Don’t be surprised if you see Austin Collie starting as the No. 2 receiver on Friday.
Q: How long do you expect to see the 49ers starters in this game?
A: Last week, most of the starters only played one series against the Denver Broncos. In the second preseason game the starters will likely be in the game for two to three series. Expect to see the Niners offensive starters on the field more than the defensive starters. With a position battle for the No.2 receiver spot, the offense needs to see how Colin Kaepernick connects with the wide outs in live action.
Q: Thoughts on news Chiefs head coach Andy Reid? What are your expectations for his first year?
A: Andy Reid was a good hire by the Chiefs because he has a great track record as a head coach and he is offensive-minded. Alex Smith plays better under coaches like Reid, so he should be able to continue Smith’s development that Harbaugh started.
The Chiefs have a lot of talent on the roster. And with the addition of a new head coach and quarterback that have a winning track and been in the playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised if KC finishes with an 8-8 record.