49ers on ESPN's clock


I just got home from the A's home opener and see that ESPN's On the Clock series has reached the 49ers.  Their scheduling is screwy so I think I might have missed the Sportscenter version.  However, there is an option to watch it on ESPN Motion, so I'll have to check it out tomorrow.

The breakdown is pretty basic as they address last season, key additions, key losses and remaining questions.  It's all pretty obvious but a nice little compilation of the offseason.  One interesting not is that none of the key losses really hurts the team.  Losing Eric Johnson, Jeremy Newberry, Anthony Adams and Antonio Bryant will not hurt this team in 2007.  I'm the biggest Johnson fan out there, but Davis is clearly the future.  Newberry is injury-prone, Adams was a wasted talent and Antonio Bryant obviously didn't cut it.

The remaining questions mentioned the following:

San Francisco spent a lot of money on defense, but the unit still has its share of holes. It could use one or two more defensive linemen, a free safety and possibly another inside linebacker and a pass-rushing outside linebacker. The 49ers also lack a true No. 1 wide receiver, which is a problem considering that Alex Smith is still a developing quarterback. Adding a young, developmental offensive tackle would also be wise. Are the 49ers an improved team? Without a doubt. Are they ready to challenge Seattle for the NFC West? Not yet.

While I agree that the Seahawks are the team to beat in the division simply due to the recent past, I don't buy the "not yet" comment.  Our preseason previews will go into this in further depth, but in the meantime, suffice to say, the 49ers are clearly in a position to make a run at the West crown.

One other thing, ESPN's "SportsNation" is putting each team's pick to vote in order.  The 49ers vote is Wednesday the 11th, so vote early and vote often.

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