Even as we criticize certain aspects of the 49ers, many of us (including myself) look at the team through fairly red and gold colored glasses. We want to think positive and be prepared for that long glorious playoff run we all know is coming. And yet, obviously we have to consider the potential negatives on the team. Every NFL team has weaknesses, and to proclaim a team perfect is akin to sticking your head in the sand.
A couple weeks ago, ESPN had their Scouts Inc folks put together a rundown of the primary weakness for each team heading into 2010. Most teams have several areas scouts could focus in on, and the 49ers are certainly no different. Matt Williamson feels that the biggest weakness of the 49ers is at cornerback.
What's most interesting about his assessment is that it seemed like it was more of a situation where, he doesn't think it's not an awful unit, but he thinks of the entire team, it would rate lowest. In reading through the article, Williamson comes across as fairly high on the 49ers as a whole:
For the first time in a very long time, the 49ers really do not have a plethora of major weak spots. That is progress . . .
Overall, this certainly isn’t an awe-inspiring group of cornerbacks, but if this is the worst facet of your team, you are doing OK.
He thinks Clements and Spencer aren't awful, but certainly are more middle of the road than anything else. His thoughts on the cover-game reflected his general optimism however:
Also, while I have chosen cornerback as the 49ers' biggest weakness, I do expect a strong run game, an overall improved offense and a better pass rush led by Ahmad Brooks, Manny Lawson and Justin Smith to help alleviate issues with their cover men.
What do you think is the biggest weakness for the 49ers? I'd imagine many consider the QB position an area of weakness, while others would agree with Williamson about the cornerbacks, and potentially the secondary in general. Personally, i'd argue that until proven otherwise, the offensive line and the punt return unit remain questionable. These are two areas the team has done a lot to improve, but until we see the units on the field, can we really say they're anything other than weaknesses? I expect a lot of improvement in the two units, but I'm not going to get my hopes up at this point. I'd rather wait and have them prove themselves before declaring victory.