It appears that every one of you recognized the greatness that is Arnaz Battle in the latest confidence post, as he didn't get a single vote below ten. We're a smart bunch here, at Niners Nation. As far as the latest legitimate post is concerned, it seems we have generally positive feelings regarding Michael Crabtree's chances in 2011 under Jim Harbaugh and his West Coast Offense.
But it will be a run-based offense, one way or the other. Frank Gore will be the guy handling the bulk of the snaps, and the 49ers will set out to run the ball in every game next season. The dynamic will change only slightly though, as for once, it actually feels as though Frank will give up some carries to other runners. Currently, that means Anthony Dixon, as the chances of Brian Westbrook returning are slim to none and personally, I don't want him back.
So we've got Anthony Dixon, drafted in the sixth round last year and someone the coaches feel really good about. I like his running a lot, but he's clearly raw. He's a powerful back with a shifty running style between the tackles and can make you miss in small space, but his rookie season showed that he didn't quite have control over the style, and it led to him being tackled behind the line or just stopped by veterans who could predict his movements.
Still, there's a lot of raw potential there and he's a good supplement to Gore, providing he continues to progress. I think, so far, he's projecting to be a steal in the sixth round, though I'm taking caution in anointing him as something he's not, just yet. But he's the guy going forward as the backup, or at least that's what were lead to believe.
Personally, I'm not quite buying that yet, I know the 49ers will bring in another back, but most assume it will be another late round rookie, I would not be surprised it they targeted someone like Darren Sproles in free agency, somebody who would be the clear number two with Dixon once again being third. But, we have to take what we've been told, and for now, it looks like Dixon will be that guy.
A '10' would imply that Dixon breaks out in a big way - not necessarily something like 1000 yards, but something to show that he's definitely the guy going forward, maybe as early as 2012. A '6' would imply that he's just a good backup, he's what we want and gets good yardage on every play. Above average with potential starting ability going forward. You folks can define the rest.