The 49ers first preseason game certainly made a big splash, and not the good kind of splash.
The 49ers showcased some good and some bad in their first game under new headcoach Jim Harbaugh's new regime, but honestly, it was to be expected.
I know that a lot of 49er fans expected to see an exciting offensive scheme right off the bat under coach Harbaugh - short passes, long passes, play-action passes and Alex Smith slinging the ball like he's Joe Montana - but come on 9er fans, be real.
The team as a whole had a total of 12 practices before the game, signed free-agents getting substantially less practices in.
In those 12 practices, one cannot seriously expect the offensive players to learn a completely new scheme, a complicated scheme at that, with new terms and verbiage.
I believe the offense will improve greatly and we will see a complete difference once the first game of the regular season comes around.
I'm not mentioning the defense as much, because the offense was the weak link, mostly. The defense actually had a pretty good showing, and I fully expect it to be deadly this year, with lots of heat from lots of directions.
So with all that in mind, here are my 10 observations on the 49ers first preseason game:
1. We have a very promising rookie class - The rookie class really stood out to me, with guys like Colin Kaepernick and Kendall Hunter playing well, albeit some rookie mistakes. Aldon Smith could be the real deal. Chris Culliver also had a pretty good showing.
2. Ahmad Brooks brings the heat - Ahmad Brooks showed why he should be the starting OLB next to Haralson/Smith.
3. Our O-Line needs a lot of work - both as a group and as individuals. It was obvious that the group hasn't meshed together yet but Joe Staley and Anthony Davis getting beat by speed rushers 1-on-1 has nothing to do with scheme. This group has to step up.
4. Tackling technique has to improve - There were some embarrassing moments that had to do with defenders not wrapping up, including a TD run by Mark Ingram.
5. Kyle Williams shows he can compete for #3 spot at WR - Kyle Williams had a great showing, not only catching the ball well, but getting some important YAC. Not to mention he was ferocious with his blocks.
6. Vic Fangio will bring the heat come regular season - The D had lots of pressures and even though there weren't too many exotic blitzes, I think we can assume the regular season will be full of them.
7. The center position is wide open - Many assumed that Jonathan Goodwin will be the automatic starter at center, because of his experience and because of Snyder's lack of experience. In Friday's game none of them looked good.
8. The 49ers are set at WR - With Edwards and Crabtree entrenched in the #1 and #2 spots, there is only a small number of spots left for a fairly large amount of good WRs. This in my opinion, is one of the most interesting battles in this preseason. The 49ers have Ginn and Morgan as the veterans, but with Kyle Williams having such a strong showing, and with newcomers Ronald Johnson, Kevin Jurovich and others showing promise, there are only so many spots at WR available.Who will make the cut and who will play behind Edwards and Crabtree?
9. Phillip Adams is a good corner - I have said this since last year when he was drafted, he has got good skills. Fared very well against the Saints' receivers, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him jump up to the #3 or #4 cornerback spot.
I cannot wait to see the 49ers play against the Raiders with so many questions waiting to be answered.