Did anyone notice Alex Smith's sudden change to lighter pads at the preseason game against Minnesota last night? The pads were noticeably lighter, seeing his sleeves were hanging. My guess is that he switched to lighter shoulder pads for mobility as a passer. It may be a good indication that the 49ers offense will be a lot more pass-heavy this coming season. It is the West Coast Offense, afterall.
Last year, the team started out with its strengths by rule of familiarity: the power-run game. Though the power-run game was much improved with calls to the outside rather than up the gut constantly, the 49ers gradually became more reliant on the short and intermediate passes as the season went on.