We've entered a weird time of the year. The practices are now closed to the media so we really don't know what's going on. Previously, during training camp, we would get tons of reports from all the different beat writers and sift through them for gems. Now we'll be stuck with a bunch of coach-speak while we wait for the last two games to take place. And this, just as some of the competitions getting interesting!
Today they announced something we've been expecting for a long time. Mario Manningham will begin the year on the PUP list. He won't be eligible to be removed until after the sixth week. This has been anticipated, but it will leave a roster spot open in the meantime. The roster spot will come in handy sorting out the mess at wide receiver.
Another thing that we learned from Coach Harbaugh's words to the media were that Marlon Moore had secured his roster spot (it's hidden in the transcripts, there are no headlines about it, but I found it to be one of the critical points). I was wondering why he was being treated as a starter, pulled after the first series. It's because he's a starter! Well, he'll be battling Kyle Williams for that honor, but it's as close to official as we'll ever get from the tight-lipped one.
We also learned that B.J. Daniels has earned more reps in practice. It sounds like a minor point, but his play against the Chiefs, coupled with uninspiring performances by fellow competitors Scott Tolzien and Colt McCoy, has thrust him into a QB battle. Can he win a spot? I don't know. I wouldn't have guessed it at the start of the offseason, but that's why August exists.
Finally we learned that A.J. Jenkins is going to be put through the ringer. His workload is going to go up and he'll even get a try at returning kicks. He's got the speed for it. I'd like to see him with the ball in his hands for more than a split second (Denver fumble) to see what he can do in space. If he's not getting separation in pass routes, let's find ways to get him separated with the ball already in his hands so we can get some idea of what we have in him. I'm sure the staff has an idea of what they have...but what about us?
Mario Mannigham, PUP-ee
Manningham's knee injury was horrific to watch. They're saying he's able to push off with power, but knowing he won't be ready for the regular season, we've PUPped him to save the roster spot. That will give some of these guys a chance to show what they've got for 6 more weeks. Not that WRs 4-6 will see the field often, but more practice time to impress on the staff can't hurt. | Report: Mario Manningham will begin 2013 season on PUP List (Gin)
Matt Maiocco gives you the same story but he's got his "Three and Out" video embedded. | Manningham to open season on PUP list (Maiocco)
I don't know if you've seen the passer ratings. Scott Tolzien has a 56.9 QBR so far this preseason. He's far outplayed Colt McCoy who comes in with a 25.3 QBR. I think the team may be better off with B.J. Daniels as No. 2 and Coach Harbaugh as No. 3. | Race to be Kaepernick's backup grows crowded after Daniels' debut (Barrows)
It looks like the team will really put AJ to the test in these last couple of weeks. Aside from the last two games, he'll be doing his work behind closed doors. Anyone telling you that he's auditioning for his roster spot is bonkers. They'd simply keep him as the No. 6 receiver, rarely suiting up, giving him the year to develop. | A.J. Jenkins to Amp Up Workload (49ers.com)
Now Coach Harbs has come out and said that Jenkins will get some reps as a kick returner? That's crazy talk. | Jenkins will get audition on kick returns (Maiocco)
Chiefs vs 49ers
Pro Football Focus took a look at the Chiefs game and came away with the following evaluations. Nate Stupar was the MVP for the game while Nick Moody was solid in leading the team in tackles. Scott Tolzien was abominable, lucky to not have two interceptions, and Garrett Celek nearly stole away the LVP award due to his abysmal blocking. | ReFo: SF @ KC, Preseason Wk 2 (PFF)
BASG tackles what today's Harbaugh comments mean for the wide receiver position. If Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore are on the roster, then the rest are fighting for six positions. How do you have the 49ers' WR depth chart playing out at the start of the year? | According to Harbaugh, eight WRs (including A.J. Jenkins) are fighting for three spots (BASG)
Matt Maiocco has some good points about the closer competitions. He thinks the 49ers have to keep B.J. Daniels, as he's guaranteed to get swooped up if they try to sneak him on the practice squad. He notes that A.J. Jenkins should be lining up at flanker giving himself a bit more space, especially after Sean Smith was in his grill for the entire Chiefs game. | Upon further view: Competitions still wide open (Maiocco)
Eric Reid has looked good in the two preseason games he's played in. All of the defensive backs have looked pretty good to date, which makes me think somethings amiss. Our pass rush against opponents second teams has been devastating, lending to easy plays for the defensive backs. I want to see him in coverage against first team receivers when a quarterback has time to make the play. But what we've seen so far has been outstanding. | Eric Reid will receive time with the first-team defense this week (Inman)
We've all been surprised by how little Colin Kaepernick has played in the preseason. It looks like we'll see a bit more of him in Game 3 against Minnesota. They frequently say that Week 3 is the closest to the real deal. Week 4 is trying to figure out those tight position battles and final cuts. | Colin Kaepernick will play more in 49ers' third preseason game (Inman)
Here's the video of Harbaugh speaking and the transcript. | Coaches Notebook: Aug. 18 (49ers.com)
Being a Sheep
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