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49ers - Saints: No more...well at least fewer excuses

There has been plenty of discussion about the imminent return of Alex Smith.  Assuming Smith has his arm strength back and is more or less good to go, we're reaching a cross-roads of the season.  The circumstances are in place for statements to be made, either good or bad.  The 49ers are 2-4 and their next two opponents are a combined 3-10.  Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, the offensive line is seeing a shakeup.  While we want Darrell Jackson to be healthy, I know several people here have to be excited to see Ashley Lelie get a crack at the starting lineup.  And while I'm certainly interested in what kind of impact Lelie makes, I'm even more interested in seeing Jason Hill get a shot on the field.  Things are coming together this week for a potentially exciting offensive team.  OK, maybe I'm a little too excited.  I'll just say it's GOT to be better than the crap we've seen to date.

The play-calling has gotten better over the last couple of weeks, but the execution hasn't been there.  With some new faces and some returning faces, I'd like to hope that will change.  Ashley Lelie's biggest catch last week was on what appeared to be a fly pattern.  Considering the rest of our receiving corp, Lelie could have a chance to make quite an impact this weekend.  You've got Arnaz Battle making some of the shorter plays, as well as going over the middle and running post routes.  Assuming he's healthy, Frank Gore is our guy coming out of the backfield.  I really hope to see Vernon Davis splitting out as a wide receiver, as I think he can make a much more significant impact in that position.  

The important thing about this week is that the 49ers have a compliment of weapons to provide Smith.  Combining their respective missed time, Smith has been Disease-free since Week 3.  Normally that's a good thing, but Smith clearly needs him.  The 49ers offense was starting to make some strides in that Week 3 Steelers game and then Davis went down, followed by Smith.

Of course, as has been the case at times this year, I could just be getting ahead of myself and little too excited.  The o-line will likely see a lot of Adam Snyder and some additional David Baas this weekend.  We'd like to have a full compliment of receivers, but we've got some credible options out there.  We're facing the 30th ranked pass defense in the league.  All things considered, can you ask for much more in terms of giving the offense a chance to have a break-out game?  Or am I just blowing smoke up my ass?