As you may know, Measure J has passed. If you don't know what Measure J is, well I probably can't help you. Alright, I can help you. It's the 49ers stadium measure for Santa Clara, and yesterday it cruised to an easy win in the polls. This, of course, doesn't mean an immediate stadium for the team to play in, nor does it guarantee that one will come to fruition in Santa Clara. It was simply the first major hurdle in the 49ers quest to get one built, and they leapt over it without looking back. But now they have a whole slew of other things to accomplish--from getting a site to funding.
Still, it's a day to be excited. The 49ers haven't made for much help over the last several seasons as far as excitement goes, and you can make it a productive day knowing that a new stadium is that much closer to being built, and the team can finally move on for the criminally outdated Candlestick Park. But what else should make this a good day? How about the 49ers recent OTA sessions, which showed a lot of promise.
Promise is something you should approach with caution for this team, but it does feel different this time around. It felt different last year, too, but for different reasons.. if that makes sense. Last year, there was a new coach, a new mentality, and the hope that this team could at least perform better. This year they have that same coach, that same mentality, and are miles ahead of where they were at this point a year ago. That counts for something, doesn't it?
When was the last time the 49ers could say they have something approaching continuity? Some time now. So after the jump, I'll post some notes on the teams' OTAs, compiled from the 49ers beat writers. Probably more of a "reasons for optimism" as opposed to a tell-all source of what went down.
11-85 Connection Who isn't excited about this? Davis is definitely Smith's number one target, and yesterday he showed why. Davis went over the middle of the field and hauled in three touchdown passes, and I can see it now. I see each of the 49ers' 2010 opponents and I see them running haplessly behind Davis, unable to catch up. It's a great sight to see.
11-Anyone Connection It was a good day overall from the defense, as TE Delanie Walker and WRs Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams both caught touchdown passes. I don't care who is catching them, six points is six points.
Iupati and Davis Crack Starting Lineup Niiiiice. There is a supposed "battle" for the starting job. Obviously, Singletary claims that they only started in OTAs because they need as much practice as they can get, but the practice was obviously so they could work with their future starting teammates. They both have looked good, and Adam Snyder showed some stuff snapping the ball--the guy can play all five line positions. As I noted a couple weeks ago to Smileyman, he'd be a very valuable asset if he could play center--he has the skillset and physicality to play that position well if need be. So long Cody Wallace?
Book On Nate Davis Isn't Closed Yet A lot of people were wondering the future of Davis after some comments made by coach Singletary, but Jimmy Raye had some things to say of his own, saying that he hopes Davis would be stepping it up later in training camp and competing with David Carr for the backup job. Wait.. I thought there was always competition? Or is the pseudo-"Carr could compete with Smith; we're leaving everything open" bit forgotten now?
Ginn Can Learn To Catch A Football He can finally make that transition from "pretty fast dude that can make people miss" to "pretty fast dude that can make people miss and also catch a ball" if he listens to the right people. He's getting advice from Vernon Davis, who has spent countless hours working on his own to improve his own hands. He did a good job, and only had a few bad drops last season. If Ginn can make that same transformation and fulfill just a little bit of his potential, we have ourselves some pretty good receivers, no?
Linebacking Speed Intact This comes just from a small little note from Barrows about the teams conditioning, which he was not supposed to report on--in said note he talks about rookie LB Navorro Bowman challenging fellow LB Patrick Willis to see who could cross the finish line in drills first. This ended up making the first two people across the line Willis and Bowman, so if Bowman can bulk up a little and fill that TED linebacking spot, we can have a very fast Takeo Spikes on our hands. Sound good? I've noted that the team has some of the faster linebackers in the league, I wonder if that is by design or it just worked out that way? I don't recall Lawson or Willis being touted as fast as they are now coming out of college.
Andy Lee Isn't Upset This is another small one, but it's still an important one. The 49ers returners looked good fielding punts from Lee's foot as opposed to the JUGGS machine--a few drops here and there but nothing catastrophic. Though I suppose a drop on gameday can be awful. What am I saying? "Suppose?" I know.
Well that's it for now... 11-85, baby.