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49ers vs. Texans: Figuring Things Out While Being Taken Behind The Woodshed

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Well then. The 49ers played their third preseason game of the season but it was not a pretty picture. This is the kind of preseason game where I'd much prefer to just say I hope the coaching staff knows what they're doing. Color guy Tim Ryan made the comment that Coach Harbaugh and his staff are laying in the weeds offensively, preparing for week one by not showing much of anything early on.

We won't really know whether that's an accurate statement until the 49ers take the field against the Seattle Seahawks on September 11. For now it's officially a leap of faith. Given that this is the preseason I'm willing to take that leap of faith. I'm not expecting the 49ers to suddenly turn into world beaters in two weeks, but I'd like to think they'll bring a little more to the table than what they did against the Texans.

There weren't a lot of highlights from the game, but the 49ers did have some good things happen. Kendall Hunter rushed eight times for 40 yards. He got a good mix of playing time against the Texans first team defense and had some solid runs. I need to look back to see how much was against softer defenses with the lead, but he did show some explosiveness.

On defense, Demarcus Dobbs rolled through for a sack of Leinart in the fourth quarter. In the secondary, Chris Culliver had a couple pass deflections, although an earlier horse collar hurt and the Texans did seem intent on picking on Culliver throughout the game.

Objectively speaking this was a very ugly game. That's probably stating the obvious. I'm not entirely sure what Coach Harbaugh was hoping to learn, but hopefully the lesson has been learned. Ideally the regular season will just get hear as quick as possible.

CB Donte Whitner
In-Game Quotes - August 27, 2011
San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans

Evaluate the defensive performance overall:

"Overall we got three turnovers in the first half. We had two penalties on third down in the first half that could have ended scoring drives or ended on four-and-one. We had an interception by S Dashon Goldson that was negated by a penalty. So, we're doing a lot of good things out there, we're just killing ourselves with the penalties and the dumb mistakes. It's a game right here, game three, where most teams game plan. We didn't game plan at all. We just came out here, we actually had a light practice yesterday. We just came out here and wanted to use our base things again and see what we could do against them. It's a really good offensive football team, and we feel like we did pretty good early in the first quarter but we have to get better. We have to get on the field, hold teams to a field goal or stop them in the red zone. It's something we have to work on."

What are some of those challenges that the Houston Texans offense posed?

"They have a zone running scheme, where their offensive line is really tricky and they know how to cut guys out of gaps and a running back who is patient and will choose a gap. So if all of our defensive linemen get their shoulders turned to the sideline, he'll pick two or three gaps. Then they run the boots off of that and they make it look the same. They're really good at selling what they're doing and then coming out with a boot and then hit you with deep routes off of that also. So that's why they're a really good offense."