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This Week in Niners Nation: Preseason underway and...underwhelming? (8/10)

This Week in Niners Nation, a weekly revisiting of Niners Nation content. This week saw the beginning of the preseason, with the 49ers losing 10-6 to the Denver Broncos. Eric Wright was re-acquired and the wide receivers took turns looking awesome at camp. A busy week!

Cue the music from Jaws
Cue the music from Jaws
Ezra Shaw

The big event of the week was clearly the resumption of helmeted football activities. We're not just playing with ourselves, we're playing against the guys who'll get cut from the Denver Broncos practice squad. I'm excited. It's been a long time and a lot of mouthwash to get the taste of the Super Bowl out of my mouth. Being able to watch the team in action is a welcome respite to the guessing game that is the state of my brain while the 49ers are at training camp. Finally, we can make some judgements of our own, without having to rely on so-called 'experts' like Matt Maiocco or Cam Inman (please be aware that I can't use sarcasm font in the body of the article).

The other major happenings during the week were the re-acquisition of Eric Wright and the return to health of much of the receiving corps. The Wright signing was a bit anticlimactic. I, for one, got excited at the idea of his addition when we traded for him last month, even predicting he would take a top three spot. Then the physical test rug was pulled out from underneath me. The receivers took turns in camp showcasing their skills. A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette and the crew rotated impressive showings, giving much of us cause to shed some pessimism.

I'll get you to the news...

49ers vs Broncos

And this is why they play the games. There. I felt a cliche was the only way to describe how boringly cliche the first preseason encounter was. I guess you could say that nobody thought our second team offense would outscore our first team offense -7 to 3, but they did. And that's why they play the games. Colin Kaepernick looked ready for the season, though I would rather he not take off and run during the preseason. Ian Williams looked like he's making our defense better. Perrish Cox looked good in the return game and played solid on defense. There are so many standout players on special teams that even that aspect of the roster looks to be a dog fight. Oh, here are Fooch's thoughts. He gets an entire post, so I don't feel bad about stealing his thunder (he has a lot of thunder).

Fooch's recap. | 49ers vs. Broncos recap: Colin Kaepernick, Corey Lemonier, Ian Williams look solid in 10-6 loss (Fooch)

Anthony Ly has some insight gleaned from watching the 49ers v Broncos. LaMichael James looked good, for sure. I was impressed with how quickly he hit the hole. He was able to get the 5-yard gains that we love on first down (one of his weaknesses last year). But one thing is certain, he's not going to break tackles with his strength like Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter do. When two defenders hit the hole, James is going down. If Gore is in, he has the capability to wedge himself in there and carry them forward for a few yards. James still has a lot to learn and plenty of time to do it. Now I've highjacked his thunder as well! | The Quick Slant: Notes & Observations from 49ers vs. Broncos (Ly)

Going into the game, most people were very curious to see the wide receivers in action. There are so many question marks surrounding the position group that we all wanted to see the madness for ourselves. A.J. Jenkins made us all do a Homer Simpson d'oh while fumbling away his lone catch. There is some hope, though. John Middlekauff, a recent guest on the NN podcast, noted some of the little things that Jenkins was doing off the ball. It should be noted that most of his snaps were when the second string offensive line was in, providing sieve-like protection, forcing Scott Tolzien to wing the ball around like a madman. AJ had the most snaps of all receivers, with 39. Chad Hall was next with 28. This should indicate that the staff is really trying to evaluate him while giving him every chance to show something. | 49ers vs. Broncos: What did we learn about the wide receivers? (Fooch)

Corey Lemonier, who I've neglected to mention before because I knew he'd have his own piece, looked good. He failed to seal the edge on a run play that went for a decent gain, but other than that I thought he was excellent. When watching guys go up against the opponents second team in preseason, you would expect your starters to be able to stand out and Lemonier did just that. He disrupted the quarterback during the passing game. I really liked one play in which he realized he wouldn't reach the quarterback, pulled up as the QB set himself and nearly got a hand on the swing pass. |

Corey Lemonier will make this 49ers defense stronger in 2013 (Fooch)

This is actually a very telling piece. | 49ers vs. Broncos snap count: How much did the starters and backups play? (Fooch)

Training Camp Reports

I'll pass on to you Fooch's daily camp reports. Again, the titles say it all. Hidden within are the various beat writers thoughts on the day's action and Fooch's recapping it. Give them a read if you want in depth info on the hidden workings of 49ers training camp. It was great to see some of the wide receivers who are most likely going to make the roster having explosive days at camp. We've been waiting for A.J. Jenkins and Ricardo Lockette to show us something, and they did!

49ers training camp practice recap, day 9: A.J. Jenkins, Lawrence Okoye worth a mention (Fucillo)

My notes and observations from 49ers training camp (Lee)

49ers training camp practice recap, Day 10: A.J. Jenkins highlights the day (Fucillo)

49ers training camp practice recap, Day 11: Ricardo Lockette has his day in the sun (Fucillo)

Wide Receivers

Reading the reports out of camp, it's become obvious that Anquan Boldin is fast becoming Kap's favorite target. When we acquired him it was thought he'd be our No. 2. Once Michael Crabtree went down for what will be a large chunk of the season, he moved up to No. 1 and instantly became one of the most important players on the team. He's mentoring the youngsters battling about the depth chart below him. His catch with the linebacker draped over his back in the game against the Broncos to convert a 1st down is exactly what I'm expecting from him this year. | Anquan Boldin and his importance to the 49ers passing attack (Brady)

Steph takes a look at Austin Collie and if there could be lingering effects from his multiple concussions. We're aware that he's been cleared to play by our medical team from Stanford. It's thought by me that we have the best medical staff in the league due to lack of injuries and them coming from Stanford! | Austin Collie, the 49ers, and the danger of concussions (SoCaliSteph)

Tre looks at what the 49ers might do with their glut of receivers. Could we try to sneak one of the younger ones onto IR to avoid risking losing them when we try to get them onto the practice squad? I think it's a bit far fetched myself. But Tre is far smarter than I am when it comes to football stuff. I'm smarter when it comes to pizza. | Could the 49ers get creative with WR roster spots? (Tre9er)


Even if you live under a rock, you should know by now that Niners Nation has a podcast. It comes out once or twice a week. You can subscribe to it on iTunes to receive it onto your devices shortly after they are released or you can keep an eye out for them on the site. There's a front page post for each episode as they're released. It's got good stuff. There were two episodes from this week, one from before and one from after the game.

NN Podcast, Episode 4: Breaking down 49ers training camp, previewing 49ers-Broncos (Fooch)

NN Podcast, Episode 5: Tre takes the reigns! (Fooch...well, Tre really, but Fooch's name is on it)

...And More

Predictably, most of the #Channel49 Q&A session revolved around our wide receivers and the various injuries the team has been suffering. What does Woods think about Austin Collie? Do I believe Vic Fangio when he's talking about Nnamdi Asomugha? Ever wanted to know the answers to these questions? | Niners Nation #Channel49 Twitter Q&A Mailbag, VOL 21: Injuries, Nnamdi Asomugha, Wide Receivers & More (Woods & Malone)

We all know Coach Harbaugh takes his job seriously. You have to to be a head coach in the NFL. But Jim may be over the top (see the I want cake bit). A question that I never think about, nor do I want to entertain is, what if he burns out? Seriously, he gets so angry he could have a aneurism or a heart attack. I hope he eats plenty of whole foods, legumes and vegetables. | Jim Harbaugh and the question of burnout (Womack)

Remember when we traded for Eric Wright? That was a wild day. Everyone was excited. Then he failed the physical and we voided the trade. He was subsequently cut by Tampa Bay. We picked him up. Does anyone think this could be construed as sneaky? I guess the entire league had a chance to sign him and passed. What does this say about the staff's thoughts on the current state of our cornerback position? Any depth and competition is fine by me. | 49ers sign Eric Wright, place him on NFI list (Fooch)


FanPosts make us laugh, they make us cry. Sometimes they make us angry, as you can see in many of the comments. The two I'm singling out this week are both funny ones. They got the most recs and were fairly popular. First is Jerryriceisthebest for their post on the 49ers and their superhero alter egos. | The 49ers And Their Hero/Superhero/Villain Counterparts (Edited) (Jerryriceisthebest)

Next up is Jerryriceisthebest for their collection of NFC West jokes. 'Seen at an Arizona-area car dealership: "Will the woman who left her 12 kids at Sun Devil Stadium please pick them up? They are beating the Cardinals 37-0!"'. If you like that, there's more inside. | Best NFC West Division Jokes (Jerryriceisthebest)

Is it fair to have the same person win first and second prize in the beauty contest that is TWiNN's FanPost competition. Maybe not, but until you write the post, it's my way or the highway. Until next week.

Being a Sheep

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