We're back for another week of arrow up/arrow down. User Mickey Pain helped me out by putting together the arrow up, arrow down and no change graphics. Nothing like smiling and screaming Jim Harbaugh to get you excited! For those wondering, one of Jim Harbaugh's favorite phrases to describe players in camp has been arrow up. He does not mention arrow down as he is generally a positive guy when it comes to his players. But I figured we could take his arrow up and use it to break down which players are building some positive momentum heading into the third week of the preseason.
The 49ers wrapped up their third preseason game of the season last night, which means we are now only a day away from the first roster cuts. The team will formally announce cuts tomorrow, but it's entirely possible we will see some rumors of cuts sooner.
Once again, we're breaking this up into offense and defense. I'm going to go through each position and list out who is arrow up, who is arrow down, and who has no change, followed by some comments on the position. I'm sure some will disagree, so feel free to speak up.
McCoy has reportedly just about been named backup quarterback, and with a fairly solid performance on Sunday, he gets an arrow up. B.J. Daniels followed up his strong Week 2 performance with another nice effort, as he gets closer and closer to a roster spot.
I went with arrow up for Seneca Wallace because of the fact that he got in the game, even if only for a minute. Scott Tolzien practiced on Friday, and dressed on Sunday, but didn't see a minute of playing time. That can't bode well for him.
Jewel Hampton made his second preseason appearance for the 49ers, and he looked sharp with 45 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. He is still facing a tough battle for a roster spot, but at the very least the 49ers are likely to try and slip him through waivers to the practice squad.
LaMichael James injured his elbow, but while playing, he looked like greased pig out there. Vikings players would get their hands on him and he would squeeze out. He wasn't able to get many yards on his plays, but it wasn't for lack of effort. That being said, Kendall Hunter's performance in his return seems like a good sign that he will be handling that primary backup role.
Lavelle Hawkins did some good things on the field, but three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and way too much emotion are not going to cut out when you're fighting for a roster spot. I do like the fire, but it has to be a bit more controlled.
Of course, Quinton Patton gets as up an area as we can come up with. He had four catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. He was moving all over the place, breaking tackles, getting open. All the things you tend to like in wide receivers. The 49ers got him work with the No. 1s, so you know they've got plans for him early and often.
Fooch's Update: I removed Lockette, and added Baldwin to arrow up. The 49ers newest wide receiver looked sharp in limited action. He had two catches for 23 yards, and in both plays, he used his considerable size to to take advantage of the situation. I hope we see him in Kap's potentially limited snaps this Thursday against the Chargers.
Vance McDonald made his return to the field after missing last week's game, and he didn't miss a beat. He had two catches for 24 yards, and one of them saw him leap one defender and bowl over a second defender. McDonald looks ready to go when Week 1 gets here, which could mean big things for the 49ers offense.
Honestly, let's just hope the 49ers second string offensive line stays off the field. It is not inspiring play.
Interior Offensive Line
Joe Looney is fortunate the 49ers do not face the Minnesota Vikings this regular season, and fortunate his night was done when it was, because it's safe to say the Vikings are not pleased with him. A low block on Kevin Williams injured the Vikings defensive lineman. We have not heard details of the extent of the injury, but he looked to be in a decent amount of pain. Injuries happen, but this was a pretty dirty block by Looney. Maybe it was instinctual or something, but he needs to watch for that moving forward.