The most deflating thing about preseason (well, one of them) is the limited sample size you can see of the San Francisco 49ers starters. For obvious reasons, the coaching staff pulls most of the veteran starters early into the game after only a series or two to prevent injury and evaluate their less familiar players. This makes sense, but it also kind of sucks. It makes preseason even less fun to watch.
And beyond just seeing the starters, it’s the plays they are executing. Due to the fact the coaching staff wants no film on their new and improved playbooks, they employ a vanilla scheme on offense and defense and do little game-planning on their opponents.
Well, that all changes in the third game of preseason. The first two games are a slow trickle of starter time, but the third game the starters play for at least a quarter, sometimes a half, before the second stringers come running in. I was shocked I got a quarter out of the starters in Week 2. Now it’s to be expected. The coaching staff will also do some light game-planning and open up a bit more of the playbook.
Now don’t go thinking you’ll see the Annexation of Puerto Rico or anything, this is mostly the coaches going from page one to page two, of like 580 pages. The point is things will be a bit more complex, if not still vanilla.
And also, don’t go thinking the final roster will be on the field. The 49ers in particular will be without Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon, and George Kittle due to injuries and fear of putting them on the field.
But with all those negatives aside, you can actually watch at least a quarter of football and get a very, very good look at the 2018 49ers. It’s nothing final, but it’s when we can start drawing a few conclusions on what the team is.
See y’all for the Colts game!