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My preseason thoughts on the offense and defense

Ced is back to discuss what he saw during the 49ers and Cowboys preseason game

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

After watching the preseason opener Saturday night, I feel very confident in the structure and direction of the San Francisco 49ers. There were many flashes of potential on showcase while the sense of holding back was lingering. We witnessed a vast majority of backups and reserve players competing and playing hard in an abbreviated offensive playbook. The defense was flying around and pursuing quickly to the ball without its significant impact players. With 28 players inactive against the Cowboys, there were spots to be filled. Many absences due to injury, of course, and a portion of which precautionary, but, nonetheless, allowing extended playing tape and evaluation for plenty guys fighting to assert themselves into the Week 1 rotation.


The defense was aggressive and flying around with a chip on their shoulders. The first drive was against most of the Cowboys’ starting lineup. They are dealing with a few contractual situations and injuries themselves, but many of the mainstays were present. There were a few drops and timing issues that benefitted the Niners’ defense, but given the circumstances, they proved up to the challenge. The drive was halted in the red zone with the defense allowing a successful FG attempt. It’s safe to say the reincarnated defensive front will assist in forcing similar timing issues throughout the regular season. Closer coverage by the starting secondary will encourage a few drops as well.

Highlighting the defensive performance were the glaring signs of depth in the defensive line and backers. The front seven competed very well causing pressures and affecting throws. The assertiveness of rookie LB Dre Greenlaw was outstanding along with his game-high five tackles. The defensive backfield would be the only source for uncertainty when it comes to depth.

The offense was smooth and steady throughout the exhibition with signs of flow and, depth throughout the backs and ends. There was a feeling of focus on the receiving and playmaking of WR Richie James Jr. The offense revealed the big-play potential and red zone threat potential of rookie receivers Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel. Both were displaying their matchup and physicality advantages. Jalen Hurd ended the game with two receiving touchdowns, one via the toughness and the other by way of size and skill.