49ers Improve at Levis

Last night’s performance is a much better sample size of what this year’s roster is capable of.  Brock Purdy started things off with a ten play six-minute field goal drive.  He passed on time and on target.  Most of his throws were relatively short but the decision making was quick.  His best completion was a first down throw to Juan Jennings.  The play was a classic west coast levels route with two receivers running an out cut to the sideline, parallel to each other at different depths.  Jennings was eleven yards down the field and Brandon Aiyuk was five yards down the field.  Instead of taking the short and easy completion, Purdy connected with Jennings down the field.  Purdy’s throw on this play is high level because he had to fit the ball over a linebacker and on target to Jennings who had a safety bearing down him.  Purdy was sharp.  According to Coach Shanahan, the only negative play during the drive occurred near the goal line when the offensive line busted a protection causing Purdy to take a sack.

Coach Shanahan was pleased with the performance of his quarterback’s.  Though Trey Lance, and Sam Darnold threw interceptions, Coach Shanahan didn’t blame the quarterbacks.  Darnold’s interception bounced off the hands of Ronnie Bell and Lance’s interception was a heads up play by a defensive lineman on a screen play.  Lance and Darnold both threw touchdown passes. Darnold’s pass was to a fullback in the flat who ran it in.  Lance’s throw was a dart to rookie tight end Cameron Latu.  Overall, the quarterback play vastly improved from preseason game.


The Good.


Brock Purdy hit the field and drove the offense down the field like he owned it.  Deebo Samuel is a different player than last year.  He is fit and locked in.  Finally, Trey Lance finished the game well.  Last week it took three possessions before Lance started to feel comfortable.  This week Lance started off well, despite the interception.  He only played four possessions.  He was decisive and on target.  He did not look lost.  After throwing an interception his first drive, he led the offense on three scoring drives, including putting the team in position for Jake Moody to kick the game winner.  Lance’s performance is what we should expect, especially against defenders who are unlikely to make the Bronco’s squad.

Though Ronnie Bell caused a bad interception, he performed well throughout the game.  Quarterbacks trust him to be where he is supposed to be because he runs good routes.  Once he receives the ball, he is a powerful and shifty runner.  Seven receptions for 114 yards is a great day for a rookie receiver.  He will make the roster and contribute.

Lastly, Jake Moody no only kicked the game winner, but he kicked a total of three field goals earning 9 points for the team.


The Bad.

The offensive line marginally improved.  Coach Shanahan put Brock Purdy on the move to protect him.  Three designed rollouts in a row protects the quarterback and hides the flaws of the offensive line.  The Broncos sacked Purdy during a three step drop back pass in the red-zone due to a busted protection. Additionally, the offensive line continues to struggle in the run game.  Lastly the offensive line committed too many penalties.


The Ugly.

The special team’s unit had a bad day at the office.  Multiple penalties, a muffed return by D’Shawn Jaimson and a missed extra point by Jake Moody leaves room for improvement.

Coach Shanahan was asked about his thoughts on the designated kick returner.  His first thought was that “we are always looking around the league”.  This statement is meant to accomplish two things.  First, it is meant to motivate the individuals on the roster.  Ronnie Bell is serviceable at that position but is there a better option?  I also think they had D’Shawn Jamison ear marked for that position, but his muff causing a turnover decreases his chances.  No one’s job is safe.  Coach Shanahan will ruthlessly decide who makes the team based on performance.



It is important to remember that the preseason is glorified practice.  The coaching staffs need see where their team is at by competing against another team outside of the camp setting.  We should never get too high or too low on our team based on what we see in the preseason.  The schemes on both sides of the ball are vanilla.  There is no game planning.  Teams line up and go at each other.  The players that consistently perform their job well make the roster.



Here are my current roster projections:

53 Man Roster Projection


QB Purdy (1), Lance (2), Darnold (3)
RB McCaffrey, Mitchell, Davis-Pryce, Mason, Juszczyk
TE Kittle, Latu,
WR D. Samuels, C. Conley
LT T. Williams, J. Moore
LG A. Banks, Zakelj
C Brendel
RG S. Burford, J. Feliciano
RT C. McKivitz, Manning
TE Dwelly, B. Willis
WR Aiyuk
SWR J. Jennings, R. Bell
DE Bosa, Jackson, Ferrell, Hyder, A. Bryant
DT Armstead, Hargrave, Givens, Kinlaw, McGill
LB Warner, Greenlaw, Flannigan-Fowles, McCrary-Ball, J. Graham
CB C. Ward, A. Thomas, S. Womack III,
NB D. Lenoir, I. Oliver
S Hufanga, Gipson, Brown, T. Hawkins
K Moody
LS Pepper
P Wishnowsky

Roster Notes:

I think Lance makes the roster and WILL NOT be traded.  I also think he is better than Darnold when he plays with confidence.  Lance has more potential than Purdy and Darnold combined.  He is smart, and he has tremendous ability.  The Niners brass will be hard-pressed to part with him.

IR Designated to Return Candidates are: Danny Gray, Ray Ray McCloud, Jeremy McNichols, Oren Burks and George Odum

Bubble Players are: Marlon Davidson, D’Shawn Jamison, Dee Winters, Jeremy McNichols, Oren Burks, Tayler Hawkins and George Odum.  I think Conley will be the first receiver off for Ray Ray to make the roster.  Given Gray’s durability concerns and his marginal route running, Ronnie Bell will get the nod over him.  Bell is a better route runner, is excellent after the catch and he can play special teams.  If Odum is healthy at the start of the season, Hawkins will get bumped.  You may seem surprised that Troy Fumagalli is not even on the bubble.  I think he is a camp tight-end who will be on another teams roster.  He is a nice player but I think the Niners brass intend to go younger at this position.

It may surprise folks but I think five rookies can make this roster.  The benefit to the Niners two fold.  The Niners can save cap space while owning the rights to five players for at least four years.

Isaiah Oliver is in real danger of not making the squad.  Jamison might just earn Oliver’s spot as the last corner on the roster.  I also think the Niners will save money by cutting Charlie Woerner in favor of two rookie tight ends.  The Niners investment in Ross Dwelly is paying off.

Lastly, I think the 49ers will opt to go with cheaper players with similar ability then to pay guaranteed contracts to designated veterans.

Next Friday will be the last chance for players to show why they should make the 49ers roster.


Leave a Replay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


Follow Us

Your The Sports. Your Inbox. Everyday