Image Credit: Associated Press
Football is back, baby.
We have football but like the points in Whose Line Is It Anyways, the games don’t matter. But even though the games do not count there are still things we can take away as some players are literally playing for their jobs.
The 49ers sat their offensive starters except for Dante Pettis who appears to be in an earn-your-job predicament right now. I’m not sure if he came into camp thinking the job was his no matter what and head coach Kyle Shanahan had a different thought in mind.
The first thing I noticed was that Nick Mullens started the game, not C.J. Beathard. I don’t think Beathard is long for San Francisco. The offense did struggle against the Dallas defensive starters. But I would expect the 49ers’ twos to struggle against the Cowboys’ ones.
Once the Cowboys starters left the game the Niners offense really started to move the ball. One thing I love about the Shanahan scheme is how he can get his offensive weapons wide open. We saw this last season and throughout the first preseason game.
The offensive line is very important in any team, but these backups were opening up some nice holes for running back Austin Walter. Walter had some nice runs, but I do not believe we will make the 53.
As I watch the first preseason game and I remember last season, it was a crime that 32 teams passed on Mullens and he ended up an undrafted free agent. (Of course, as I write this, Mullens throws an interception. Sigh.) But Mullens has really come into his own in the Shanahan offense. He finds the open receivers, he stands in the pocket and shows no fear.
Some of the 49ers wide receivers did not help their quarterbacks with dropped balls. But there were two who did help their quarterbacks out: the newly-drafted Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd. Hurd, wide open, caught a ball from Mullens and then bulled his way into the end zone for the 49ers’ first score. This guy is out there saying look at me as I punch you in the mouth.
On the very next drive, Samuel ran a very nice end-around for a first down. He was fast, elusive, and hard to bring down. His biggest play didn’t come until the third quarter, and it’s one where a better quarterback would have gotten him a touchdown. But Beathard heaved the ball downfield and Samuel came back, went up over defensive back Mike Jackson and caught it. I can neither confirm nor deny, but I think he told Jackson he was in daddy’s house and he needs to sit down.
On Beathard’s first play in the second half he was sacked. But he too found Hurd for a touchdown and there is no doubt in my mind that these new receivers are special. I can’t wait to see them play with the ones and really see what this offense can do in the future.
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