Continuing with the new tradition this season we done a question and answer session with this weeks opponent and their fansided blog site. This weeks opponent happens to be the San Francisco 49ers. We swapped six questions with the boys at Niner Noise.
Both teams are coming off wins in week two. San Francisco beat the Oakland Raiders decisively last week only to have the win over shadowed by fan violence between opposing team factions.
The Houston Texans are 2-0 in the preseason and are allowing 40% red zone efficiency to opponents, while executing an 80% red zone efficiency themselves. An improved 3-4 defense is largely responsibly for Texans opponents being left settling for field goals instead of reaching the end zone.
We sat down and talked with the San Francisco Fansided site editor, Eric Melendez, from Ninernoise.com to ask him some questions about the team, the game, and his thoughts on the preseason.
Also be sure and check out the questions Niner Noise threw our way and our answers to the universe known as the Houston Texans.
Can we expect to see QB Colin Kapernick early on for the 49ers? Or like the Texans will we see Alex Smith along with the other starters for the 49ers playing three quarters of the game? At some point we would think that fans along with the coaching staff would want to see Kaperncik run with the first team offense. Is the rookie ready for that task?
We will see Colin Kaepernick but most likely later in the season. Alex Smith is the veteran QB on the roster and he will be the starter in the first half of the season. I thought last season would be Smith’s breakout season because he had the offensive weapons but not the confidence to make plays. For some reason Jim Harbaugh is fan of Smith and although I would have rather Smith left the 49ers, the team should have brought in a proven veteran QB to compete with him. Smith is not afraid of Kaepernick taking over the starting job. Without the lockout Kaeprnick would have been in a position to be the starter in week 1, but he still has plenty to learn. Kaepernick will get his chance later in the season because Smith will be the same Smith of previous years, ineffective.
How has the new coaching staff taken on changing the culture and mind set of the team? Do remnants remain even still from the last coaching regime that occupied the San Francisco locker room?
The new coaching staff has changed the culture in the locker room by instilling confidence in the players who have only experienced losing records and disappointment with the previous coaching staff. Harbaugh’s critics say he is just another college coach coming into the NFL that will fail. Harbaugh is different because he played 15 years as a quarterback in the NFL and coached as an assistant with the Raiders. Harbaugh is also different from the last two head coaches in that he is offense minded and has previous head coaching experience.
With the recent violence at the Raiders versus 49ers game- How has the community in San Francisco responded to the events that transpired? Also with the recent insinuation that the game maybe removed from both teams schedule every preseason. How important is the match-up between the two teams in preseason?
The reaction by Niner fans was shock and disappointment with the violence. There are always a few scuffles when the Bay Area rivals play against each other but nothing like we saw last Saturday. The decision by 49ers team president Jed York to suspend the annual preseason matchup was an overreaction. The problem should have been solved for the next game by doubling security, having kickoff earlier in the day, the game started at 5PM, so fans cannot spend the whole day drinking in the parking lot and by cutting off beer sales earlier in the game. The 49ers vs. Raiders game was a tradition in preseason that has now been ruined by stupid fans from both teams.
How is Micheal Crabtree’s progress coming along? Crabtree has yet to play a preseason game during his young career. Does this affect the way his teammates view him? It certainly must add to the lack of cohesion between him and QB Alex Smith. Is the coaching staff growing impatient with Crabtree especially since the new regime isn’t the staff that drafted him?
The biggest obstacle to Crabtree becoming a true number one receiver is his lack of not playing in the preseason. It has affected the way teammates view Crabtree as he and Vernon Davis got into a scuffle during training camp last season about him not playing in games. Alex Smith and Crabtree were not on the same page on routes and reading coverage’s multiple times last season which had to do with a lack of playing together in preseason when you figure those things out.
The 49ers surprised a lot of people outside of San Francisco when they decided to take linebacker Aldon Smith with the 7th overall pick. Early reports out of training camp noted his ferocity but then we’ve heard very little since. Smith seemed to play well in a losing effort in week one of the preseason- otherwise how is Smith progressing? Can we expect to see Smith playing with the first team defense this week against the Texans?
Aldon Smith was a surprise pick but the 49ers saw the player they wanted and went out and drafted him. Smith is progressing well and will make a big impact in the 49ers pass rush. Smith played defensive end in college but will be an outside linebacker using his speed and length to pressure the quarterback.
Care to give us a prediction or an overall outlook of what we can expect from the 49ers season this year? Will San Francisco be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes?
It would be nice to be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes but the 49ers will not have that bad of a season. They will finish 6-10 because the team is still learning both the new offense and defense because of the lockout. The 49ers have great players on both offense and defense but one position that we are weak is the most important, quarterback. Many fans, including myself, have jumped off the Alex Smith bandwagon and with him at quarterback the 49ers offense will not reach its full potential. The 49ers will start off slow but will finish the second half of the season with a winning record as they get more familiar with the offense and defense.
We would like to thank Eric and Niner Noise for their hospitality and great feedback. Hope Niner Noise don’t hold it against us when the Texans beat the San Francisco 49ers at home tomorrow night.
Really folks it’s merely grown men being blessed with the opportunity to play a childs game. While alliances are great to have, the game is still meant to be in fun. Nothing, especially this game should be allowed to drive emotions to a point of inflicting bodily harm upon another human being.