Some People Need to be Educated

I am currently working on previewing games 9-12 of the 2008 season and should have it posted shortly however I could not let this one go without posting it first. Enjoy.

So yesterday I was having a civilized discussion with a co-worker who is an avid Kurt Warner fan from his years in St. Louis. Mostly because he is an even bigger Marshall Faulk homer. He has never really expressed his affection for the team that resides here in the desert, at least not to me until yesterday.

As I was engaged in conversation with another fellow employee regarding the 49ers home and season opener, let’s call him, ummm… Derrick for kicks, decided to chime in with this little gem. The dialogue between us is as follows;

D: “You guys are going down on Sept, 7th!”

J: “How do you figure that?”

D: “Because we’re going to whip that a** with Warner at quarterback!”

J: …….

D: “That’s right man you have nothing to say, we have better players at every position then the lowly 49ers!”

J: “Ha-ha… are you being serious?!!! That’s laughable man; for starters name me one linebacker on the Cards who is better then Patrick Willis.”

D: “Patrick Willis, he’s alright man, but Dansby blows him away.”

J: “Dude are you kidding me? We are talking about the same Willis here right? Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, led the league in tackles… the league man, not just rookies, the entire league???”

D: “Yeah man we blow you away in the secondary and the line backing position, quarterback and running back too.”

That was it for me as I literally ran back to my desk to begin typing. As I left his aisle I commented back that I was going to educate him on the finer points of NFL football. I did just that with this next analysis.

    Quarterback
    49ers: J.T. O’Sullivan vs. Cardinals: Kurt Warner

Let’s be truthful here, as of this moment Warner is the better QB of the two and that would be the same if Alex Smith was starting. O’Sullivan however has never started an NFL game in his eight year career so there really is no telling what he is capable of. Looking back on his high school days at Jesuit in Carmichael, CA and then onto college at UC Davis and the last three weeks in Mike Martz’s offense one might surmise that he is due to blow the hell up. Again though there is no basis for comparison here from his previous years in the league, so for now Warner, even though he is 73 years old wins this battle.

Edge: Cardinals

    Running Back
    49ers: Frank Gore and DeShaun Foster vs. Cardinals Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower

This is a position that is going to define the 49ers offense much more then it will that of the Cardinals. Gore is going to be the Marshall Faulk in Martz’s scheme, which is not to say that he is going to surpass or even equal the production that Faulk brought to the Rams in his heyday, just that Gore is going to be utilized in much the same way that his predecessor was. James while still managing to post good numbers in his own right has fallen short on the ground the last two seasons gaining a combined 2,381 yards to Gores 2,797. Pundits talk about the fact that Edge gained over a 1,000 yards his first season in the desert with a suspect offensive line but the truth is that Gore did the same last year while playing in the second worst offense in league history. The backups here are both good and should do well in spelling the two starters and in Hightower’s case might actually take over the position as the season wears on.

Edge: 49ers

    Wide Receivers
    49ers: Issac Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Arnaz Battle, Josh Morgan, Jason Hill, Ashley Lelie vs. Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet, Jerheme Urban and Sean Morey

Yes the Cardinals have a very good receiving corps, quite possibly the best in the league with Fitzgerald and Boldin starting. I also believe that Breaston is going to fit in nicely as the third option there. The 49ers on the other hand have their most talented unit at the position since Terrell Owens left in 2004, that might not mean much to some but when you consider who this team has had to work with in that time it’s a significant difference. Even with that fact Arizona is the hands down winner here as there are not many teams in the league who can boast the same skill set at this position.

Edge: Cardinals

    Tight Ends
    49ers: Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Billy Bajema vs. Cardinals: Leonard Pope, Jerman Tuman and Ben Patrick

In terms of potential the 49ers have the edge here with Davis and Walker over Pope and Tuman. In terms of reality this is a tight race for superiority at the tight end position. Davis is unequivocally the most talented of all the tight ends on either team, there should be no qualms about that. He caught 52 passes last season for 509 yards and four touchdowns, the closet Cardinal to him in terms of production was Pope with 23 catches for 238 yards and five scores. Sure Pope had one more touchdown then Davis but when taking into consideration that the moribund offense the 49ers fielded in 2007, Davis’s numbers are that much more impressive. Delanie Walker is a better second option then anyone Arizona has behind Pope and since Martz will be running quite a lot two tight end sets when the offense takes the field look for both players to have good production this season.

Edge: 49ers

    Offensive Line
    49ers: Joe Staley, Adam Snyder, Eric Heitman, David Baas and Jonas Jennings vs. Cardinals: Mike Gandy, Reggie Wells, Al Johnson, Deuce Lutui and Levi Brown

These are both very good lines on paper and should not have much trouble opening holes for their running backs and protecting their QB’s in 2008. For Arizona they are finally getting some continuity in terms of players and coaching with Russ Grimm bringing in his hardnosed style of offensive line play. They are returning all five players on the line from last season, an offensive attribute that many people tend to overlookespecially at the offensive line position. They should only get better as the season presses on and they all get more time under their belt. By the bay the 49ers are also returning all five starters from 2007 and have even made the bold move of switching second-year tackle Staley to left tackle where he will be protecting the quarterback’s blind side. The 6’5, 315lb lineman should have little trouble doing so since he played this position throughout college and many draft analysts predicted that he will end up having a more productive career then the Cardinals Levi Brown who was taken 23 picks ahead of him. Snyder and Heitman along with Baas and Jennings should form a cohesive line and perform well in Martz’s vertical offense. Gandy and Wells will provide good protection on the left side with youngsters Lutui and Brown still finding their bearings on the right. One last factoid and again I am sure we are all in agreement that preseason games shouldn’t be considered a great indicator of the regular season; the 49ers have given up only two sacks in three games while the Cardinals have surrendered 10 thus far.

Edge: 49ers

So far the 49ers have a 3-2 edge after viewing the offensive position comparisons. I will be covering the defensive side of the ball in the coming days.

  • LONETEXAS49ERFAN

    I watched Jim rome is burning today, and he was talking alot of trash about the 49ers. Jim said that Martz was not as good of a coach that he thinks he is, and that we will not be an acceptional team this season. He said it is only Preseason, and that is true, but every team is player is trying there best to make the team and the competition level is high. It seems to me that Jim Rome has a love affair with the cowboys having a segment shortly before about them. He doesn’t really know much about the 49ers. Alot of media see the stats and the past few years and say politicaly correct answers about the 49ers, but they do not keep up with everyday operations of 49er football, that we the faithful do. It is the Preaseason, but something is different about this team and everyone involved feel the same way. I am not saying the 49ers will when the championship, but if we can make the playoffs and perform well, to me that is a vast improvement. I hope we pull-off another 81? season and win it all, because that is 49er football, win it all or nothing! If nolan wants his job he better make the playoffs or win it all! I hope we bring in number 6 and shock the world and the Cowboy loving media!

  • http://www.49ersnews.com john

    this is great! I agree with everything said although I believe JTO will suprise people this season under martz and might even be better then warner by the end of season. The only position cards have better in my opinion are SS, WR, DT and thats pretty much it. GO NINERS! 9-7 PLAYOFFS BABY!

  • ninerfaithful

    They Day Cardnials win the west is the day they make Weed Legal Fuck them Birds Fuck the hawks Fuck the lambs 49ers sweep out the nfc West

  • MSouza

    Every Cardinal fan should know who Patrick Willis is after he chased down a WR 60 yards down the field, which allowed us to eventually win the game.

    We beat them twice last year, we've gotten much better, they lost Calvin Pace turned Anquan Bolden into a disgruntled distraction, and didn't really do anything in free agency.

    I'm tired of Cardinal fans talking trash, I'm surrounded by them in Vegas, and I have had many similar conversations before.

  • http://nfl.com KissMyAss

    I hope JT'Ofumleman does horrible in the first game vs cards so they can put A. Smith in there, its pretty sad how they can start a faggot at qb after one decent game. it blow son. everybody know Smith will start sometime so just start him and let him fight through learning the system by actually playing with the first team not the second that nobody gets to see except in the preseason. and maybe i am just diffending Smith cause he's from SoCal, but thats not the point, im just speaking the truth that will unviel soon. i hope Sproles runs over my niners since its just the preseason, he is the most exciting player since Bush in SC.

  • Adam49

    I have a small solution to what I think was a problem in the 53 man roster.A problem I saw on a couple 53 man rosters was Marcus Hudson being cut.I like this kid alot.He has pretty good coverage skills and he flat out crushes people on Special Teams.Not to mention he has good speed for the safety position.From what I saw they have Hudson on the bubble because of Reggie Smith, Terrel Brown, and Shawntae Spencer.And I agree that Brown and Smith look very promising.With Mike Martz offense alot of people say we should keep 6 WR’s.If we keep 6,Hudson will most likely be gone.So why dont we keep 5,cut Lelie so we can keep hudson.Why do we need 6 WR’s when we have Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis who play WR in Martz offense anyway.And don’t forget that Gore will be lined up at reciever also.Just a thought.Lelie is worthless.

  • marksmen

    adam for one thing tht we have 6 wr, is what if one of them got hurt did u ever think tht?

  • Adam49

    Doesn’t matter if one gets hurt we still have 4 WR’s and TE’s capable of playin WR.Did you ever think of that.

  • MSouza

    1. Bruce
    2. Battle
    3. Johnson
    4. Morgan
    5. Hill

    I’m fine with that. Colvin could make the practice squad and Lelie could seek employment elsewhere. I read an article that Martz could be moving Delanie to WR anyway.

  • ninerfaithful

    martz is not moving walker to wr he is a tight end he is going to have multi roles in this offense so we might take 6 wr in the season

  • MSouza

    http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=2255462

    I’m not sure if you thought I just made that up, or you have already read it and give the story no credence, but just in case here’s the link.

  • Adam49

    Souza,that is the article I read that had us cutting Hudson.But it’s mostly because we kept 3 TE’s and 6 WR’s.That’s 8 total wideout’s(im not counting Bajema cause he’s a blocking TE).No need to keep a injury prone nobody like Lelie.Especially when it’s at a player like Hudson’s expense.To me Hudson is much more valuable than Lelie.

  • niner_junkie

    Martz said in an interview just a couple days ago that he would not move Walke to WR. I heard the same thing though, but he’s not going to. I wish I had the link, but i don’t. may have been on Barrows’ blog

  • Adam49

    He may not move Walker to Wr as a position move,but he has already lined up as a WR in this preseason.Which is more than Lelie has done.

  • FaStRmAn

    The Cards are in for a rude awakening. The Niners Offense has improved greatly, while our Defense has improved incrementally. Just not going 3 and out on Offense will make our defense better. I believe the Niners will stomp the Cards at home 31 – 10. I am willing to bet that it is so 1 sided that Smith may come in the 4th quarter to mop up. The Cards wont be able to run and wont be able to stop the run. Watch for the Niners to shut the Cards running game down and then pin their ears back and go after Warner or whoever else is in their backfield.