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Pre-Season Game 1: Battle of the Bay

I was at the game, so this is from a live perspective this time around. I should attend a number of games this season, although I don't forsee another pre-season game in me.

I got to see the rotations and I paid very careful attention to the RB rotation.

Fargas played only against the starters, and struggled a little bit, but he ran hard and it wasn't as if we were tipping our hand as far as running plays go. Solid. He had a couple nice gains. I find it hard to believe Fargas isn't going to get banged up and hurt again the way he runs, but at least we have some nice young backs to back him up this season.

McFadden got a few carries against the starters and looked really good. It wasn't flashy, but he only got one outside run the whole game and never lined up as a WR nor was he thrown a screen pass. He runs hard and fast and its only a matter of time until he breaks some big ones. McFadden also got rotated with Bush against the second string defense (With second string offensive line) and did just as good. We should probably take it easy on him the rest of the preseason, we need to keep this backfield as healthy as possible.

Bush was a pleasant sight to see, he runs hard and breaks a few tackles. It was against second and third string guys (With our second and third string offensive line) so take that for what it is worth. He looked good and I think he was happy to get some real contact for the first time in two years.

With all of that said, Fargas contract only pays him like a starter for this season, after that he gets paid like a backup and has a contract we could easily get rid of. The plan is the use this year to get the young backs feet wet and turn them loose together next season. Fargas could stay on as backup or get traded/released.

The offensive line looked suspect in pass protection again. Russell had a number of plays where the pocket collapsed around him. It was terrible, but a young QB is going to need as much time as possible to make his reads. Russell undershot the long pass in the first series, had he really air mailed it he may have had a very long touchdown. Overall, he looked poised, and I was glad Kiffin didn't leave him in there with the second stringers, too much injury risk. The timeout on the second play of the game is hopefully just a preseason hiccup.

Tommy Kelly looked good early, he ran out of gas a little in the second series, but I think as he works into shape that will be a thing of the past. J-Rich also looked like he was getting pressure off the end, maybe he will be an everydown player I think he can be this season as opposed to next.

The backups at virtually every position on the defense looked weak. Routt actually looked solid even though the INT was easy he blanketed WR well and the offense picked on the safties and other corners before they even considered going after Routt. His mistake was running laterally after getting the INT. IF he runs north-south he gets to the 10-15 area instead he doesn't go anywhere and fumbles on the three.

Nice to see Terdell Sands run across the field and recover the fumble. When he landed on the ball it disappeared into his abdomen, the refs are still looking for it.

Higgins was my highlight of the night. Punt returns aren't easy and both returns were good with the block in the back not even effecting the first return. The only thing is he didn't beat the kicker on the first one, I could run over Andy Lee. Still if his fumble problems are behind him, it looks like the return game could be much improved.

Mario Henderson had another bad game, looks to me like we might have to write this guy off as a bust of a pick. IF Tom Cable can't get the guy to play better (Like he has every other lineman) then who can?

Walter had a nice game and although not smooth did well at the rollouts and bootlegs. Tui was okay, but unimpressive. Walter appears to be the front runner for the backup job at this point.

Walker failed to go up and get the ball and it slipped through his hands. ON another play he failed to turn on any extra bust to catch up to a well thrown fade route. Not inspiring. He needs a fire lit under him. Would be nice to see Russell call him out, but I know that is wishful thinking.

Was disappointed not to see Curry out there, with his job threatened you'd think a slightly tight hammy would keep him from two series worth of plays.

Tony Stewart had one really nice catch through the middle. Madsen was again absent from Kiffin's plans, something I still don't understand when you have so few options in the passing game. Then again Miller didn't really see any balls his way either.

Rankin had that long run and looked quick, but when touched lightly he went down without much of a fight. Auditioning for practice squad or another team. I don't expect him to make the roster unless someone gets hurt, then he still would have to beat out Adimchinobe Won Konobi.


  1. nice write up. i think rankin for sure hits the practice squad though.He will be an insurance policy to a team that runs 60% of the time.


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