2009 San Francisco 49ers Season Preview
2009 San Francisco 49ers preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC West could be one of the best divisions or one of the very worst's. There are a lot of unanswered questions for all 4 teams so having an expert like Maddux that can forecast winners with their NFL spread picks can mean a very profitable football season for the client. So what are you waiting for?
2009 San Francisco 49ers Predictions
By Adam Barone
A comment about Mike Singletary pulling his pants down would be completely out of place here, as he’s quietly putting together a competitive team. His days as a Chicago Bear show in his coaching style, as he’ll look to “out-physical” opponents and stick with the “meat and potatoes” on offense. A quarterback dilemma here might be overblown, as Shaun Hill has gone 7-3 as a starter over the past two seasons.
San Francisco was unsuccessful in their attempts to acquire Kurt Warner and Jay Cutler in the offseason, but don’t underestimate this offense. Frank Gore is the focal point, and rookie Glen Coffee out of Alabama will be called upon to keep him fresh.
Hill is likely to win the quarterback job over 2005 No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith because Smith has all but proven that he was purely a system passer in college. His 5-17 record as a starter is not a good sign for his chances of success.
Whoever wins the job will have first round pick Michael Crabtree at his disposal, which is likely to add a whole new dimension to the offense. The 49ers have been without a real go-to receiver since the departures of Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. New offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye likes to run play action and involve the tight end, so this could be the year that Vernon Davis lives up to his enormous potential. Davis is incredibly athletic, but has been a huge disappointment so far. His most productive season saw him catch 52 passes for 509 yards in 2007.
The offensive line is respectable, especially with the addition of free agent tackle Marvel Smith from the Steelers. The unit was sorely in need of improvement after allowing 55 sacks, worst in the league in 2008.
There are playmakers on defense, and, with Greg Manusky taking over for Mike Nolan, the 49ers are developing an identity on that side of the ball.
Defensive end Justin Smith, middle linebacker Patrick Willis, and cornerback Nate Clements are among the best in the league at their positions.
One of the many teams in the league that have made the transition to the 3-4 style, the 49ers expect to pressure the quarterback with the outside linebackers. Parys Haralson led the team in 2008 with eight sacks. He’ll be paired with 2006 first round pick Manny Lawson to pressure the quarterback. Lawson has tremendous speed, and will be getting his first chance as a pure pass rusher.
Journeyman kicker Joe Nedney is firmly entrenched in San Francisco. He’s made almost 90 percent of his kicks in San Francisco. Allen Rossum continues to beat father time and will still return both kickoffs and punts in 2009.
Overall, things are headed in the right direction in San Francisco. Don‘t expect a return to the glory days just yet, but this team has a nice mix of veterans and young players, and isn’t particularly old in any one area. The biggest question will be whether or not Shaun Hill is capable of being a full-time starter in the league.