San Francisco 49ers football is officially back, and the 2022 campaign kicked off with a 28-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the preseason opener. Here are his five points from this game.
1. This attack finally has the missing vertical spacing
It’s no secret that Trey Lance has amazing physical features. For example, an arm that only a handful of quarterbacks in the league can think of throwing. The ability to vertically threaten defenses with a lance in the center just gives you more space underneath and clears up what’s in the box to open up the run game.
Lance was 4-5 for 92 yards in the game, 76 of which were on slot fades thrown deep on the left sideline to speedster Danny Gray. As important as Lance’s arm talent is in the equation, it can’t be complete without a skilled player with the necessary speed to emphasize defense on the back end.
Gray has proven capable of contributing immediately in the role, using his 4.3 speed to win the outside Spartan route, building enough distance and making big plays downfield, as well as We have secured a space to take off without being knocked down. .
Speaking of slot fades, it’s clearly a route that feels comfortable returning to the well as long as the lance stays under center. They ran a lot during training camp, which Lance was successful in coming back last season.
This play is from the 49ers’ preseason matchup against the Chargers last season, and is the same route combination that Lance and Gray connected against the Packers. , to designate the slot fade as the primary lead.
Gray’s touchdown against the Packers. (Sorry for the broadcast angle, I don’t have the All-22 yet). See how Smash Root sits down and opens his one-on-one of slot fades to the border.
This is just one example of a concept Kyle Shanahan can comfortably implement to open up the offensive field. Shanahan got the pieces to execute these looks, so expect more shots downfield this year and more aggressive aerial attacks in the backend of enemy defenses.
2. Spencer Burford looks like a polished veteran
It was certainly a surprise that Burford got the starting right guard job to start camp, but the more I watched Burford, the more I understood why the move was made. His physical features are there, with long arms and a solid base that he can pull and move well through space.
But what struck me most about Burford was the coolness and composure he played in his first game action at the NFL level. Even when Burford lost the first time, he recovered and showed a great ability to find a way to win the reps.
The resilience Burford showed in some of these reps was that of a longtime NFL starter, not a rookie who played in his first game of the NFL. Burford’s physique is phenomenal (more on that later), but the resilience he displayed was most impressive.
This game also returns to fully displayed physical features. Ignore the consequences of this play and instead focus on his individual rep by Burford from the right guard spot. See what he does to his 2 technique in this play.
Burford is a player who can wreak havoc in a phone booth, but also has the agility to reach the second level in aggressive outside zone schemes. I was impressed with the composure he showed against the Packers. I can’t wait to see how he follows it up next week in Minnesota.
3. Kemoko Turay is an offseason stolen base
When the 49ers signed Turay on a one-year deal worth $1.7 million, it was clear it would be a proof of concept deal of sorts. The previous second round pick has exceptional athleticism and a consistent motor that never stops.
During practice Wednesday, Turay recorded five sacks while going 11-on-11, and his ability to terrorize opposing offenses as a pass rusher should never have been called into question. What really stood out for me in the preseason opener was the way Touray disrupted the Packers’ ground game.
I counted four separate reps in this game where a rushing attempt by the Packers offense was stopped within a yard of the line of scrimmage. The main reason for that was Turay.
Watch Turay take down the Packers as they break through the C-gap and run Tyler Goodson back.
This is a closer view that offers another angle of play.
Turay is next in the lineup of defensive linemen who have revived their careers under Chris Kocurek, and the fact that Turay is a third or fourth option at the edge position shows just how deep the whole group is. It’s telling.
4. Samuel Womack is the future Nickel Corner, but he’s still
Rookie cornerback Samuel Womack made his debut as impressive as you can picture. . Womack experienced his 15-pass break in his final season at Toledo, so it’s no surprise he seemed confident he could make a difference against the Packers’ aerial attack. is.
What impressed me most about Womack was his ability to effectively meet his run fit and take responsibility in the run game. Womack not taking full responsibility in the run game is probably to make sure he’s ready to contribute quickly and could be a starter for the slot when week 1 rolls around I had to check with
Womack has the physical tools, including a much longer wingspan than his listed 5’10 height. But more importantly, Womack appears to have the necessary intangibles to be a starter at the position from day one.
5. This roster is as deep as one would expect
What was most impressive in the 49ers’ victory over Green Bay was their strength, despite the majority of the starting line-up watching on the sidelines in plainclothes. It was very telling how they came out and played early in a unit made up of a few starters, but the majority of the players came from the second unit.
Whether Drake Jackson put the quarterback under pressure and Ray-Ray MacLeod double moved a defender to the ground, or Marcelino McCrary-Ball scored an interception and perfectly navigated a 56-yard return. Nonetheless, players who exceeded the expected starters felt a greater presence.
Colton McKivitz had a strong day, Tyrion Davis-Price was a confident runner and Oren Burks was a tackle machine. In a game where Robbie Gould was the only 49ers All-Pro player in a suit, the 49ers still looked like a well-composed unit capable of playing at a relatively high level.
This is a really good soccer team from top to bottom. One of its only downsides is that there are plenty of talented players to shine during preseason, but they have little to no chance of making the Final 53 due to log jams at their positions.