The San Francisco 49ers 2013 preseason schedule was released last week.
They will host the Denver Broncos to open up the preseason. The next game will be a homecoming for Glenn Dorsey as he and the 49ers go to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. The Vikings and Chargers will repeat as the final two preseason opponents in 2013. There are some new pieces in play for the 49ers and the preseason will provide them a chance to get in tune with their new teammates.
The Broncos will be a good game to see Nnamdi Asomugha back in a press/man scheme. As we know, not being able to get his hands on receivers in the Eagles’ zone based defense hindered his play. Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker will be a more than formidable group of receivers to test the new defensive backs. It is a forgone conclusion that the 49ers will draft a corner. That corner will need to be able to cover the slot receivers. The 49ers already know what they have in Carlos Rogers, so they should give reps to the nickel corner that they draft. It will be a good learning experience for him to go against one of the best slot receivers in Wes Welker. The Broncos game will also be a homecoming for Perrish Cox.
The Chiefs game will easily be the most intriguing of all preseason games. Alex Smith will make his debut at Arrowhead Stadium as a member of the Chiefs against his former team. This will be a good game to see Anquan Boldin workout against new Chiefs corners Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith. Boldin will need to work on developing timing with Colin Kaepernick.
Glenn Dorsey will make his first appearance in Kansas City as a member of the opposing team. There is a need for interior linemen on the 49ers. Glenn Dorsey was one of the first free agents that the 49ers signed. Look for him to be a part of a rotation of defensive linemen. It remains to be seen how he will be used, whether it be as a zero or three technique. Dorsey didn’t get the results that his high draft selection by the Chiefs warrants. However, he was a presence against the run. Let’s see how he fits in with the defensive line coach Mike Tomsula’s unit.
The last two preseason games will be an audition for Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien as they battle it out for the backup quarterback spot. Look for Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman to continue to bring Tolzien along as he is a favorite of Trent Baalke. There will be competition at all positions, which is just the way Harbaugh likes it.
A.J. Jenkins still has a lot to prove. Expect to see a lot of him in the preseason also. The 49ers will try to get him a lot of game reps. He has worked out most of the summer with Kaepernick and some of the other receivers including Ricardo Lockette. Lockette is a guy that can really get down the field in a hurry. He could be the vertical threat that the offense needs to stretch the field. Hopefully he can establish himself as a guy that will force defenses to show concern about his speed.
Another receiver, Kyle Williams, will be coming back from injury. Williams proved himself to be a reliable option before he was hurt. He is on pace to be back for the start of the preseason so it will be interesting to see how he comes along. Mario Manningham also suffered a season ending injury. He may not be ready for the start of preseason but hopefully at some point he makes it back.
Kendall Hunter was called upon to lighten the load on Frank Gore. He tore his achilles against the Saints last year. That is a tough injury to return from, and we will need to see if he still has the explosiveness that he had prior to the injury. LaMichael James, Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter will each need to get their carries.
There are still more players to join the 49ers after the draft. The preseason is a time for these guys to earn their places on the team. The starting free safety position is up for grabs. Hopefully the 49ers will get to select a safety early in the draft and give him a chance to beat out Craig Dahl in the preseason. The final score of these games may not count, but best believe the stakes are high for those that are playing in the games.