Favorable first impressions

Inquisitions, proclamations, observations and sensations from a sultry Saturday night in Kansas City when the 49ers intermittently sizzled in their exhibition season opener:

-- The first couple of offensive series of the Dennis Erickson era didn't look a whole lot different than the boring, dinky stuff we saw all too often last year under deposed head coach Steve Mariucci.

-- But it got a whole lot better from there, thanks to a lot of young guys who could hold the future for the 49ers, even if they may not figure so prominently in the present.

-- Brandon Lloyd's first catch as a 49er couldn't have been much more impressive.

-- Ditto for Arnaz Battle.

-- Ken Dorsey, the quarterback of the future for the Niners? We think maybe so.

-- Anybody still wondering if Dorsey has caught and passed Brandon Doman on the depth chart yet?

-- It was a bad omen to see a 49er defender being helped off the field just four plays into the preseason.

-- It was an even worse omen to see him wearing crutches on the sidelines the rest of the game.

-- That extra time working on goal-line defense in training camp sure looks like time well spent.

-- Jeremy Newberry starts at center and puts in a few solid series with the first team? On that bad ankle? This guy is one tough hombre.

-- Somebody is going to be open this season whenever the Niners come out in four-receiver sets.

-- Jed Weaver has to hold onto the ball if he's going to catch it two yards from his own goal line.

-- Those Niner linebackers can play from sideline to sideline to sideline.

-- We'd sure like to see John Engelberger getting a little bit closer to the quarterback on passing downs.

-- There's got to be a place on this team for Jamal Robertson.

-- Jeff Ulbrich obviously doesn't plan on relinquishing his position in the starting lineup.

-- If nothing else, Arland Bruce just earned a longer look as a kick returner.

-- You've just got to love the way Ronnie Heard went mano-y-mano with Tony Gonzalez near the goal line.

-- That's not exactly the way anybody hoped Jeff Chandler would start out kicking the ball.

-- Let's just go ahead and ordain rookie Anthony Adams as a starter at defensive tackle right now.

-- We'll take that kind of performance anytime from Mike Rumph.

-- Bill LaFleur doesn't appear to be any more consistent punting the ball than he was last year.

-- Ray Wells put his name into the mix. Too bad for him he plays linebacker.

-- Kwame Harris is learning the hard way, but he's learning.

-- Several of those young defensive backs showed the Niners something.

-- One of the big knocks on Rashaan Salaam always has been that he puts the football on the ground much too often.

-- A 24-6 thumping of the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium wasn't a bad way for the Niners to start things off under their new coach. Not bad at all.

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