--- The future does look like Kevan Barlow. --- Burst, acceleration and change of direction. When you combine those qualities with a guy Barlow's size, good things are going to happen. And, maybe, great things. --- Jamal Robertson looks like he's going to earn a few carries this year, too. --- Like Barlow, Robertson will have to keep working on his pass protection, however. --- Terry Jackson? Yeah, don't forget about that guy, either. --- One of the worst things that could happen to the Niners' offense is to lose Pro Bowl fullback Fred Beasley. --- But it's great news that X-rays were negative and his high ankle sprain doesn't appear too serious. --- Ken Dorsey's starting debut: Not bad, but certainly nothing special. --- Yes, Jamie Winborn is ready to go. --- Did you see that closing speed by Winborn, and the way he flew around the field? Who needs Julian Peterson? --- Well, the 49ers do, of course, but they still can wait a while for his return, mainly because they have no other choice. --- Those problems stopping opponents on third down don't appear to have gone away. --- Let them play, refs. --- That pass rush doesn't look a whole lot different than last season. Which is to say: Weak. --- Well, at least those new sideline outfits worn by some 49ers coaches look better than last year. --- Todd Peterson's first kickoff of 2004, down to the 12-yard line. That's about what we can expect to see all season. --- Which we'll take, as long he's not short on makeable field goals. --- It wouldn't bother us to see Arnaz Battle returning kickoffs this season. --- He doesn't look too bad covering kickoffs, either. --- Oh, and did we mention we wouldn't mind seeing Battle returning punts, either? --- Battle's winding, tackle-breaking punt return for a TD was a vivid example of what the guy can do when he's healthy. --- Not that he wasn't going to make the team anyway, but Battle just secured his roster berth with his fine all-around performance. --- "I have great expectations," Battle said afterward, relaying a message that was obvious to all. --- Mike Rumph can hit, but he needs to make sure and hold on. --- It's just the preseason opener, and Ahmed Plummer was on the sidelines, but that was some pretty soft coverage being played by Niners' cornerbacks. --- Michael Landry eats up space nicely in the defensive interior, but he needs to get more push in his pass rush to seal a roster spot. --- When it all comes together for Shawntae Spencer, he's going to be a good one. --- It's nice to see Eric Johnson catching passes over the middle despite wearing a soft cast to protect a torn ligament in his thumb. --- Aaron Walker can get down the field, too. --- That also was a solid impression made by Gabe Crecion on a good night for San Francisco's tight ends. --- Another Saleem Rasheed sighting. Let's hope he doesn't fade away this year. --- But, of course, he didn't make it through his playing stint without another injury, pulling his right hip flexor. --- You can tell that Brandon Moore wants more playing time in a crowded field of quality linebackers. --- Get used to it: Cedrick Wilson isn't shy about going up and getting passes in traffic. And he comes down with them, too. --- You can see what the Niners like about Kwame Harris's run blocking. --- Curtis Conway is going to be a nice complement in the passing game as the No. 3 receiver. --- The Niners' talent, effectiveness and productivity on the offensive line really falls off after their starting unit. --- Dwaine Carpenter still gambles too much in coverage, but he has the athleticism to make up for it. --- He needs to take much better angles on deep balls, however. --- That's the way Brandon Doman has been throwing the ball in training camp, too. --- By what we've seen so far this summer, we'll already take Cody Pickett over Doman. His arm is just so much better. --- Pickett, in fact, may have looked the best of San Francisco's three quarterbacks Saturday. But remember, he was playing against scrubs. --- Andy Lee's second punt was much more indicative of what you can expect from him than his first. --- But Andy Groom's first punt makes it look like he won't be getting too many more with the Niners. --- Keith Lewis has looked good in practice, but he's obviously going to need some time to develop in coverage. --- Sure, Kyle Kosier is the Niners' top backup along the offensive line, but since he's also their starting right guard, he was in the game way, way too long Saturday. --- But he looks pretty good playing tackle, and the Niners need one more guy they can count on at that position. --- We've liked Maurice Hicks since the start of training camp, and he continued to show why Saturday. --- "We've got some work to do in all phases," Niners coach Dennis Erickson said afterward. --- As exhibition openers go, though, that still was a lot of fun. The Niners saw some things they liked and some things they didn't. So did we. But that's what the preseason is all about.
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