--- Linebacker Jamie Winborn speed, aggressiveness and fly-to-the-football mentality look as though they will be regular features of the 49ers' defense this season. The guy is an animal on the football field, and that's a good thing.
--- The star-making qualities we've seen from Kevan Barlow this spring and summer obviously weren't an illusion.
--- Ahmed Plummer hasn't lost his propensity for the pick. On the first pass thrown his way in 2002, Plummer stopped the Redskins' opening drive by stepping in front of and snagging a Sage Rosenfels pass and making a nice return, showing the form that placed fourth in the NFC in interceptions last season.
--- Just like in training camp, rookie free agent Frank Strong was around the ball and making plays at linebacker.
--- Jimmy Williams took an early lead in the battle for the No. 4 cornerback role. The second-year player was all over a deep-middle pass route, then knocked the ball down when the pass was short. He then forced an errant pass on a corner blitz and, on the next play, sacked QB Danny Wuerffel on another blitz.
--- Mike Rumph got burned on a few very visible big plays, but he also broke up two potential touchdown passes, had a couple of big hits and adequately performed his assignments in coverage most of the time.
--- You had to enjoy seeing Cedrick Wilson flying down the sideline, snaring a deep pass, and then hanging onto it despite being leveled on the play by a crushing hit that sent his helmet flying into the opposing bench.
--- Paul Smith showed a nice ability to break off the line and add a rushing dimension at fullback that could catch defenses off guard.
--- DT Darryl Sanders has looked good in limited opportunities since spring minicamps. He looked good in limited opportunities Saturday night. So did DE Jerome Davis.
--- It was nice to see Tim Rattay make some prudent, quick decisions when he tucked the ball and turned upfield with it. He was hardly as impressive, however, in his more important duty. Which brings us to….
--- Rattay had a few nice throws, and he can put the ball on a line deep, but for the most part he sprayed the ball around and missed some receivers badly on routine throws. This is not what you want to see from a QB running a precision offense.
--- San Francisco's young defensive backs and second-line coverage people simply got burned for five touchdown passes that better coverage could have prevented. Seventh-round draft pick Teddy Gaines was responsible for two of them. Ouch.
--- Dave Fiore was fine as the starting center, but since he's really the team's starting left guard, the center position looked a little messy with Pro Bowler Jeremy Newberry spending the evening back in California.
--- While Jimmy Williams was shining, Rashad Holman – his top competition for the No. 4 role at cornerback – looked a little shaky in coverage and missed a few tackles.
--- Improved pass rush? What improved pass rush? The starters got out early, but it looked even worse than last year.
--- Besides a nice kickoff return by Jamal Robertson, the Niners got very little by which to be encouraged from their return men.
--- Rookie Mike Jennings used his speed to get open on a fly route, then let a perfectly-placed bomb from rookie QB Brandon Doman fall through his fingers near goal line.
--- Tackle John Feugill couldn't handle an edge rush and got beaten from the snap for a sack. He wasn't the only reserve offensive lineman to struggle.
--- A grimacing Ron Stone walking off the field early in the first quarter with a sprained elbow is not something we need to be seeing this early in August. Or ever, for that matter.
--- On San Francisco's first field-goal try of 2002, the Niners trotted out rookie Jeff Chandler – and not incumbent Jose Cortez – for a botched kick attempt that was doomed from the start. Holder Jason Baker flubbed the snap, opted not to put it down for Chandler, then fumbled the ball away as rolled to the left and attempted to do something with it. Chandler – on the first play of his pro career – ended up falling on the football instead of kicking it. Certainly, he was drafted with other things in mind.
--- Sure, it's just the exhibition opener, so we'll call it a rookie mistake. But seeing Mike Rumph bite on an out-and-up in single coverage and then getting scorched by 10 yards on a 35-yard touchdown pass is something of which all the offensive coordinators in the NFL will take note.
--- On Tim Rattay's first pass of the 2002 preseason – which will be crucial in his future as the team's No. 2 QB – he lobbed a fluff ball into the flat that floated over Kevan Barlow's head for an incompletion that just hung in the air with nowhere to go. Now, that was ugly.
--- OK, OK, it's just a meaningless exhibition game. But to begin their season of high expectations, the Niners – instead of displaying some expected progress – suffered their worst preseason loss in 43 years. Now, that was really ugly.