Booting to victory in Broncoland

Making our Mile-High salutes after the 49ers finally made their preseason mark Monday night with a 12-7 exhibition victory over the Denver Broncos:


--- With their five-game preseason now entering the homestretch, the Niners must seriously be considering that they'd be better off sticking with Jose Cortez as their kicker.


--- Looks like the ball will be going Terrell Owens' way a little more often this season. Let us all rejoice.


--- Heavy-hitting Tony Parrish doesn't look too bad in coverage, either.


--- With a few noticeable exceptions, you've really got to like the speed of that fly-to-the-football Niners defense.


--- Hearst, Barlow, Beasley, Terry Jackson, Paul Smith … Pound for pound, player for player, the Niners might have the best corps of running backs in the NFL.


--- We suspect the Niners won't be settling for field goals in the red zone once the real games begin.


--- When opponents attempt to contain Owens with one-on-one coverage this season, they will pay for it.


--- The 49ers have some sharp eyes up in the press box.


--- Say what you will about Jeff Garcia's arm strength, but the redhead can put the deep ball on the money.


--- We saw Frank Strong blow up an opponent again for the third consecutive preseason game. A couple of times, in fact.


--- Garcia is looking J.J. Stokes' way more often, and that's a good thing.


--- Having Derrick Deese around as Garcia's guardian certainly isn't a bad thing.


--- You won't see Ahmed Plummer getting called for pass interference too many times in 2002. You might have just seen the only time.


--- Jimmy Williams is really starting to look like the best option returning punts. As long as he hangs on to the football.


--- We'll take Williams as the team's fourth cornerback, too, without any further evidence necessary.


--- Is Dana Stubblefield losing it? Or, to put it theoretically, how really good is a defense if Stubby is its weak link?


--- It was not a good evening for the young offensive linemen the 49ers are attempting to develop.


--- Jim Flanigan was a great free-agent pickup, and everyone will be saying so before the season is over.


--- Can you imagine the speed that would be on the field with a Saleem Rasheed-Jamie Winborn-Julian Peterson trio at linebacker?


--- Ronnie Heard's versatility and development makes the loss of rookie safety Kevin Curtis hurt not nearly as bad.


--- Last week it was Dave Fiore starting at center and Dave Costa at right guard. This time it was Ben Lynch starting at center and rookie Eric Heitmann at guard. Yes, those backup offensive linemen are getting some valuable experience this preseason.


--- Jeff Ulbrich is going to make his presence known at inside linebacker this season.


--- At least one NFL-caliber defensive lineman won't make the 49ers' final roster this season.


--- One more preseason game, a little bit more lost confidence in Tim Rattay.




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