The rookies are off and running and football season is in full swing. The 2012 49ers rookie class has already started practicing at 4949 Centennial Blvd., and the veterans are set to report on Thursday.
With the start of the preseason comes a slew of predictions from around the country, and to no one’s surprise, the 49ers are being picked by many to be Super Bowl contenders once again. Pro Football Talk’s Evan Silva gave a glowing review of the Jim Harbaugh-led 49ers, who checked in at No. 4 in PFT’s preseason power rankings.
“The 49ers’ defense is so physical, talented, and field-position altering that it’s probably good for eight wins in and of itself,” Silva writes.” No one runs on the Niners, and they affect opposing quarterbacks on virtually every dropback.
But if Smith builds on the progress he made with Harbaugh last year, they won’t be a quarterback away at all.
They’ll be a Super Bowl team.”
More preseason predictions and local coverage from team headquarters can be found after the jump.
Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com also picked the 49ers to emerge as NFC West champions in 2012. Schrager: “This is a fantastic football team. Well-coached, disciplined and deep at just about every position, the Niners are rock solid from top to bottom. They were a few special team miscues away from the Super Bowl a year ago and they only got better this offseason. The schedule’s difficult, but the 49ers should be just fine. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this squad is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February in New Orleans.”
Michael Lombardi of NFL.com offered 32 pressing questions for the 32 NFL teams heading into the season. Lombardi: “Can the 49ers find more of a passing game? They’ll need it, as the schedule gets tougher in 2012 — San Francisco will be forced to keep up with top offensive teams.”
Don Banks of SI.com discussed 10 training camp questions from around the league, while linking to SI’s Offseason Breakdown of the 49ers. Banks: “The opportunity in San Francisco is certainly there for Moss. He’s on a good team, as he requires in order to give maximum effort, there’s an obvious need for more downfield passing with the 49ers, and he might just have been humbled a bit by his journeyman experience of 2010 and his one-year retirement in 2011. The mental part of the game has always mattered greatly with Moss, but he’s 35 now, so he has to re-prove his physical skills, too. Are his legs still elite? Can he separate and jump like the Moss of old? He’s going to have to show more than just his strong minicamp work this spring to beat back the doubters and return to prominence once more.”
The newly-formed Pac-12 Network has released a list of its on-air football talent and they have tapped 49ers Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and current radio broadcaster Ted Robinson. President of Pac-12 Enterprises Gary Stevenson: “We’ve worked hard to establish a team of on-air personalities that brings a wealth of broadcasting and playing credentials to our viewers while also establishing a voice unique to the Pac-12 Networks and our growing brand.”
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com examines A.J. Jenkins’ situation as the first-round pick enters his first NFL training camp. Maiocco: “The 49ers have three established wide receivers on the roster: Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. Unless there’s an injury that keeps one of the top three players out of action for a while, there does not figure to be many chances for a fourth receiver to contribute.”
Cam Inman of The Bay Area News Group relayed Ted Ginn Jr.’s comments about his healthy return to the football field. Inman: “Ginn used the time away from the practice field to strengthen his upper body in the weight room. He estimated that he tacked on 10 pounds to his now 185-pound frame.”
49ers.com also brought you comprehensive coverage of Monday’s action, including a look at LaMichael James and the rest of the rookie class reporting to camp. We also featured Ginn’s new jersey, his impact on first-rounder A.J. Jenkins and introduced you to newly-signed CB Darcel McBath. Click here to watch Ginn and quarterback Scott Tolzien to watch their meeting with reporters on Monday.
TWEET ABOUT IT
Daniel Kilgore and the rest of the 49ers veterans are ready to start the 2012 season.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Donte Whitner, LaMichael James, Ted Ginn Jr.
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