The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here: Gameday. The 49ers will begin the 2012 preseason schedule tonight when the Minnesota Vikings come into town for a 6 p.m. kick-off at Candlestick Park.
It figures to be an important night for many on the 49ers roster. As for the players photographed above, All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith will likely take part in a limited number of plays. Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, however, will get an opportunity play a lot more than Smith, last season’s team MVP.
If you’re unable to catch the game on in person, or locally on CBS 5, don’t worry, NFL.com’s Preseason Live subscription service offers complete re-broadcasts of every preseason game with plenty of unique features for the die-hard football fan to enjoy.
If you’re heading into “The ‘Stick” tonight, check out the latest 49ers.com’s Niner Talk podcast, featuring interviews with rookie wide receiver Nathan Palmer and CSN Bay Area’s 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco. Download the 49ers Gameday Live App and listen to the podcast on your way to the game.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Maiocco recently spoke with players about what a 49ers’ track-and-field relay team would look like. Maiocco: “Cornerback Tarell Brown, who ran in the low-4.4s at the NFL scouting combine in 2007, struggled when asked who would be atop the podium if there were an Olympics-like 100-meter dash among 49ers players. There might not be anyone like Olympic sprints champion Usain Bolt on the 49ers. But there are plenty of players who can bolt down the field.”
Nate Stuhlbarg of CSNBayArea.com writes that Alex Smith will wear a mouthpiece in the preseason opener unlike last year. Stuhlbarg: “Smith was without his mouth guard when he was roughed up in San Francisco’s 24-3 loss to New Orleans. Other than protecting his dentition, Smith’s main goal in this year’s preseason opener is to make plays.”
Mindi Bach of CSNBayArea.com caught up with 49ers guard Leonard Davis and his transition to a new club. Davis: “It was tough at first. We were doing a lot of installation, and what was crazy was we had to do an install and then I’d have to kind of learn everything from that day, and then the next day we’re doing more, so it was kind of piling up. I was getting a little frustrated a bit at first. I’ve ran all the same plays, but it’s just a lot of nuances and how we go about executing plays. But from where I was from when I first got here to where I am now it’s a big difference. I’m more comfortable with it now.”
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee believes the key to making the 49ers roster is being able to fill multiple roles. Barrows: “If you’re trying to figure out who will earn the last few spots on the 53-man roster – as well as spots on the practice squad – take a good look at the players pulling double duty.”
Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle examines the off-field progress made by linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Branch: “In his first season as a starter, in 2011, Brooks tied for 13th in the NFL among outside linebackers in sacks (seven) and added 59 tackles. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio believes he can offer “a whole lot more” as a pass-rusher this season, and Brooks is eager to deliver.”
Alex Espinoza of 49ers.com previews the 49ers offensive attack heading into the preseason opener.
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Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Justin Smith, Leonard Davis, Nathan Palmer, Tarell Brown
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