The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Battle of The Bay Area" Tonight @ Candlestick

Darnell Bing spent last season with the Oakland Raiders before joining the 49ers just in time for training camp, so the second-year safety has intimate knowledge of both shores in San Francisco Bay's less-than-fierce NFL rivalry. And though the 49ers seem significantly ahead of the Raiders in their efforts to regain respectability, Bing actually sees few differences in the training camp approaches of the two teams meeting in Saturday's annual preseason Battle of the Bay.

San Francisco coach Mike Nolan has stressed communication and a large degree of openness -- by NFL standards, anyway -- during his three seasons. The 49ers show it in everything from their public camp practices to Nolan's decision to keep his assistant coaches constantly available to reporters, unlike many clubs. The Raiders don't open their practices in Napa, and Bing (below, with USC)-- who spent his rookie season on injured reserve -- is still waiting to hear why Oakland released him shortly before its first training camp under new coach Lane Kiffin. Bing spent three years at USC while Kiffin was an offensive assistant. Bing got a little more attention from Kiffin during the offseason when he convinced the Raiders to move him back to safety after attempting to use him at linebacker last season. He thought the transition was going fine until he got his pink slip, and now he's hoping to catch on in San Francisco as Michael Lewis' backup.

The annual meeting allows the NFL neighbors to test each other on the field, even if they don't socialize much during the season. Nolan still hasn't met Kiffin, the Raiders' precocious new coach. Kiffin returned to camp this week after missing two days with a viral infection. He has plenty of work to do, particularly in choosing a starting quarterback to run an offense that reached historic depths last season. Andrew Walter, who struggled along with his teammates last season, gets his turn for a preseason start at Candlestick, to be followed by Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown. With No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell still unsigned, any of the three quarterbacks in camp could emerge as the starter, and all three were fairly solid in last week's exhibition opener against Arizona.

Other offensive positions also need plenty of work. Running back Dominic Rhodes will start, but LaMont Jordan will play as much as possible after missing last week's game with a sore back.
"He needs a lot of work, especially in these next two games," Kiffin said of Jordan. "He needs to see this zone (blocking) system. This is not something he's used to. He's got to see what he can't see in practice, to see ... how the holes open up." Nolan's offensive starters will get 24 plays, and he plans to let them work into the second quarter after getting just two series in Monday's 17-13 loss to Denver. The 49ers will remain delicate with their defensive veterans, holding three projected starters out of the lineup with minor injuries: Defensive end Bryant Young, Pro Bowl cornerback Walt Harris and nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin.
The 49ers hope to fill every seat at Candlestick with an influx of Raiders fans, yet that's not always certain in the laid-back Bay Area. In San Francisco's 34-20 regular-season victory over woeful Oakland last October, there still were obvious patches of empty seats.

In the Bay Area, available on CBS channel 5.
Re-airing on NFL Network ...

Raiders at 49ers Tue., 12:30 p.m. ET

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