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 25, 2007

First Real Test For Smith & Co. Tonight vs Bears

This is the game, tonight in Chicago, in which the 49ers will see how they measure up to the NFC champion Bears ... in the first half and the start of the third quarter, that is. The Bears are expected to play their starters about the same amount, so for a half at least, the 49ers will get a gauge not only on progress made in training camp but on their ability to match up to a team that whipped them 41-10 in October and went on to play in the Super Bowl.It's a particularly good test for San Francisco's offense. With quarterback Rex Grossman continuing to show vexing inconsistency in Chicago, the Bears have to rely on their defense, and they do.

Chicago had the No. 5-ranked defense in the NFL in 2006, bolstered by the best corps of linebackers in the league in Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Hunter Hillenmeyer. Add to that opportunistic defensive backs Nathan Vasher and Mike Brown and the return from injury of defensive tackle Tommie Harris and the Bears are formidable on that side of the ball. The 49ers prepared for the Bears this week as if it were a regular-season game. Meeting times and practice schedules were the same as for a game that counts in the standings. This is as real as it gets in the unreality of the preseason. Coach Mike Nolan said his starters, both on offense and defense, will play the entire first half and the first drives of the second half, then give way to the backups and the backups to the backups.

First-round draft pick Joe Staley will alternate with Harris at right tackle in what has to be his best chance to show the coaches he deserves to start at the position. He's looked proficient in training camp in the one aspect of the job that Harris struggles with, pass protection. At right guard, David Baas will play with the first unit on the third and sixth series. Starter Justin Smiley seems much more secure in his job than Harris is with his. Robinson and Maurice Hicks will alternate through the first half and into the third quarter in place of Gore. Defensive tackle Bryant Young will also miss his third preseason game as he takes care of a bulging disk in his back.

After this game, the 49ers will have three days to prepare for the most meaningless of all preseason games, the last one. The team will play in San Diego largely with reserves, as will the Chargers. It should prove to be a great battle of future delivery, maintainance and fast-food professionals. Once that waste of time is over, the 49ers will have 10 days before the real football begins. The first half tonight in Chicago will reveal how the 49ers compare to one of the best teams in the league.

In the Bay Area, available on Channel 5 tonight @ 5 pm (PDT)

Re-airing on NFL Network ... Sunday, August 26th @ 8 pm (PDT)

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