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Take this game for what it was-- a very encouraging start..


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First of all, it WAS just pre-season and the Redskins were definitley approaching the game with more intent than the 49ers. So, any conclusions drawn must include that preface.

On the other hand, as we found out so painfully last season, pre-season games DO have merit. The fact that we won the game doesn't mean squat, the fact that we looked so good in doing so, does.

Obviously, the offensive explosion was great to see and a bit unexpected. It's hard to tell whether or not we were just beating up on camp fodder, but this much is for sure:

--The team was well prepared in all areas.

--The looked loose, but focused. The played pretty professionally and error free, but also seemed to be having fun.

--The passing game, whether it was against scrubs or not, looked very crisp and sharp. All parties were in sync.

--The lines held up very well, even early when the 49ers starters were in. The defensive line was w/o Gardener, Bruce, and Dotson, but they caused problems all night long.

--Our first team defense gave their first team offense a three and out to start the game.

--The leadership on the team already seems to have shifted from old to young (Lavar, Trotter) which is a good thing.

--Everyone on our coaching staff and roster seems to have something to prove.

--Overall, the team appears to be well ahead of schedule.

The defense is going to be A-OK. For the first time since 1991, I have no questions about our defense entering the season. Our back 7 is incredible, and our D line will be at least adequate. I think we'll be able to stop the run effectively and Lewis will find ways to get to the passer. Our defense concerns me none.

And I have no concerns about our RB's, TE's, WR's, or Tackles. I love the young hodge-podge at WR-- this is where Spurrier excels-- those guys will surprise people all year long.

The big questions are

1) Can the QB's do it when it counts?

2) Will the middle of the line hold up?

I'm pretty optimistic on both of those fronts. I think one of these QB's is going to prove good enough to get the team an 9-11 win level. Beyond that, may be a stretch, but I'll take a 10-6 season no problem.

The guards concern me, but I still think we'll sign one before the pre-season ends, and there seems to be some healthy competition there right now.

I have the utmost confidence in Spurrier/Lewis and I have since the day we got them.

There is NO reason we shouldn't be a playoff team this year and I don't think anyone should be handing the division to the Eagles.

Two weeks ago, I said we'll go 9-7 and sneak into the playoffs. Now, after seeing the team in the flesh, my gut tells me good things and that 10 wins may be very realistic.

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Well said Kleese,

I do think we still need help in the interior offensive line. Protecting the quarterback is even more important while running the Spurrier offense, because we will throw more than run and we will use the pass to set up the run. It all starts with protecting the quarterback. The quarterback will be expected to read the defense and adjust. An audible will be meaningless if he has no protection. One way to attack Spurrier is by the blitz, so we need our running backs to be very good blockers and the quarterback needs get rid of the ball fairly quickly. But, it will all start with the offensive line. We still have some cap space to spend on at least one veteran offensive guard.

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I'm a "seasonal" poster for sure :) I check the board everyday, but I'm also a big Cincy Reds fans and I spend most of my "typing time" during the summer over on that board. But I've followed the off-season as closely as I always do and I've been gaining confidence in this regime from day 1.

With all the questions looming, the bottom line is that I simply can't see Spurrier failing-- I can't see his offense not able to put up points.

I can't wait for the real deal to get going......

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Excellent analysis Kleese.

Pre-season games are really 95-99% worthless as far as guaging how well a team will do in the regular season, but that remaining 1-5% sure looked good on Saturday. :)

I didn't think our 'starting' lines looked all that good, but our starting defense still did quite well against one of the best offenses in the NFC with a patchwork DL. We are going to have a heck of a defense. :)

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