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Offensive Reactions
August 20 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers starters saw their largest amount of play time so far this summer and likely wonít see that much time again. Jeff Garcia and company played the entire first half, and though they looked pretty good, were still only able to generate 6 points and a missed field goal in the first half.

At quarterback Jeff Garcia and Tim Rattay were the only two that played. Garcia was on the mark all game, making good decisions and throwing a few nice long passes. Rattay struggled throughout the second quarter rarely throwing the ball to his receivers.

At receiver Terrell Owens has a huge day, going over 120 yards in one half of football. Owens had some nice plays down field but did not reach the endzone. JJ Stokes was involved in the offense early, but after receiving one short pass and being the target in the endzone once, the ball never came his way. The likely case hear was that Garcia was having such an easy time going to his first read in Owens that Garcia rarely needed to look to Stokes, still the coaching staff need to designate plays where JJ is the primary guy. Eric Johnson was relegated to mainly blocking duty in the first half, and thus was not much of a target for Garcia; only one pass was sent in his direction. No other receiver really did much of anything. Rattay dumped most of his passes off to running backs so guys like Cederick Wilson and Tai Streets barely saw the ball. Just Swift made one crazy reception off a Bronco tipped ball.

Garrison Hearst was ok in his six rushing attempts, but neither he nor Kevan Barlow really got into a rhythm. Paul Smith probably had the best day of any of the running backs, picking up some key yardage and making some good blocks. Fullback Fred Beasley had a crushing downfield block to spring Owens, in which he took out three players on the same block.

The offensive line played quite well for the first half. Rookie Eric Heitmann started in place of the injured Ron Stone, and did a good job. Center Ben Lynch also started in place of Jeremy Newberry. Clearly the run blocking was an issue with the starting offensive line. The second half line rarely gave Rattay more than a few seconds to throw. He was under constant pressure, but had enough time to get the ball to his receivers. Kyle Kosier was called repeatedly for lining up incorrectly along the line of scrimmage.

The 49ers nailed four field goals in this game. Jose Cortez was two for two, and Chandler two of three. Cortez seemed better on kick offs too, as the questions continue to role in about the rookie Chandler. While returning kicks, the only notable play was a fumble by Jimmy Williams which he recovered himself. Vinny Sutherland had some opportunities to run back kick offs, but the 49ers clearly still donít have a real threat at running back kicks. Jamal Robertson may get some more chances in the next two pre-season games.

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