Starters To See More Action
August 10 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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As the Chiefs come to play in 49ers town this weekend, Mariucci expects to get his starting players more time on the field. In the teamís pre-season opener, the starters barely broke a sweat - playing for less than a quarter. Every time Mariucci speaks about how long his starters will play this week, his answer changes. Generally though, the answer is more than in the opening bout.
Mariucciís latest report is that the starters will for the most part see the entire first quarter. Jeff Garcia may be the lone exception, as Mariucci has also stated that Tim Ratty will get some time playing with the starting line up. Alternatively, some starters could play into the second quarter to give Ratty a chance.
Personally I feel that last weekís game, in which the teamís starters saw about eight plays each, was insufficient, but I think giving them a full quarter this early in training camp may be a little too much. Mariucci has to balance the risk of injury against brushing the rust off his starting group, and thatís no easy task. But with three pre-season games after this weekendís I would still hold off a little on the starting line upís snaps.
Mariucci also addressed the issues of being conservative. He stated: "We might be able to play a little more wide-open (offensive) football. We're confident that our defense can hold up if we put them in a bad spot, rather than playing a little closer to the vest because we're afraid of putting the defensive guys back on the field right away. We can be a little more free-wheeling." Certainly, that is an encouraging sign for an offense that seems to have infinite weapons.