The San Francisco 49ers open up preseason play tonight against the Baltimore Ravens.
Football is back.
Your Niners Daily report gets you ready for the 2014 debut by looking at all three preseason openers of the Jim Harbaugh era.
Aug. 12, 2011 @ New Orleans Saints
Score: Saints 24, 49ers 3
What we learned: The Harbaugh era began with a loss. Despit the result, the game served as a positive learning experience for the coach and his team. The Saints blitzed then starting quarterback Alex Smith early and often in the Superdome. The 49ers didn't expect it to happen in a preseason game but it's something they're prepared for now. The 2011 preseason opener also saw the NFL debuts for future starters
What was said: "I didn't expect this," Harbaugh said. "I knew coming in we had a lot of work to do, but tonight some good things transpired. We'll have some good film to look at and study and to learn from and get better from."
Score: 49ers 17, Vikings 6
What we learned:
What was said: “I was on the other side, blocking my dude and heard the crowd go crazy,” said Pro Bowl left tackle
Aug. 8, 2013 vs. Denver Broncos
Score: Broncos 10, 49ers 6
What we learned: Kaepernick led the starting offense on a 13-play scoring drive, but it wasn't a touchdown. Smith pressured Peyton Manning and forced the Broncos to punt on their opening drive. The starters played briefly and the second and third-team units were unable to move the ball on offense.
What was said: “I got my feet wet a little bit,” Reid said. “Overall, I was happy with the way I played. It’s been my dream since I was a kid to be in the NFL. And to be out here with these guys on such a great team, it’s a blessing.”
Don't expect to see a lot of action from the starters, especially the tenured veterans. The offense, for example, can get in quality work with one long scoring drive. If it's a three-and-out, they could get another series. Harbaugh also said Kaepernick won't play for very long. Gore will likely be given a light workload, if anything at all. The 49ers know Gore is ready for the regular season. The starters who will play longest figure to be three offensive linemen: center
Defensively, it'll be great to see how young defensive linemen like