Last season, the San Francisco 49ers visited the Houston Texans for their final preseason tune-up.
In that game, the offense erupted for four touchdowns en route to a 40-13 victory.
The 49ers travel back to Southeast Texas this weekend, this time for the team's first exhibition contest of the year. The game will mark the debut of Geep Chryst's offense, which is loaded with new and returning weapons.
The first-year 49ers offensive coordinator addressed the Bay Area media on Wednesday to discuss all things offense including his Australian import, his quarterbacks and his offensive line.
- Hayne to Make NFL Debut
It appears as if Chryst is just as curious as the rest of the football world to watch former rugby league star Jarryd Hayne appear in his first NFL game.
The coordinator said he expects to see a heavy dose of the running back in Houston.
"You can talk all you want about it or you can forecast all you want, but I think it'll be exciting for him in the locker room before the game because we all know, you go to practice, then you go to a padded practice and then you go to a preseason game and that's how you ramp up," Chryst said. "I'm excited to see him. We're definitely going to use him on all facets of the game: running, catching, fielding on special teams, whatever (special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr.) wants to do.
"And at the end of the day, I think we'll know more about Jarryd. … He's been running through contact pretty much his whole life, so I'm really excited to see him play."
- Geep Breaks down Kap Throw
The first preseason game is always a good time for a progress check. So after a week and a half of training camp, reporters asked Colin Kaepernick's coordinator and old position coach to detail what he's seen from the signal-caller heading into the opener.
Chryst used a specific play from Tuesday's practice as an example of Kaepernick's improvement.
"The throw to Jerome Simpson, if you saw that on the left sideline, I don't know if we've seen that from Kap consistently," Chryst said. "And again, there's so much to it than just, 'Hey, let's take a shot downtown.'"
So just what was so distinct about that throw?
"First off, he anticipated it, so if you had the clicker on, you'd see that he took the throw in rhythm," Chryst said. "He recognized the leverage (Simpson) had on the defender.
"You think it's an easy play, then you go watch the tape and the ball's coming down and there's a hand here trying to swipe it and it dropped in just beautifully."
During an 11-on-11 period at Levi's Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback scrambled out of the pocket and into the end zone.
- Gabbert Gets More Comfortable
For the fifth time in Blaine Gabbert's five-year NFL career, the quarterback has a new offensive coordinator.
But unlike the last four changes, this time Gabbert was already familiar with the new leading man.
Chryst, who coached the quarterbacks a year ago, has noticed Gabbert grasping the offense at a fast pace in the offseason program and training camp. The coordinator expects the 49ers backup to have a strong preseason, when he figures to garner a majority of the snaps.
"Yeah, no doubt. He's calm, comfortable and in command," Chryst said. "That's going to be big. I know we want to see Kap out there, but I think having Blaine in these games is going to be fun. I'll be really looking forward to him. Even though he's been around, I think he wants to show the strides that he's made."
- Plan for the O-line
Continuity and chemistry is obviously important along the offensive line. But so far in training camp, the 49ers have let a competition play out by mixing several players in with the first-team unit.
That rotation will continue for the time being, at least through the matchup with the Texans.
"Somewhere right after that first preseason game but before the final preseason game," Chryst said when asked about determining a starting five. "And I think practice can give you a lot of confidence moving forward, but we're not there yet. We're still looking forward to going down to Houston."
Joe Staley and Alex Boone have the left side of the line locked down, but Erik Pears, Marcus Martin, Joe Looney, Brandon Thomas, Ian Silberman, Trent Brown and others are vying for the remaining three positions.