The San Francisco 49ers will wrap up the 2013 preseason with a game in San Diego against the Chargers. This is a game where none of the starters are likely to play. Usually the last preseason game is reserved for the guys at the bottom of the roster. For some of them, this is the last opportunity to show what they have. The preseason gives fringe roster players a chance to get some good film out there and possibly impress another team if they get release by their current team.
The 49ers have some players that will be exciting to watch in this last game. There are still some roster spots that can be swayed by a good performance today. Although the starters are not playing, this is still a good game to watch and will probably be one of the hardest played preseason games for both teams.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
B.J. Daniels – QB Daniels has won over the coaching staff this preseason. His ability to get the ball out in a hurry is proof that he is gaining a good understanding of this offense. Daniels is very decisive with where he wants to go with the ball. When he does throw the ball, watch how it comes off of his arm. It will be good getting to see him for an extended period of time in this game. He is also a threat to break a long run in the read option if he decides to pull the ball and run. Daniels will be fighting with Seneca Wallace for the right to be the third quarterback on the roster. He has come a long way from the question marks that surrounded the 49ers for drafting him late in the 2013 draft.
Dan Skuta – OLB Skuta has done a good job of moving to the outside linebacker position. He has two sacks in the preseason. Skuta has also done a pretty good job at setting the edge and funneling the running plays back inside. The 49ers have seen enough in Skuta and another young outside backer to trade veteran outside linebacker Parys Haralson to the New Orleans Saints.
Cam Johnson – OLB Johnson has shown flashes of his pass rushing ability. He was injured for a portion of the 2012 season but still spent some time on the active roster. He also has been impressive during the preseason. Johnson hasn’t racked up a lot of sacks but has constantly been in the opposing team’s backfield getting pressure on the quarterback and making tackles for a loss.
Nick Moody – ILB Moody flies around the field with no regard for his body. He is a tough player that will not your block off if he gets the chance to. Jim Harbaugh loves his ability to make an impact on special teams. Watch how he is around the ball on almost every play. I spoke to future Hall of Famer, Derrick Brooks about Moody and he is very impressed by his ability to make the transition to the NFL. Mood played mostly safety at Florida State University until his senior year in which he switched to linebacker.
Anthony Dixon – RB Dixon continues to keep a stronghold on a roster spot. He is a special teams stalwart and he can be the big back from time to time in the offense. Dixon has played some fullback over the last two years to add another valuable reason to keep him on the roster. He has shown the ability to hit the whole quickly. He had been given the dancer label over the last two years. Watch how he brings energy to the game. Teams need a spark plug of a player like Dixon.
Quinton Patton – WR Patton showed that he belongs last week. His ability to sell his routes and set up corners was very evident. The 49ers have been high on Patton and he will fulfill those high expectations. Patton is ready to go after missing a good amount of time in the preseason. This will be another opportunity to see him get in gear as the regular season apporaches.
There is a battle going on for the last spots on the roster at safety. Trenton Robinson, Ray Ventrone and Michael Thomas will be looking to secure a roster spot. Ventrone has been the personal protector on punt team so he may have that as an advantage.
Marcus Cooper, an undrafted corner back from Rutgers has nice size and has shown signs of being a player that can be developed on the practice squad.
Seneca Wallace will be seeing his first extended playing time since being signed by the 49ers. Wallace played a few snaps last week but nothing of true significance.
Keenan Allen, a wide receiver from University of California is fighting for a starting spot on the Chargers roster.
This is the last preseason game and for some it is “Do or Die” so be ready for some hard fought football even though these players may not be household names.
The Chargers and 49ers have met 41 times in the preseason and San Francisco holds a slight 21-20 series edge. This year’s contest will mark the 12th-straight year that the Chargers and 49ers have closed out the preseason.