Optimism...A concept that hasn't been in the Bay area for a while. It's the feeling that this could be the year the 49ers break through back into the stardom of the 80s and early 90s.
The reason why we have optimism is because we have a roster full of potential. In this coming year there will be many 49ers players to watch but I've managed to whittle it down to my own top five.
Included are the players, the reason to watch them, and what you can expect from them.
Probably one of the more important pieces in the 49ers puzzle. If No. 13 can continue how he finished off last year it will be a good year to be a 49er fan.
Look for him to throw 20+ TDs and 3000+ yards given that he starts most of the games.
After a stellar breakout season in 2006, Frank "the tank" Gore has been dropping off in production year after year. Gore's drop off can be chalked up mainly due to ankle injuries and the fact that he was in the Mike Martz pass-first offense.
But look for Gore to flourish in new OC Jimmy Rayes offense, similar to the one Norv Turner ran in 2006 when he was OC. You can probably expect 1300+ yards and 10 TDs from the tank this season.
I don't know why, but year after year I think it's the year VD will breakout and realize his full potential since the 49ers invested so much in drafting him sixth overall in 2006.
Hopefully it happens this year after Vernon Davis told reporters he will be one of the focal points of the offense. You can expect 700+ yards and five TDs with 40-50 catches
I was tempted to put another young wide receiver in this spot but I gave it to Morgan instead. After looking amazing in limited action due to illness and injury I want to see what he can do with a full season. Look to see Morgan make more amazing grabs in 2009. I see him making 70 grabs for 900 yards and 5+ TDs
After a pretty good year with limited time on the field he amassed eight-and-a-half sacks. Look for more sacks as the defense from now on is going to a pure 3-4.
Parys and fellow outside linebacker Manny Lawson will be bringing the heat on the QB. I see probably 10+ sacks and a good season for Parys.