NFC West: Todd H aley

Three things: 49ers-Texans

August, 27, 2011
8/27/11
1:00
PM ET
Three things to watch for in the San Francisco 49ers' preseason home game against the Houston Texans at 8 p.m. ET:

1. Quarterback rotation: Jim Harbaugh plans to give backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick snaps with the first-team offense. It's possible starter Alex Smith could reenter the game for some situational work. Harbaugh wouldn't be the first NFL coach this summer to take that somewhat novel approach. Kansas City's Todd Haley did it against the St. Louis Rams on Friday night. Harbaugh's thinking is sound. There's a good chance Kaepernick will play at some point during the regular season. Smith has played all 16 games only once in a season. Kaepernick should be better for his work against an opposing first-team defense.

2. Stadium safety: Security should be tight at Candlestick Park one week after a shooting injured two outside the stadium. Here's hoping this is one angle requiring little followup after the game. There should be no bad blood between fans of these teams.

3. Snap counts at center. With three NFC West games overlapping Saturday night, I'll be hard pressed to count snaps for Jonathan Goodwin and Adam Snyder. We're getting to the point, however, where the starting offensive line would ideally come together for the season. The assumption early in camp was that the newly signed Goodwin would replace David Baas, who signed with the New York Giants in free agency. Snyder has previously spent his career at guard and right tackle. Goodwin signed a three-year, $10.8 million contract with a $2 million signing bonus and $1 million salary this season. Snyder's deal averages slightly less annually. It calls for $2 million in salary this season. The salary disparity between the two isn't significant enough to force one player into the lineup over the other.

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