• The 49ers' Rule No. 1 for a backup runner is, "Protect your quarterback." Michael Robinson has a strong grasp of the blitz pickup responsibilities. Rookie Anthony Dixon does not . . . yet.
• All in all, it's been a promising offseason for quarterback Alex Smith. He has shown a better command of the offense and he has taken some significant strides in winning the trust of his offensive teammates.
Smith has never excelled in the exhibition season. Of course, he'll be judged on how he performs when the regular-season begins. But it certainly would be beneficial for the overall mindset of the team if he can experience some degree of success in these exhibition games.
• The 49ers' top three wideouts appear set. Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan are the likely starters. Ted Ginn has impressed the coaching staff, and has nailed down at least the No. 3 job at the moment. But the big question is: Who will surface as the 49ers' Nos. 4 and 5 receivers?
Dominique Zeigler, who has no more practice-squad eligibility, appears to have the edge for that spot after a strong opening of training camp. Jason Hill has yet to provide the 49ers' coaching staff with the kind of consistency it wants to see. Kyle Williams has made some plays from the slot. Meanwhile, veteran Brandon Jones falls further and further behind the others because of a hamstring injury.