Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said he’s always anxious before the start of a regular season. This one is no different.
“I don’t know if it’s more than normal,” he said, “but certainly, there are so many unknowns. You lost two guys up front. Shaun [O’Hara] had become a consistent Pro Bowler and Richie [Seubert] was our best player last year on the offense. You lose those two guys. Steve Smith, to me, is as good as there is as the inside receiver. I just don’t think there’s anyone better. Again, he was good as his first year, second year, he just got better and better. There’s a huge hole.
“Do we have some guys that can play? Yeah, I think they can play, but it’s unfair to expect them to be as far along and advanced as those other guys. What I want to see is just a composure … a reduction of mistakes, which has been the biggest problem. I think there’s enough wherewithal to be successful. I think there’s the possibility, just have to bring it out of them.
“Again, it’s a tough learning curve, it’s a steep learning curve. You’re asking guys to get ready in a fairly short period of time and they’re playing very important roles. They have to go out and perform as if they’ve been playing that position for three or four years. It’s not fair to ask of them, but that’s what is asked of all of us. We have to get them ready and they have to go out and do it.”