SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The 49ers debut at Levi’s Stadium has set many fans into panic mode after being blown out 34-0 by the Denver Broncos in an exhibition game at the hands of MVP Peyton Manning. This is following last Sunday’s 23-3 loss in the exhibition opener at Baltimore.

It was another unproductive outing for quarterback Blaine Gabbert, whom the 49ers traded a sixth-round pick for this offseason. He appeared indecisive and in his final snap, yielded a third-quarter interception.

But this is just the preseason, right? There’s nothing to be too concerned about, is there?

Coach Madden tells KCBS yes and no.

“People say that these preseason games are meaningless…then you get one hung on you like that and very quickly, it sure means a lot doesn’t it? I think it’s someplace in between,” he says.

“Anytime you play a game, it’s meaningful and it’s a pro-football game, even though it’s preseason. But then to say, that’s where you stand—in other words, that’s where Denver is now and that’s where San Francisco is now—that would be a big mistake too.”

Quarterback development, Madden said, is important in the preseason and is good indicator of things to come.

“One of the things you have to do is develop a backup quarterback because once the regular season starts, he doesn’t get any reps; he doesn’t get any practice at all. So, what you see at the end of the preseason, with your backup quarterback, is what you’re going to get in a regular season if he has to go in.”

The Raiders, Madden points out, have a more favorable situation. Despite Oakland quarterback Matt Schaub’s less than stellar showing last Friday, backup quarterback Derek Carr, he says, looked “very good.”

“If you just look at the second preseason game, the backup quarterback, who is a rookie number two draft choice, looked better than the starter. Now that’s a not bad situation,” Madden says.



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