49ers-Raiders: Eyeing Chilo Rachal?

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke with the media after practice yesterday and had some very positive comments about Chilo Rachal:

On what he seen from G Chilo Rachal:

"I'm seeing improvement. I'm seeing real focus, real want to from Chilo. He's working extremely hard to get into shape and game shape and playing shape. It's really important to him, this year, this season, this team. I'm seeing all those things from him and I'm really pleased."

Rachal has been a guy who has sort of been in the shadows during his time with the 49ers. He's shown some skills but he's also had his share of struggles, and yet we don't often hear a whole lot about him unlike many other players. Eric Branch had an interesting article yesterday in which we learn that Rachal dropped 30 pounds this offseason, coming to camp at 305 pounds. I'm not sure if this is exactly comparable to Alex Boone's previous body transformation, but it seems like a strong show of commitment moving forward.

The question now is if he can turn that into production on the field. It seems like that becomes the mantra for just about everybody. The team has mixed and matched offensive linemen and I have to say I'm kind of hoping Chilo does still get the start on Saturday against the Raiders. If the team does eventually decide to go with Snyder at right guard, I'd like at least one more opportunity to view his performance against the opposing defense's first string.

Do you think getting into better shape is enough to improve his on-field performance or does he face fundamental flaws that will keep him out of the starting lineup?

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