There are numerous battles to deal with in training camp, but one of the more pertinent position battles might very well be a one-man show at this point. Word got around at the start of free agency that the 49ers had told Barry Sims they were not going to re-sign him at this point and wanted to see what some of their younger guys could do. It was a beat-writer tweet or post a while back that I'm struggling to find.
Alex Boone more or less confirmed this was the case in a brief Q&A he had with reporters before practice today. Boone was asked whether he felt the third offensive tackle job was his to lose and he responded:
I do. That's one thing that Coach Solari and I have talked about. He straight up said, look, this is how it is. Barry (Sims) is not going to be here this year. So either you man up, or go somewhere else. I'm trying to take that in stride and do what I can with it.
You gotta love a line like man up or go somewhere else. It doesn't get any more cut and dry than that. Thus far Boone has been taking second team left tackle snaps. Based on MM's depth chart from Friday, Boone's competition for that primary backup offensive tackle position would be Mike Person, Donovan Edwards, and Kenny Wiggins. Hopefully Person is showing some things, but otherwise that's not exactly fierce competition. Adam Snyder will likely be a backup option, but he's more of a utility guy across the line.
On a side note, the final Boone question and answer revealed some information that is interesting, but not surprising.
Q: What kind of commitment or change is lifestyle did that take from you?
A: I was drinking and swinging and doing all sorts of bad things. But I think Singletary was a good thing for me because he gave me the low down on it and he was very tough on me. But other than that, I had to change a lot of things. I'm happy with the changes I've made and the steps I've taken the direction I'm going and I hope it continues.
For all the crap Singletary gets for his coaching methods and his ability to handle things during the game, his ability to motivate certain players was quite impressive. He helped Vernon Davis turn his career around and he seemed to be able to motivate Alex Boone to improve himself as well. Based on all the anecdotes, Singletary had a strong manner of tough love. Although the team struggled at times, this is one positive to be taken from the Singletary experience.