As we head into week one of the NFL football season and more specifically, the 49ers matchup with the Green Bay Packers, one thing to pay close attention to is the right side of the 49ers offensive line. Newly installed right guard Alex Boone takes over this year after 2011 saw Chilo Rachal start off the season, only to be replaced by Adam Snyder.
As was often the case in 2011, the right side of the line (the interior in general, but more often the right side) seemed to give up pressure on the quarterback, specifically on stunts and blitzes. It often seemed like they weren't sure who was supposed to block which man in those scenarios where it's not as simple as "the guy in front of you".
As mentioned, Alex Boone is new to the offensive line group this year, in terms of having that all-important time to "gel". It's always talked about how a good offensive line is usually made up of guys who have played several seasons together. As communication and knowing your linemates' tendencies are crucial in picking up blitzes...I can see how this may prove to be an issue at times for the 49ers.
Boone has seemingly had a good off-season and held off newcomer Leonard Davis to retain the starting spot...but it remains to be seen just how good the protection will be in the first real game of the year. It's certainly something worth monitoring, although I hope it's not a real factor in the game.