San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is in the midst of getting ready for the 2014 NFL season, and it looks like he is making the rounds for interviews. The Associated Press had an interview with him earlier today, and I'll actually have a chance to speak with him this Saturday. I won't get a ton of time, but if there is anything particularly specific you want me to ask him, let me know in the comments. Right now, I'm going to try and ask him some of these questions:
1. What were you able to learn about the 49ers offense, and about being an NFL running back before you were able to get on the practice field late in the season?
2. What have you learned from Frank Gore over the last year?
3. How active do you think you can participate when the 49ers offseason workout program begins in April?
4. What kind of role do you expect in 2014?
I'm sure I'll get some generic answers, but maybe I'll get something interesting. I'll have about five or ten minutes to speak with Lattimore, so I won't be getting in a ton of questions.
The AP article might have given us a partial answer to the third question. Lattimore told them he feels close to 100 percent, and is getting ready for the start of the 49ers offseason workout program.
"The left knee, it feels like nothing ever happened," Lattimore told The Associated Press by phone. "The right knee, it feels great. Both feel balanced. I've got my speed and I rarely get any soreness" after workouts.
Lattimore tore his left ACL in 2011, and then tore his right ACL in 2012. The 49ers grabbed him in the fourth round of last year's draft, and placed him on the NFI list all season. He got some practice time late in the season, but was shelved after that.
The 49ers can begin their offseason workout program as soon as April 21. When they hit the field, we'll have a slightly better idea of the status of guys like Lattimore, Tank Carradine, Bruce Miller and others. The first couple weeks won't tell us a lot since it is only strength, conditioning and rehab work, but we'll get a few thoughts. Then, when they move into the teaching portions, a couple weeks in, we'll really start to get an idea of things.
Lattimore and Carradine are the two guys we'll all be paying particular attention to throughout the offseason. Both were sidelined with injuries this season, and the team is looking at both as big keys to the future. Even though they would operate in reserve roles in 2014, getting back on the field and contributing would be a crucial step toward eventually earning starting nods at their respective positions.