The San Francisco 49ers kick off their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, which will wrap up the 2014 offseason workout program. The minicamp is three days long, and once it wraps up, we'll enter the barren wildnerness until training camp starts on July 23. Soak in the football now, because after Thursday, we'll spend our days hoping and praying nobody does anything stupid before training camp!
Last month, I broke down the rules of minicamp in preparation for the rookie minicamp. That breakdown covers practice time, but there will be much more extensive media availability for the 3-day minicamp. I'll actually be in the Bay Area for the week, and will be heading down to minicamp Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
On Tuesday, Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman will speak with the media. On Wednesday, Jim Harbaugh and Vic Fangio will meet with the media. On Thursday, Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick will get the media session. Through the entire three day period, there will also be locker room availability, and the media will get some time on the practice field before team drills begin. The locker room availability does not guarantee specific players, so we'll see who's around each day. But if you have questions of Harbaugh, Roman, Fangio, or Kaepernick, I will certainly do my best to get them answered.
There are a few notable storylines to track as we get ready for camp. The biggest will be the two potential holdouts. Alex Boone and Vernon Davis both skipped OTAs, with both rumored to be looking for new contracts. Davis has said he will be at minicamp, so now we just wait and see if this comes to pass. Boone has been completely silent about his situation. He faces potential fines totaling as much as $69,455. If he were to skip any of training camp next month, he would face as much as $30,000 a day in fines. We'll see who blinks first in this little standoff.
For the players that we know will be there (or at least have no reason to think they won't be there), the 3-day minicamp won't make anybody's starting case. Of course, a poor performance could be enough to knock somebody down a peg for now. Here are a few players that might very well have something to gain from this 3-day minicamp. Well, everybody has something to gain, but here are just a few of note:
Brandon Lloyd: He has been an OTA star thus far, so he'll want to finish the program strong. Right now he would seem to have a lot of solid momentum heading into training camp.
Darryl Morris: He will likely continue to get second string nickel back work in minicamp. Jimmie Ward is expected to be ready to compete at training camp, so Morris will look to impress before training camp. He could be right in the thick of things for even some dime work once camp gets here.
Carlos Hyde, Marcus Lattimore: The running back depth chart would seemingly start with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, but Hyde and Lattimore are two guys looking to show they have the playbook down. Hyde is a rookie, so it's new to him. Lattimore has had a year to learn, but he's finally getting out on the field with some real work. Both have a lot to gain in training camp.
It's more about "skill position" players when it comes to non-contact work. The offensive and defensive line can show they know their assignments, but they can't show off the physical aspects of their technique. Training camp and preseason gets us closer to figuring that side of things out. This applies to much of the defense. The linebackers can't really get too actively involved in things. Of course, practice will be helpful to see who is getting extra work in coverage of tight ends. We can't really assess how the players are performing in that coverage per se, but we can at least see who is getting that kind of work.
All in all, this is mostly another box to check off in the offseason road map. We really just want to see this team get to training camp and the preseason. Then real football will be back!