The San Francisco 49ers rotated their right guards on Sunday, a rare decision considering the chemistry one usually wants in an offensive line. Jordan Devey handled the starting work the first four weeks, but his struggles forced the 49ers hand. They promoted Andrew Tiller and split snaps right down the middle, 34 apiece. Oscar Aparicio broke down the film earlier this week, and in all aspects, he saw Tiller out-performing Devey. He was solid as a run blocker, and Oscar was a big fan of his work in pass protection.
Oscar talked about Tiller using an effective punch to neutralize Cullen Jenkins. On Wednesday, Tiller spoke with the media, and he talked about how he has learned to improve his handwork. He said he used to use a rice bucket, dating back to college, and now he does a lot of forearm exercises. He acknowledged that people have complimented his work, but he also made it clear that he knew he had a lot of room for growth.
Yea, I was getting compliments every day, but I don't let those go to my head. I know I still make mistakes every day, and the object is to go out the next day and correct what you messed up on the previous day.
Tiller said he was informed last Friday that he would be promoted to the active roster, but he says he did not know his specific role heading into the game. He said he just went in when his number was called. When asked about the plans for this week, he said he did not know yet, he'd just find out through the week.
Jim Tomsula was asked on Wednesday about the rotation. He complimented both guys, but would not go into details on what the plan was for this week.
Again, we covered that last week, or the other day. Just talking about [G Andrew] Tiller is a guy that I've been watching for a while and just watching him go about his business. And, we had a couple of things that we needed him to work on and he had been doing that. Saw the improvement and was able to get him up and get him some reps on the field. So, he did a good a job. He did. And, [OL Jordan] Devey is getting better every week. He continues to get better. So, we're feeling good with those two guys.
My guess is we continue to see a rotation, as ridiculous as that seems at this point. Devey had a decent enough Week 1 performance, but he has consistently struggled since then. Andrew Tiller had a fantastic preseason, and while it was against lower level competition, he was fairly dominant against that competition. He looked better in his Week 5 snaps, so at some point the team has to make the switch and move on. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.