Good morning everyone. We are at the part of the off season where there really is not any one specific event going on that I could pinpoint for the content of these nuggets. So on days like these I like to pick one of the links that I thought was the most interesting and talk about that. Today, the Matt Barrows piece on Quinton Dial caught my interest, because - and maybe this isn't going to look good on my end - It hadn't really hit me how decimated our defensive line is. According to Barrows, in the most recent mini camp, the starting defensive line was Glenn Dorsey and Dial as the ends with Ian Williams at nose. It is possible that Arik Armstead who is not participating as of now, could start, but I think we all suspect he is going to take some time.
So what does that starting unit mean? I could be coming as incredibly stupid right now, but I actually wasn't a fan of the previous line from a run stopping standpoint. What? but that unit was incredible at stuffing opposing running games! Yeah, I know. The numbers aside from maybe last season, do not support my opinion here, but I just didn't think the line of Justin Smith, whoever was starting at nose, and Ray McDonald were all that great of a run stuffing unit. Justin Smith was a great all around lineman and McDonald was really good, but the lack of beef really showed when they really needed it. Like, say, against Seattle any number of times over the last few years. That unit was really good at stuffing the Packers, Saints, and Patriots of the world who - at the time - didn't really want to run anyways. But against a team of equal or greater beef and toughness, they had trouble stuffing people.
This hypothetical line that looks like it has a good chance of starting is almost assuredly not going to be as well rounded as its predecessor. But I think it has a very good chance of being better against the run. It is going to need to be as well because the surrounding talent is not going to be as good. If I am being honest with myself, the 49ers are probably going to be lucky to be mediocre next season, and as we know, even good defenses can get run all over if they are on the field three quarters of the game. But I think this line has talent, even if no one on it can realistically expect to be as good as Justin Smith at his height. To the links.