The San Francisco 49ers welcome rookies and quarterbacks to training camp on Monday, July 27 and veterans on Friday, July 31. They then kick things off in earnest when they hold their first practice on Saturday, August 1. The team's first preseason game is not until August 15, but in the meantime, some semblance of football is almost back in our lives!
Thus far we have looked at the depth chart bubble watch, and salary cap questions about each position. I wanted to close out the offseason by figuring out the questions left to answer for each position as we head into training camp. We won't get all the answers we seek in training camp and the preseason, but we will get a much better handle on what this team looks like heading into the 2015 season.
The idea behind this is just to figure out what we are going to be looking for in training camp reports and preseason games. When final roster cuts are made, we will look back at these questions, and ahead to questions for the regular season.
The 49ers outside linebackers feature as much depth as any position on the roster. The group heads into training camp with Aldon Smith available from day one, Ahmad Brooks hopefully a little more motivated last year, Aaron Lynch coming off a strong rookie season, and Eli Harold bringing serious potential in his rookie season. And even Corey Lemonier says he has figured out some of his problems from last year.
There are so many intriguing options, particularly in the pass rush. I don't think there are a ton of questions, but they are important in terms of how this group rotates, and how each player is used. Here are some of the questions for the outside linebackers heading into camp:
1. Who will be starting opposite Aldon Smith in the base defense?
2. How will the team rotate players when they switch to the nickel?
3. What kind of work will Corey Lemonier get on defense vs. special teams?
4. How frequently will we see the base defense vs. nickel vs. other packages? The answer for this is probably not particularly useful considering the defense will probably be a bit vanilla in the preseason.
Feel free to throw out any of your own questions for the group. We won't address every one of these position group questions every single week, but I do plan on checking back on these as August moves along. Again, this is not about what questions face the group in the regular season. Rather, it is about what we can learn from the six weeks of training camp and preseason games.