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 inside linebackers have seen all sorts of upheaval over the last year and a half. NaVorro Bowman missed out on the 2014 season while rehabbing his knee injury. Patrick Willis suffered a debilitating toe injury that eventually cost him his career. Chris Borland emerged as a potential star in the making, only to retire after the season due to concerns over head injuries.
We can be pretty certain NaVorro Bowman and Michael Wilhoite will start at inside linebacker, but there are still plenty of questions to be answered. Here are some of those questions for the inside linebackers heading into camp:
1. How will Bowman look when he hits the field in practice and then for his first preseason game?
2. Will there be an open competition for the other starting spot, or is this Wilhoite's job, no questions asked at this point?
3. Who will be the primary backup?
4. What will we see from Moody this year? Jim Tomsula praised his work in the offseason program, but will that actually mean anything?
5. Will Desmond Bishop get more than just special teams work with any regularity?
6. Where is Shayne Skov in his development?
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.