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 cornerbacks are an intriguing group. The unit will feature two new starting cornerbacks on the outside, following the departures of Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox. There are fairly significant questions about every single player in that group, and yet, there is a lot of potential. Injuries are the big storyline, with Tramaine Brock, Jimmie Ward, Keith Reaser and Kenneth Acker all coming off injuries that cost them some or all of 2014.
The big question will be whether or not they remain healthy, and then it is a question how the depth chart will shake out during that time. The 49ers defensive backs coach indicated there is no depth chart in place yet. In minicamp and OTAs, players rotated in and out of the first team unit. If Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright are completely healthy later this week, my guess is they end up with a lot of first team work. However, we could see a lot of rotation in that group.
Here are some of those questions for the cornerbacks heading into camp:
1. How will the depth chart transition over the two weeks of camp and into the first preseason game?
2. How soon will Jimmie Ward be back on the field?
3. What kind of speed does Keith Reaser have in his return to football following his 2013 ACL tear?
4. Will Kenneth Acker build on a strong 2014 preseason?
5. Can Tramaine Brock stay healthy through August?
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.