San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula announced his starting offensive line, at least for the time being. Tomsula, who said after the Week 3 preseason game against the Denver Broncos that he wasn't concerned and that the coaching staff had a plan, has inserted Marcus Martin as the starting center and Jordan Devey as the starting right guard.
From left to right, the line will be Joe Staley at left tackle, Alex Boone at left guard, Martin at center, Devey at right guard and Erik Pears at right tackle.
Obviously, this is less than ideal given what the 49ers have put on the field in recent years. Boone shifting to left guard was already known and makes those two spots a definite strength, but many felt he might be better-suited taking over the right tackle spot to spread out the top players on the line to improve it as a whole.
The 49ers went a different way, and only time will tell if it was the right move. Martin was solid (EDIT: I should note that he did struggle, but ultimately wasn't the "problem" on the line last year, he did see improvement) at center last season, though he was a definitive step down from Daniel Kilgore, who will start this season on the physically unable to perform list.
Devey was recently acquired in a trade from the New England Patriots and is not well-regarded for his play. He's played just 32 snaps for the 49ers in the preseason, and his skill set seems to be that he's a decent run blocker and a poor pass blocker. I'm honestly very surprised to see him starting ... it's actually quite disappointing. Devey is a known commodity at this stage, and there's no reason to suspect he'll improve.
Pears is basically a necessary evil at this stage. He's a bad pass blocker who has occasionally looked good over the course of his career but unlike Devey, he doesn't even run block well. I feel like he's been out-played by rookie Trenton Brown, who himself hasn't looked stellar at tackle either. But the 49ers have limited options and this is what they're rolling with.
This probably won't be pretty.