The San Francisco 49ers offensive line has been in dire need of help since the season began and injuries have begun to pile up on the group. Against the Atlanta Falcons, Zane Beadles was called upon for emergency center duties once both Daniel Kilgore and Marcus Martin went down.
The injuries mean 2016 fifth round pick, John Theus may be getting his first start somewhere along the offensive line. If he doesn’t start, there is a good chance we see him taking a few more snaps. Given how the 49ers season has turned into a lost cause, seeing what the rookie has learned and currently brings to the table will do wonders to evaluate things for next season.
Theus played for the Georgia bulldogs and was part of an offensive line that had the Bulldogs ranked first in the SEC for rushing yards in 2014. Given the 49ers’ love for running the ball, maybe he can help start something on this line.
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They just love coming to watch. I don’t understand, watching me on the sidelines but they enjoy it.
So 13 snaps, give or take, how did you feel things went?
Definitely a lot of room for improvement. Started off a little rough but settled in, got into the swing of things. Big challenge this week, gotta get ready for the L.A. front four.
You go into this thinking you might be the starter?
I’m just preparing this week like I do every week. Just trying to be ready to play, same thing I do every week. I’m not exactly sure what the lineup is going to be, probably have to ask Coach Kelly or Coach Flats [San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Pat Flaherty] on that one, but yea, just trying to prepare every week and be ready to play.
So you’re ready to play right or left tackle?
Yeah, whatever they ask me to do whether it’s guard, tackle, center; I’ve got a lot of reps throughout the season on all positions. Ready to go wherever they need me.
So you worked across the board?
Yeah, I played across the board. Throughout the whole process of the season, whether it be scout team or offense or whatever it may be.
When you first got here what was part of your game that you think you needed to improve the most?
I think my strength which is something I worked with the strength staff a lot here with still got a lot of improvement on that. I know that was definitely one of the knocks on me coming out. I know my weaknesses and I know what I have to work on so that’s a big thing for me to keep working on, especially going into the offseason.
Have you seen improvement strength-wise?
Yeah, absolutely. Being in this program with the strength coaches we have here, definitely fortunate to come to a place like this. They are a developmental group. They like to get guys and develop them. I’ve definitely seen myself get stronger throughout the year, which is different because past seasons, I haven’t gotten stronger throughout the year but out here I have.
Do you see that on reps? Bench numbers?
Yeah you can see it on bench numbers or it translates onto the field. I anchor a guy and and ‘ah! those bench reps were paying off’. So you can see it on the field or the weight room
How do you view what Zane Beadles did last week in his versatility as a guy like yourself trying to play multiple positions?
It’s unreal. It’s one thing to go from guard to tackle to center, but it’s completely different to go to the level he did it at. He was our left tackle against one of the best pass rushers ever, Dwight Freeney, and he handled the spin move just fine. When coach says, “Hey, you’re at center,” he does just that. It’s just a testament to the way he prepares each week and how he works.