The San Francisco 49ers rotated three different inside linebackers next to NaVorro Bowman all offseason and through the preseason, and the competition does not seem to be complete. Or maybe it is, and this is what we’ll see all season. I don’t know, but it’s not something I recall seeing frequently.
Defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil met with the media on Wednesday, and he was asked what the plan was for the ILBs next to Bowman moving forward.
“They’ll all play. We need them all to play. We need all three of them to win. We have a plan right now going into Week 1. I’ll let you guys figure out that plan on Monday night. I’m not going to sit here and tell it to you now. But, we need [LB] Mike Wilhoite, we need [LB] Ray-Ray Armstrong and we need [LB] Gerald Hodges to be a good defense.”
The 49ers unofficial depth chart listed Armstrong and Hodges in a co-starter role, with Wilhoite behind them. O’Neil brushed that aside:
“I don’t buy into that. Those depth charts are written in sand. So, that’s one package, one personnel group. We could have eight different personnel groups up in any given game. So, I don’t get into that.”
Considering me a little bit curious as to what we see Monday night. I still think we could see one guy get the bulk of the work, because I don’t think anybody would put it past a coach to not give away the whole truth in a press conference. But maybe we see a rotation. I don’t know if that would work well, but it at least means potential rest for some of them.