I know the photo in the header is from last year’s win in Los Angeles but it seemed fitting with the San Francisco 49ers facing the Rams in their final game of 2017. There are also never that many pictures of the offensive line in the photo editing tools we use. Such is the life of most linemen like Daniel Kilgore.
Kilgore will be a free agent at the season’s end and he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in his seven years with team. He spoke about how head coach Kyle Shanahan goes over run game film with the offensive line on Friday to pin point where the big blocks will be, facing their upcoming opponent.
It’s huge for an offensive line to see that, especially from the head coach or offensive coordinator, however you want to look at him at that point, and know that he has the trust in the offensive line to control their number one ranked defense up front. It says a lot about the front five guys that we have, tight ends included.
Of course part of the team’s new found success is Jimmy Garoppolo having the ball in his hands. When asked if Garoppolo makes Kilgore’s job easier he replied:
Yeah, he’s been great to work with. He gets rid of the ball, he converts on third down. He keeps the offense on the field and the defense off of it. So yeah, I’d say he helps everybody. He makes everybody’s job a little bit easier.
The most poignant moment of the interview, however, is when Kilgore was asked if the fan noise was reminiscent of Candlestick. He remarked how the players had to get the crowd to quiet down when they were close to the end zone with a smile. Kilgore then got a little somber when mentioning that his time with the 49ers could be coming to end.
Knowing potentially being my last Levi’s game it’s really special. They brought it again today and Christmas Eve you wouldn’t expect that many people with the holidays and families and everything. But yeah, it was awesome to see the crowd get loud and that one time we had to quiet them down when we were on offense. Pretty special. They were out there in full force today.
As good as Garoppolo is, the interior of the offensive line is a point of need during the offseason. Kilgore has had good days and bad, but much of the time a front office wants to get thrown picks on the field, be it from free agency or the draft. Panthers guard Andrew Norwell is a free agent that should get a good look from the personnel department. There are a few centers that will become free agents this season, but as in 2016, they price tags for O-linemen will likely be high with so many teams in need. The offseason should prove to be very interesting for the 49ers.