The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of high profile position competitions and storylines heading into training camp in three weeks. Competitions at cornerback, LEO, tight end, offensive guard, center, right tackle, and wide receiver are among the many to watch at training camp. On the injury front, the most notable are how NaVorro Bowman is looking after his torn Achilles, and where Reuben Foster is at in his recovery from rotator cuff surgery earlier this year.
What strikes you as the more under-the-radar storylines heading into camp? It’s hard to say what’s under-the-radar given how much we get into the nitty gritty, but there are a few the national media will overlook.
One might be the offensive line as a whole. The competition for center, guard, and tackle are all on our radar. Jeremy Zuttah and Daniel Kilgore are competing for the center job. Joshua Garnett, Zane Beadles, and Brandon Fusco are competing for the two guard spots. And Trent Brown is looking to hold off Garry Gilliam for the right tackle role.
While each individual competition is notable, the overall work of the line together is a storyline that will be something to watch for a couple reasons. First, is the injury issue. Over the past three years, injuries have ravaged the group. There have been some questionable talent decisions, but injuries did not help matters. Second, is the new scheme, as the team moves into a zone blocking scheme. Chip Kelly talked last year about how they mixed and matched blocking schemes, but this year, it’s safe to say they will be more fully focused on the zone. These issues have not been ignored, but I think it has flown a little under the radar, primarily because the team did not make huge splashes at the position.
What are your under-the-radar storylines that might deserve further inspection?