The San Francisco 49ers could be looking at an offensive line shakeup just one game deep into the 2017 season. After the offensive line allowed four snaps against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that backup guard Laken Tomlinson will get a chance to compete for a starting spot prior to the Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Tomlinson is listed as the backup left guard and the biggest issue on the line is Zane Beadles, the starter at that position. Beadles has always been an average blocker and for a time, that was suitable for the 49ers. But they’re trying to build now, and Beadles was far below average against Carolina.
How below average? Well, I took a look at the four sacks allowed (a fifth that was negated due to a defensive penalty, as well) with gifs for your perusal, if you don’t have a weak stomach.
Shanahan also said that he felt like Hoyer didn’t hold onto the ball for too long against the Panthers, and I agree with him. Hoyer’s struggles were related to poor play from the offensive line — if that is going to be a constant, then it’s up to Shanahan to call plays that require getting the ball away faster.
On Monday, Shanahan said that Tomlinson “should be more ready” after two weeks in the system.
“But, any time you ask a guy to do something that he's never done in college or in the NFL, it's a little tough with few reps,” Shanahan said. “He'll have more reps this week now being two weeks in a row of him getting those reps. Usually the more reps a guy gets, the better chance he has.”
Shanahan was then asked to confirm what he meant by saying Tomlinson is being asked to do something he’s never done before.
“Just the type of way we block,” Shanahan said. “The type of way we play. You look at O-Linemen and schemes, all schemes are different. When you've been in more gap-oriented schemes where you've never really had to run that far, I can't really say the techniques, but he's never used the techniques that we've ever asked him to. He's definitely got the ability to and that's why we're excited to have him here and we're just trying to work with him and get him comfortable to do it and put him in an NFL game for the first time in a while.”
Tomlinson will get work at both guard spots, according to Shanahan. But realistically, Beadles is the one with the least amount of job security at the moment.