The San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant coaches were available to the media during OTAs, and offensive line coach John Benton answered questions about his group.
Note from the author about the video (here if you don’t see it above):
Unfortunately, media gets access to all of the assistant coaches at once for about 20 minutes so there is some picking and choosing who you want to talk to. As a result, my videos may start in the middle of an answer as it does here. I did confirm with Matt Maiocco that the first question was about rookie Mike McGlinchey and how he was progressing thus far through OTAs. There is also a break in the video at the end because I was going to move on to another coach, but then I thought the answer about the scuffle would be interesting.
Benton has thus far been impressed with rookie and first round pick Mike McGlinchey. He reports that he's already at the detail stage of learning his role on the offensive line. He explains that McGlinchey’s maturity and his application of what he’s been coached to do on the field has impressed him.
It seems the coaching staff has been keeping players at the same position through OTAs for consistency, giving the players the best opportunity to shine. That has been the case with Joshua Garnett who Benton says has really changed his physique coming out of being on IR. Benton adds that Garnett has been playing “balls out, flying around” throughout OTAs and is getting better everyday. He is in a head to head competition with eight year veteran Mike Person on the right side at guard.
Benton warns that things could change in training camp when six-year veteran Jonathan Cooper comes back. All three have played on both sides and there will be a rotation between them come August. They will have to fight it out to see who will start and who could be the swing.
Benton seems even more impressed with Weston Richburg. As Kyle Shanahan has stated, Richburg’s athleticism will really help the ability of the offense and give the game plan more versatility. Benton says Richburg has already shown his athleticism as well as stating that he probably knew the offense before he stepped foot in the building. “He’s a true pro” and already fits in with the group well.
Finally when Benton is asked about the scuffle between Solomon Thomas and Richburg on the field he seems to enjoy that it happened even while he is explaining that they all got a lecture about it happening the day before as well. Honestly, if there wasn’t at least a little skirmish, we should all be a little worried. Jimmy Garoppolo says it gets him fired up, and it should do the same for all of us.