The 49ers opened up their third week of training camp with a few more bumps and bruises and held their seventh padded practice in a row. Camp is a grind and the team is taking no risks in prolonging any nagging injuries through the preseason. They are giving vets sporadic days off and not pushing players with minor injuries back into the fold. The good thing is that currently the roster stands at 90 players so several younger players and/or players on the bubble of making the 53 will get increased reps as training camp continues.
Here's what we learned about the offense at training camp 8/5 (Tomorrow we will focus on the defense).
This is going to get serious if it isn’t enough already. How many receivers can the 49ers carry into the regular season? Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin are interchangeable as WR1 and WR2 but who is next? Dante Pettis has flashed in camp and could never be stashed on the practice squad. Aaron Burbridge has been rising in the ranks and is a big contributor on special teams as is Victor Bolden. Kendrick Bourne has been improving, and has speed and athleticism. Trent Taylor is great in the slot and gets seperation with his footwork. Aldrick Robinson has a history with Kyle Shanahan. Max McCaffrey and Steven Dunbar are the tallest of the group at 6’2 and 6’3 respectively. There are going to be some tough decisions ahead for this group.
The running backs
Like with the wide receivers, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida appear to have the RB1 and RB2 locked up. After that, it’s a mystery. Joe Williams has shown his speed and agility during camp but has he shown enough dedication to football to prove he can keep it up for an entire season and more? There were questions last season how much he wanted it after stepping away from football one time already. And then there’s Raheem Mostert who is a special teams ace. He has played in the system and is second in years of experience, only to McKinnon. Who will make the 53 is a mystery.
The offensive line
With Joshua Garnett out for at least a week and Alan Knott on a personal leave due to the passing of his father, the team had to bring in another option for the preseason; rookie Chris Gonzalez. While he will likely not be starting, he will get some reps in during the preseason and training camp. The strongholds on the line are obviously Joe Staley at LT, Weston Richburg at center and rookie Mike McGlinchey at RT. Laken Tomlinson has been in with the ones at left guard but the right guard position is somewhat in flux. Jonathan Cooper did finally work his way back into one on one work which is a good sign but there is some concern about the health of Garnett’s knee.
The tight ends
The health of the tight ends has been a concern for the team as well, and as a result, Wes Saxon was added to the roster. With Cole Hikutini and Cole Wick both sidelined with injuries, it’s a good thing that George Kittle is back to being healthy again. Kittle has already been a dominant part of the offensive plan as Garrett Celek has been. While Kyle Juszczyk is technically a full back, he does work with this group as well as the RB’s group.
The film room
Kyle Shanahan is voracious when it comes to watching game film. We’ve heard how special his break downs of plays are from several players from Joe Staley to Jimmy Garoppolo but George Kittle explained in even further depth how serious it is.