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Oh, Hey There! Why you might not have to worry about the offensive line

“The 49ers made a Super Bowl with Ben Garland at center and Mike Person at right guard”

NFL: OCT 24 Colts at 49ers Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The retirement of Alex Mack brings with it all sorts of questions about the 49ers’ offensive line. While the team is quick the point to players like Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Daniel Brunskill, and Jaylon Moore, many fans have questions about whether a rebuilt offensive line will be good enough to keep the 49ers in contention in the NFC. On today’s Oh, Hey There! podcast, Javier Vega and Leo Luna took a deep dive into the offensive line.

Everything is up in the air at center right now. So far Jake Brendel has taken snaps with the starters at OTAs, but he is far from proven. In four years in the NFL, Brendel has only taken 166 snaps at center. Daniel Brunskill has had more time than Brendel at center, but he struggled in pass protection. In his only season with extensive time at center in 2020, Daniel Brunskill allowed 31 pressures. For context, Alex Mack allowed just 12 pressures last year. In 2019 when both Weston Richburg and Ben Garland played center, they allowed just 18 pressures combined.

Despite that, however, Javier Vega doesn’t think the offensive line is cause for concern.

“Part of me is not very worried about the offensive line. People are going to freak out when I say that but the 49ers made a Super Bowl with Ben Garland at center and Mike Person at right guard. I think the gap between those two guys and guys like Jake Brendel and Daniel Brunskill is small enough to keep the offense afloat.”

Ideally, you’d like a seasoned veteran at every spot to help an inexperienced Trey Lance, but that just isn’t realistic in a salary cap league. Ultimately it will come down to whether the interior of the offensive line can at least play up to the league average. If the team can find some combination of players that can merely hold their own most of the time, Kyle Shanahan and the rest of the talent in the office will pick up the slack.

Other topics in today’s show

  • Deebo Samuel is attending minicamp. What does that mean for his long term status (3:43)
  • How does Aaron Donald’s contract extension impact Nick Bosa? (10:13)
  • When should the 49ers pay Bosa, now or later? (16:49)
  • Will Jimmy Garoppolo set foot in the 49ers’ facility again? (19:23)
  • Did the 49ers treat Jimmy well? (25:03)
  • Why the offensive line might not be an issue for SF (32:26)
  • How Frank Gore did something for Leo, he’ll never forget (43:03)
  • Gore’s retirement marks the end of a great 49ers era (46:17)