49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR Wednesday morning and spoke about what he expects from the starters and shared his thoughts on the offensive line. Shanahan said the offense would get a couple of drives in the final preseason game Thursday against the Texans:
“I just want them to go out and have a little bit of the continuity of the offense. They haven’t played since the first game of the preseason. After this, we have 17 days, I believe. Something like that until they play again.
That’s such a long time that I want them to go out there and just get in there a little bit. But I’m trying to get them out pretty fast. My goal is for them to stay healthy, and as long as they do that, I’ll be happy.”
Health is the only thing that matters Thursday. Colton McKivitz will start at right tackle for Mike McGlinchey. That means the Niners could be staring at four different starters up front if McGlinchey isn’t back for Week 1. Shanahan spoke about the inexperience along the line:
“You always wish you had more experience. You always wish you had just five Pro Bowlers in there who have been playing a while, but this is part of the league. Losing a good player like Laken in free agency, we had to step up and get some guys.
I’m excited for Banks and what he’s done this offseason. I was excited to get a guy in here like Burford in the fourth round, with his ability and stuff, that he has the ability to at least start at that position. And then just having guys like Dan Brunskill, who’s done it here for the last few years as a solid guy that we can rely on and put in there at any time if those guys aren’t ready to go.
And then I like some of these young guys who have been competing here since we’ve gotten them. It’s still not settled yet. We’ll see how this game ends up, how these next 17 days go, and hopefully, we’ll get Mike [McGlinchey] back. And hopefully, Jaylon Moore will be healthy. And I’m hoping we’ll have a group of nine guys that we know are going to have to help us throughout the year. But it’s definitely nice having Trent there over on the left side.”
Shanahan knows the potential of this offense rests on the shoulders of the offensive line. You don’t need five Trent Williams’ to move the ball. But there has to be a certain level of worry with two first-year starters in Banks and Burford.
Shanahan’s play-calling will tell us how he feels about his line. So far in the preseason, we’ve seen more five and seven-step drops than before as the offense pushes the ball down the field. Above anything else Shanahan says, that tells me he trusts his players.