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49ers in Five: Offensive line struggles in loss to Texans

Kyle Shanahan says “You’ve got to keep working on that continuity throughout the year.”

Everything you need to know in five minutes

The 49ers’ entire offensive line was a turnstile last night in Houston. Almost every single linemen were beaten almost immediately on at least one snap, and some along the interior lost that way far more than once. It was as ugly a performance from a Shanahan offensive line as we’ve seen here in five years.

Whether it was pass blocking or run blocking, the big uglies came up short last night. After the game, Kyle Shanahan tried to explain the issue.

“It’s been sporadic each week. Hopefully we’ll get Trent [Williams] back, hopefully we’ll get [Mike] McGlinchey back. We’ve been mixing these young guys in there. It’s been good for them to get a lot of reps. You always want more, but we’ve got 17 days here to Week 1 so hopefully we’ll get some guys back. If you don’t you’ve got to keep working on that continuity throughout the year.”

It could have been a slip of the tongue, but there hasn’t been anything reported about an injury to Trent Williams, so it’s unclear at this point why they’d be hoping to get him back. The other strange thing about these comments is it’s unclear who Shanahan is counting on getting back when it comes to the interior of the offensive line. Daniel Brunskill’s been injured, but he’s hardly a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

It’s possible that Spencer Burford develops as the year goes along, but Aaron Banks is already supposed to be a year into his development, and he played a hell of a lot more like a fourth-round pick than a guy taken 48th overall last night.

I understand that this was a preseason game, but that doesn’t completely dismiss what we saw in Houston. After all, no player on the 49ers went out there hoping to have a bad game simply because it didn’t count, right? They weren’t trying to get dominated like that, and yet, they did. Against the Texans, no less, a team that will compete for a top ten draft pick.

There will be ups and downs with every young player on the roster throughout the season, but yesterday was definitely a down day, for sure. You could argue things would look a lot rosier if a certain quarterback wasn’t on the roster and that money was used to franchise Laken Tomlinson, but I digress.

For now, let’s hope things trend upward again for the start of the regular season in just over two weeks.

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