Our weekly 49ers chat was held on Tuesday, and we’re going to revisit a couple of questions that were posted during that time.
One question was answered on the chat; the other was not.
Do you think the offensive line is the biggest question mark going into training camp considering free agent losses, past injuries, and changes to coaching staff/techniques? (HeathMIS)
There’s no question there are more unsettled issues with the offensive line than with any other position group on the team. And that is certainly not good news.
The offensive line -- more than any position on the team -- must have starters in place and working together to build chemistry. The 49ers’ offseason program has not gone well in that regard.
It’s possible that only one of their eventual starters is lining up with the regulars and learning the system and techniques new line coach Chris Foerster is implementing this offseason.
Joe Staley has been there up at left tackle. He is assured to be the team’s starter this season. Neither right guard Alex Boone nor right tackle Anthony Davis is taking part in the team’s offseason program. Boone and Davis have decided to spend the voluntary part of the offseason working out on their own programs, according to sources.
[RELATED: Boone to skip 49ers' voluntary activities]
Center Daniel Kilgore, who played well before his season ended due to a fractured leg, has yet to be cleared to get back on the field. Marcus Martin, in the competition to win the job, has been getting the most reps at that position.
The 49ers must settle on a starter at left guard to replace Mike Iupati, who signed a lucrative free-agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Andrew Tiller worked with the first team last week, but Brandon Thomas and Erik Pears are in the competition. Pears is working at right guard due to Boone’s absence. Rookie Trent Brown lines up at right tackle in place of Davis.
There might also be a lot of questions about the starters on the defensive line, but that’s not a big deal. The defensive line will employ a rotation, so there will be a lot of different combinations used. The offensive line, by and large, must be set. And that group is mostly missing their opportunity to get valuable work together during the offseason.
Will the 49ers keep LB Brooks or dump him after June 1? (Kezarguy)
Teams are no longer bound by the June 1 date. A player can be cut with a post-June 1 designation in order to maximize the salary-cap savings for that particular season.
On the day last week that practice was open to the media, Ahmad Brooks looked to be in much better shape and moving quicker than training camp of last year. After losing so many playmakers on defense this offseason, there is no indication the 49ers plan to cut him -- unless others clearly show they can do the same job at a fraction of his cost.
But the one issue that could lead to a parting of ways with Brooks is the off-the-field matter. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the actions of Ray McDonald and Brooks in connection with the December incident that prompted McDonald's release. Both were named in a civil suit.
If Brooks faces a criminal charge in connection with the sexual-assault allegation, there will be outside pressure on the 49ers to part ways with him.