As the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos gear up for Week 2 of NFL preseason action, Niner Noise sat down to chat five topics with FanSided’s Predominantly Orange.
The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for their second game of the 2017 preseason — a home bout with the Denver Broncos, preceded by a joint practice at the Niners’ facility next to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
To prep for the game, and to see how things are going the next time zone over, Niner Noise spoke with Ty Walden, who is one of the site experts over at FanSided’s Broncos site, Predominantly Orange.
In a way, the Niners owe some gratitude to the Broncos for all that’s happened in San Francisco this offeseason.
San Francisco 49ers
Read on, as Walden answers the questions asked of him.
NN: A number of 49ers fans, including myself, feel the Niners owe some thanks to John Elway and the Broncos for helping get San Francisco’s rebuild back on track. Niners general manager John Lynch certainly has his Denver ties, as does Vice President of Player Personnel Adam Peters. Talking with some Broncos fans when I was in Denver a few weeks back, a number were actually hoping for good things in San Francisco this season and beyond, almost as if they had some interest in the 49ers efforts. Do you feel this way, and are you thinking the Niners are building something in Denver’s mold?
"PO: The only thing I have against San Francisco was the 55-10 beatdown they gave the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Luckily, I was just recently born and did not get into football until way later. But I am sure the fans were not happy with that one.Joking aside, I am hoping for good things in San Francisco. It was just a shock to me that they are at this stage despite playing in the Super Bowl five years ago. But anything can happen in the NFL. I am very interested to see how they develop. They have a good head coach in Kyle Shanahan. And I am sure John Lynch has gone to Elway for advice on certain things.I think the 49ers are doing what they can to get back on track. And it appears as if they are doing well. It will be interesting to see how this season goes for them."
NN: What are your outside takes on San Francisco’s offseason thus far? Are there any draft picks or free-agent pickups you think might be of the franchise-changing variety?
"PO: The one draft selection for the 49ers that intrigues me is Reuben Foster. There were whispers going around that the Broncos were considering drafting Foster. However, it appears as if offensive line was a more pressing manner. Which was completely understandable. I am interested to see how he does.The Broncos and 49ers made a trade during Day Three of the Draft. The Broncos sent Kapri Bibbs to the 49ers and their fifth round selection in order to obtain the 49ers fourth round selection next season. Kapri Bibbs is a solid running back. However, there was such a crowded backfield in Denver, he did not get a whole lot of options. Once Bibbs gets some open space, he could really make an impact and get the ball downfield. His screen pass for a touchdown against the Raiders last season showed his patience, running abilities, and speed."
NN: While the 49ers quarterback situation is far from perfect, the Broncos have their own question marks under center with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. Lynch is clearly the future, but are you worried about him not earning starting reps yet? How big a problem do you think this could be in 2017?
"PO: Trust me, the quarterback situation is all I have been asked about from other Broncos fans and other team’s fans. In all honesty, I am not that worried. However, Lynch will be starting for the Broncos on Saturday. If he does not show that he is ready to take the reigns and struggles with the first team, I believe the job will go to Trevor Siemian for 2017.As far as Siemian, I would like to see him take some chances and throw deep this season. A lot of fans get onto him because he plays it safe and throws 3-7 yards. But we saw in Cincinnati and against Kansas City last year that he can throw the deep ball.I know our quarterback situation is not good right now, but I trust that John Elway and Vance Joseph will choose the quarterback that gives the team the best chance to win."
NN: It’s an overdone issue, especially here in Northern California, but Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned. There were hints of him joining the Broncos a year ago but nothing happened. Considering the Broncos’ quarterbacking concerns, why do you think Elway steered clear of him this offseason?
"PO: In all honesty, I am shocked that Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned as well. I mean, the Dolphins dragged Jay Cutler out of retirement instead of reaching out to Kaepernick, which is surprising.I honestly believe that John Elway is alright with the quarterbacks he has on the roster. I have heard time in and time out that he believes that Siemian or Lynch are the future of this franchise. Now, if it is revealed that both quarterbacks struggle, I would not be surprised if there was a move made at quarterback in 2018. It could be there where Kaepernick could resurface.For the time being, it seems as if Siemian and Lynch are enough. The Broncos even drafted Chad Kelly, who could be an interesting name to keep an eye on in 2018. Kyle Sloter even showed that he has potential in the first preseason game. He also is a name to keep an eye on."
NN: The Broncos still have a solid receiving corps, an upgraded offensive line and one of the best defenses in the NFL. How much pressure is on Denver to win now while this window is open, and what are the realistic expectations for this season?
"PO: From what I have heard from John Elway, he is building a team that will not only win now, but for a while. There is speculation that this team will last for some time. But there are some players on the defensive side that are getting up there in age. T.J. Ward is in the final year of his contract this season. It has not been said if they plan to bring him back. However, with Justin Simmons and Will Parks waiting in the wings, they could decide to let Ward walk after this season.The receiving corps is quite fun to have. Now if the quarterback decision can be made, we will get to see what they can do.The only concern I have right now with the offensive line is the right tackle position. Menelik Watson did not have his best performance against Chicago. And that does concern me a bit. The two tackle spots have been an issue. Garett Bolles looked great last Thursday. Now if they can fix the right tackle spot, they will be set. I am interested to see what changes they make for Saturday’s game.Realistically, if the Broncos can get back into the playoffs, it will be a victory in my books. Of course, the Broncos fans want to see a Super Bowl victory. Anything can happen in the NFL. But I will be happy if the Denver Broncos get to play at least one game in January."
Our friends over at Predominantly Orange will be featuring Niner Noise’s answers to their questions shortly, so be sure to check them out and give them some support.
San Francisco and Denver kick off Saturday, August 19 at 10 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium.