5 training camp storylines to watch for the 49ers in 2019

SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 30: Mike Person #78 and Joe Staley #74 of the San Francisco 49ers participate in drills during practice at the San Francisco 49ers training facility on July 30, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 30: Mike Person #78 and Joe Staley #74 of the San Francisco 49ers participate in drills during practice at the San Francisco 49ers training facility on July 30, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

No. 3: How does everyone touch the ball?

This question might not make a ton of sense when you first look at it, but it really is the main schematic concern for the 49ers. Like I mentioned earlier, the Niners will probably be carrying five running backs, four of which in prominent roles. They have George Kittle, who broke the single-season receiving record for tight ends, and they have all these different wide receivers.

That’s a lot of weapons, but it’s also a lot of hungry mouths to feed.

How head coach Kyle Shanahan leverages his offensive weapons in training camp and the season will define the limit of the offense. The caveat to the 49ers’ lack of success has been injuries and talent. People always say that if Shanahan was given all the tools he needed, this offense could be special.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

Well, he now has a lot of tools.

Niners Nation explained how Shanahan is using the unique abilities of his players, like Kyle Juszczyk, to exploit teams. As the NFL shifts into a passing-first attack, it explains teams have stopped building up their base defense. By creating an offense that destroys nickel coverage, Shanahan forces teams to use their base defense, where he can then exploit weaker players in defensive sets that aren’t commonly used.

All that is just fancy explanation to say one thing — expect some crazy stuff.

Juszczyk adds an element as a strong receiver as a fullback, something most people don’t really expect anymore. Running backs Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida all provide exceptional receiving ability, and Coleman and McKinnon could line up outside if necessary. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurd is a former college running back built with the size of a receiving tight end who plays wide receiver.

For Shanahan, he has toys to play with, but he also needs to get everyone involved. Although the players on the 49ers are all high-character and selfless, not being involved in an offense tends to ruin even the nicest person.

It’s a fine line the Niners coach has to walk.