49ers training camp: 3 early challenges facing San Francisco

San Francisco 49ers during training camp (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers during training camp (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Kris Kocurek, 49ers
Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Getting the 49ers Offensive Line to Jell

Offensive lines take time to develop chemistry working alongside one another. It’s one of the reasons the NFL’s best O-lines tend to be so because of continuity on the roster.

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The Niners underwent substantial changes up front during the offseason, namely losing starting right guard Mike Person and left tackle Joe Staley, who both retired before the 2020 campaign began. In their place, the 49ers were able to trade for perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams while also giving both Daniel Brunskill and Tom Compton an equal shot to compete for Person’s spot.

But there are notable concerns elsewhere, too.

Center Weston Richburg, who missed the end of 2019 and San Francisco’s playoff run after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 14 last year, might not be ready in time for camp. He’s currently on the active/PUP list to start camp, meaning Ben Garland is the likely candidate to get first-team reps in Richburg’s absence.

Right there, you have three players who weren’t starting for Kyle Shanahan at the beginning of 2019.

Time is notably important when it comes to O-lines jelling, and the lack of spring workouts could hamper this unit’s efforts at finding that necessary chemistry to hone their levels of success.

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Like the wide receiver group, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Niners O-line struggle a lot early in training camp, particularly against one of the league’s better defensive lines.