Less than a week until we get our first look at the 2016 49ers. Hopefully, it won’t dissuade us from continuing to watch them as the season unfolds.
There hasn’t been any viewing competition in the Bay Area for the Niners in recent times, but that could change this year. The Raiders are getting a lot of positive press lately, like they might actually win eight or more games this season. They came close in 2015, finishing with a 7-9 record.
We’ll be keeping our eyes on the QB and WR battles during the preseason games, but the two bookend DEs — Deforest Buckner and Arik Armstead — might have more to do with the team’s success or failure this year than anyone else. It’ll be fun to watch them and see if the raves they’re getting in Training Camp carry over into battle against other teams.
The ILB spot next to Navorro Bowman remains a competition among hamburgers. Nothing was done in the offseason to address this hole in the defense, so it will remain a weak link the entire 2016 season. The OLB contestants aren’t generating any buzz, so there won’t be any consistent outside pressure on the QB this year, either.
Between now and the start of the regular season, the only news of any consequence will be the bad news. The injuries. A few teams have already been hit hard, losing key players and jeopardizing the hopes those teams had for the coming year. Last year, the 49ers entered the season with a clean bill of health. It didn’t matter, though, because the team stunk and all that happened when the inevitable injuries did come was that they got a little more stunkier.
Still, it will be good to finally see the team on the field again this Sunday. We’ll have a chance to critique them ourselves, without having to rely on the coaches and players to polish their own apples. Time to sharpen the spears, replenish the rock pile, and get ready for another fun year of blognosticating.