Training Camp is now two weeks from lift off and heading into it, the starting lineup appears to be set. This is good, but it also sucks. Most of the mystery of TC will be absent.
The pecking order at QB behind incumbent starter Alex Smith will generate the most interest. During the OTAs last month, none of the three candidates — Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson, and Scott Tolzien — emerged as the clear cut favorite for the number two job, or the clear cut favorite for the waiver wire. If it stays that way through TC and pre-season, Kaepernick, by virtue of his 2nd round draft status, will again be the backup to Smith. He certainly won’t be cut, leaving that dramatic option to either Johnson or Tolzien. Smith has never had back to back injury free seasons, so this backup contest is more than just good fun. The success of the season could depend on it.
Other camp items of interest: will Kyle Williams make the squad, will Demarcus Dobbs continue to impress, will Delanie Walker make the cut over Konrad Reuland, will Alex Boone be good or just average at right guard. We’ll have great interest in the progress of our first two draft choices — AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James. Jenkins isn’t likely to play much this year, but it would be nice to see him look good, at least. James is a more intriguing prospect who could give the offense a whole other dimension for opposing defenses to deal with. He did not appear during the OTAs, so we have yet to get our eyeballs on him.
Dobbs took some snaps at TE during the OTAs, which could impact whether blocking specialist Nate Byham makes the team in his comeback from last year’s ACL injury. If Jim Harbaugh only keeps two TEs, Dobbs could be an emergency option, but it would also signal that Harbaugh has more plans for three WR sets this year and less of the packed two TE formations that were common in 2011.
Two more weeks, two more weeks, …