What’s The Biggest Question The San Francisco 49ers Must Answer?
A few days into training camp and the San Francisco 49ers are yet to have any clear resolution to what is clearly the biggest answer that they have a few days in and it is the same one that they had before the start of training camp.
The question(s) that the 49ers must answer during training camp is who will be the starting cornerbacks and the other starter at the safety position alongside Donte Whitner.
As far as the cornerback position is concerned, the 49ers have either brought in or attempted to bring in several players in order to address the weakness of the position. The team signed Nnamdi Asomugha as a free agent and traded for Eric Wright but the deal for Wright was voided upon him failing his physical.
By signing Asomugha and by attempting to bring in Wright, this clearly signaled that the organization was looking to upgrade the cornerback position or at the very least, create competition to improve the play of those already there. While many assume that Carlos Rogers is a sure starter, this now should not be a sure fire given. Reason being is that Rogers is due to make $8.1 million this upcoming season and if he does not convince this training camp and preseason, he could be cut as a result of that salary cup number.
Assuming that Rogers convinces and that his salary is not an issue, then the question will be who starts at the other cornerback position. In this case, the battle will be between Asomugha, Tarrell Brown and Chris Culliver. Amongst those three, neither one has a clear edge over the other and therefore, it is clear whoever performs best during training camp and preseason will be a starter.
With regards to the safety position, the battle of who will accompany Whitner will be between free-agent pick up Craig Dahl and rookie Eric Reid. While many have assumed that because Reid was drafted with the 18th overall selection in the past 2013 NFL Draft he would be the starter. This is by no means far gone conclusion.
The fact of the matter is that Reid will have to show and earn his starting spot and to think of Dahl as just some bit player would be wrong. Dahl was an integral part of a St. Louis Rams defense that finished 14th in total team defense rankings last season. Also, Dahl has been the player who, so far in training camp, has gotten the bulk of the snaps with the first team defense over Reid.
The upside is that the battle for starting cornerback(s) and safety spot alongside Donte Whitner will be decided by the players who best perform during training camp. At the moment, who will start in the secondary remains the most important question the 49ers need to answer during training camp.