NFL Wire News

49ers doing some shuffling on offensive line


The Sports Xchange

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As the minicamp winds down, the San Francisco 49ers have been working with a starting offensive line consisting of Joe Staley at left tackle, Andrew Tiller at left guard, Joe Looney at center, Marcus Martin at right guard and Erik Pears at right tackle.

Second-year player Brandon Thomas, who sat out all of last season with a torn ACL suffered during his final college season, figures to be in the guard mix, while Daniel Kilgore, when his recovery from a broken leg is complete, is expected to battle Martin for the starting job at center.

Then there’s Alex Boone, last year’s starting right guard. He’s being considered at three positions: both guard spots and right tackle.

Boone began minicamp working with the second unit because he did not attend any of the voluntary workouts. The 49ers are looking to replace left guard Mike Iupati, who left in free agency, and right tackle Anthony Davis, who retired.

–First-round pick Arik Armstead was prohibited from attending the 49ers minicamp June 9-11. But the University of Oregon standout did find out who his competition for a starting spot will be.

The 49ers opened this week’s minicamp with Quinton Dial at right defensive end and Glenn Dorsey on the left flank. Ian Williams was the starting nose tackle.

Dorsey is filling in for newcomer Darnell Dockett, who is rehabbing a torn ACL.

Dorsey was considered mostly a nose tackle last season when the 49ers’ line was book-ended by Ray McDonald and Justin Smith. Neither is back this season, leading to the drafting of Armstead and Dorsey’s position change.

–The 49ers are working hard to find a spot for Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne.

Hayne drew praise from 49ers coach Jim Tomsula for his punt and kickoff returns, and also for quickly picking up many of the nuances of the running back position. Some, apparently, he’s still working on.

“I let him know there could be a play where you come through there and you’re tree-top tall and 53 (linebacker NaVorro Bowman) is going to hit you in your chest,” Tomsula said. “I’d like you to listen now before you get the wind knocked out of you.”

Hayne plans to return to his native Australia at the conclusion of the minicamp for minor surgery to remove a cyst from his right foot.

–Outside linebacker Aldon Smith was among those who sat out Wednesday’s session. Tomsula said Smith was dealing with a minor foot injury.

Among those who missed one or both of the Tuesday and Wednesday workouts were: Dockett, Kilgore, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (hamstring), cornerbacks Tramaine Brock (leg) and Shareece Wright (leg) and safety Jimmie Ward (foot).

QUOTE TO NOTE: “He has a lot of energy in his legs and in his body and his attitude. What a wonderful addition in all aspects.” — 49ers coach Jim Tomsula, on veteran running back Reggie Bush.

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business