Originally posted by MadDog49er:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Lets make no mistake about this, the coaches BADLY want to get Boone on the field and with as poor of an OL we had last year (44 sacks, lead the league in QB pressures under 3 seconds, poor short yardage team, horrendous 1st and 3rd down %'s, etc.), I have no doubt this OL will be under heavy scrutiny this offseason and many combinations will be tried.
Staley has never been a guy who has ever been challenged for his position. I agree with FO and other sites after reviewing tape of Staley all year long that he was well below average and a bigger issue than fans realize which was only magnified by his pro bowl birth. He gave up quite a few key sacks, a lot of hits/pressures and was typically destroyed 1x1 in the run-game and that was WITH a ton of help from Iupati sliding over to help on virtually every snap. He is a big reason we rarely run off-tackle to his side. That said, he's very athletic, has a great attitude and work ethic and nobody is better at blocking down field on the run.
I think with plenty of tape to review, including last year's performance, we genuinely could see Staley challenged by Boone who does appear stronger, just as athletic and hungry as Staley. He's ready and like so many last year (Brooks, Brown, Aldon, Bowman, etc.) he just needs a chance and an opportunity to grow.
If, and it's a BIG IF, Kilgore or another owns the RG spot, I could see a bold prediction of Boone winning a T spot, Staley being traded for a high pick and us nabbing a FA veteran as insurance. It's unlikely but given the microscope this OL will be under with a full offseason of assessments and how badly this coaching staff wants Boone on the field, I wouldn't be shocked at all. Either way, I'd personally like to see Staley genuinely challenged for the first time in his career.
I'm not so sure your statement, "Lets make no mistake about this, the coaches BADLY want to get Boone on the field" is accurate. I think they would be more than happy to have him continue as the swing tackle for the team. Winning the RG spot would be gravy for him personally, but if your statement is true, then the team probably wouldn't have drafted Looney, and/or the team would have dealt Staley or Davis before the draft.
Teams rarely trade players right before the season begins, since they don't receive compensation until the following year.
As for Staley, I think you greatly undervalue his play. While I concede that he is not Pro-Bowl material, he is better than average, and it would seem incredibly unlikely the team would unload him and place an unproven player at the most critical position on the OL.
Sorry, but call me a skeptic that the team wants him on the field BADLY. I don't buy it.
This is most likely true (hence the bold prediction). It is highly unlikely.
That said, I believe Boone is getting courtesy snaps at RG and think the real competition will be between Kilgore and Looney with Slowey backing up Goodwin. I think they loved the versatility in Snyder last year and see the value of a swing T who could pinch inside if needed (in case we had another Chilo episode).
I have certainly heard nothing but praise towards Boone and he did get snaps at LT last year and did well there off the bench. I think by giving him a shot at RG also speaks volumes also. I think the coaches do want him on the field and part of the best 5 but RG probably won't be it. I have a feeling we will see all sorts of combinations this off season. Perhaps the best would be Boone pushing Staley with Kilgore/Looney battling at RG or Davis moving to RG and Boone getting looks at RT (or LT with Staley moving to RT). I heard Harbaugh talking about wanting to keep continuity (not a lot of changes in positions) but I don't buy it (although I understand the importance of continuity alone the OL)! And contrary to Harbaugh, I "do" see Boone's stance and height being an issue at G.
I think with the emphasis of speedsters such as Hunter/James, this team will place a premium on T's who can seal the edges effectively and consistently and disallow defenses to stack the box with 8-9 guys (run blitzing) for the predictable runs in between the T's (ala Gore). And that is not Staley's strength IMO (or in short yardage). He seemed to need a lot of help from Iupati last year which also put pressure on Goodwin and gaps to his left. I think Staley is serviceable but we could use a big upgrade or a guy like Boone genuinely pushing him for the first time in his career - we do know how much this coaching staff loves competition!