We are days away from the commencement of training camp for the San Francisco 49ers and for fans all over the country it means that it’s the beginning of the obsession and passion that is the game of football.
Last year left a bitter taste for Niner fans as they came up short in their quest for a sixth Super Bowl title, but some off season acquisitions and a successful draft have ensured that the 49ers’ championship window to remain wide open.
On July 16th the rookies are scheduled to report to the team’s headquarters in Santa Clara and that means that it will be a good opportunity for young guys like Carlos Hyde and Jimmie Ward to get a taste of the NFL life. In the past, the 49ers’ depth, which has much to do with a veteran roster, has been an issue but the front office has done a great job adding a group of good young players to help spell some of these established guys.
Colin Kaepernick will have all eyes on him especially after signing a new extension that could be worth up to $126 million. Ever since Jim Harbaugh elected Kaep to be his starter, a tremendous amount of pressure has been put on the young quarterback to take this very talented team to the next level. Although a Super Bowl appearance and a NFC championship appearance is nothing to sneeze at, we are coming off a season where the 49ers rival just won the whole thing, so this season Kaepernick must deliver.
I mentioned some of the rookies that will receive a lot of attention but there are some new faces that will command attention as well. One interesting new weapon for Kaepernick to play with is Stevie Johnson. The former Buffalo Bill wideout was acquired in a draft day deal and his presence could potentially elevate the San Francisco offense to one of the best in the league. We are talking about a team that already has a dual threat in Kaep, Anquan Boldin and a healthy Michael Crabtree, a loaded running game, and the matchup problem that is Vernon Davis. Now add another playmaker in Johnson who will no doubt be pumped up to come home to play for a winner and San Fran might have the missing piece of a championship puzzle, and could move the 49ers ahead of that team in Seattle.
No doubt this will be a great ride in Niner nation and it all begins in just a few days.