My insights from the first week of 49ers training camp

I love training camp.

Not only is this the official start of the football season, but it’s also the only time we can see the 49ers practicing this campaign.

Talent and competition, frustration and expectation. It is football in its purest form, played by one of the best teams in the NFL.

Yes, the 49ers are just that, even with a first-year starter at quarterback. I don’t have to look at the other 31 teams to make such a determination.

Here’s what else I took from the start of camp and what I’m looking forward to in the coming weeks.

This 49ers Defense Is Going To Be So Good

» Training camp, especially the padless part, can fool you into believing some crazy things. But here’s something I’m sure will stand out in a few days, weeks, and months: This 49ers defense is sick.

Let’s start with the basics: There are no weak units in this.

We start, as the Niners do, in front.

This defensive line of the Niners is impressive. Consistently one of the best units in the NFL, now it’s completely healthy, with Nick Bosa looking like a $30 million a year player on one side, and a never-ending pool of plus pass rushers next to him.

How well this front blocks the run isn’t something we can determine just yet – we’ll need to look at padded practices, as well as see Eric Armstead and Jevon Kinlaw play together – but The pass rush to opposing offensive lines is going to cause hell.

Behind that defensive line is the best base-three linebacker crew in the NFL. The trifecta of Fred Warner, Aziz Al-Shayer and Dre Greenlaw is simply awesome. Warner is an All-Pro in his prime and his counterpart is a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

As starting from the outer corner of the Niners. It’s only been some practice, but the further you are from the ball on the snap, the easier it is to determine whether a player is good without a pad. Do cornerbacks even need pads?

Regardless, Charvarius Ward appears to be an ace pickup. He’s as impressive a press corner as I’ve ever seen and the Niners are encouraging him to jam to the line of scrimmage. The fight between him and Brandon Ayuk has been excellent, and with uber-athletic and always-ready Emmanuel Mosley and Jimmy Ward playing free safety, the Niners are in the weird spot where they both have Rush and they have good pass coverage. .

It’s usually a combination that creates defensive talent.

There are some questions, but not one of them seems so obvious as to devalue the overall operation: defensive tackle depth, linebacker depth behind the Big Three, starting nickel backs and strong defenses.

Let’s go ahead and go there till the end.

Hufanga has competition

» I came to the camp with serious questions about the fresh start strong security Talanoa Hufanga, mainly from what I perceived to be his shoddy coverage skills.

But he’s been rock solid in the camp so far, and I think he’ll make more appearances once the pads are put on.

That said, there is a good depth of protection for the Niners. I love what I’ve seen from George Odom and rookie Leon O’Neill. And Tarvarius has been excellent in the Moore camp so far, posting a two-intercept day on Saturday.

It’s still Hufonga’s work. He has given the Niners no reason to give it to anyone else. But he may still lose his job in the coming weeks, even if he has a strong camp.

It’s a tough league, the NFL. Hufanga is a tough player. I’m thrilled to see him the rest of the camp.

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