49ers

49ers Mailbag: How much impact will Camp Hoyer have?

49ers Mailbag: How much impact will Camp Hoyer have?

The 49ers’ official offseason program wrapped up last month. The team returns to practice on July 28 as it eases into training camp at its headquarters in Santa Clara.

But, as promised, a good number of the team’s offensive skill players are holding a get-together at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, as documented on Marquise Goodwin’s Instagram story.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer, who is well-versed in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, is the central figure of the workouts. A total of 16 players, including all four quarterbacks, were on hand for the Camp Hoyer workouts Monday and Tuesday.

“It is such a long period of time that you want to get together at least for some period,” Hoyer said as the 49ers concluded their offseason program.

“We're aiming for right in the middle of when we leave and when we come back. We'll get as many guys together as we can. You can't accommodate everybody because people are going all across the country. We're going to get together and get three days in and then come back ready to go on July 27th.”

This edition of 49ers Mailbag kicks off with a question about the importance of these workouts:

How much of an impact will Camp Hoyer be on the players? (George Fifita)
The last time the 49ers got together on their own to hold workouts on this level was 2011 during the lockout. "Camp Alex" proved to be invaluable, as then-quarterback Alex Smith was given all the teaching tools -- playbook and game film -- and was able to install the offense during extended workouts at San Jose State when the players were not allowed to have any contact with the coaching staff.

This is different because all the players attending the workouts at SMU took part in the 49ers’ offseason program. So these sessions are a refresher course of what they have already learned. But, more important, it is a great opportunity for the team to spend time with one another and create a bond. It's also a great opportunity to develop quarterback-receiver chemistry and trust.

Hoyer has done all the right things since Shanahan targeted him to be the team’s starting quarterback. Organizing an event such as this is a way for him to earn more confidence from the offensive teammates on whom he must rely.

Is there any chance that the new regime has already decided to develop the rookie QB Beathard rather than go after Kirk Cousins if and when he becomes a free agent? Is there anyway that no matter how well Hoyer does next season would he be the starter for 2018? (Michael Monico)
Typically, the answer to “any chance” questions is yes. After all, there’s almost always a chance that something will happen.

But there is no chance the organization has already decided that C.J. Beathard is the quarterback for the 2018 season. Of course, it might turn out that way. You never know. But the 49ers have a lot of time before they must commit to a course of action for 2018.

As for your second question, of course, there’s a chance for Hoyer to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2018.

The 49ers did not make a commitment this offseason for a long-term answer at quarterback. Next offseason will likely be different. If the 49ers fall on their faces and win just a couple games, the long-term answer could come via the draft.

But if the 49ers made a marked improvement and tumble out of the draft spot where they can assure themselves the quarterback they want, they’ll either be happy with their starting quarterback situation for the future or they will have to consider the free-agent market. If Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo are available in free agency, they would be the top-two options available.

Currently, the 49ers have $66.8 million in salary cap room that is eligible to be rolled over into 2018. So the 49ers can basically go as high as necessary to secure a quarterback for the long term.

Do you think Carlos Hyde has any real shot of losing his starting job? (Tiny Martinez)
Very few players have secured their starting jobs for the upcoming season. Carlos Hyde is not among those.

He is entering the final year of his contract, and we all know how badly Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner wanted Joe Williams in the draft. Shanahan and Turner would not have stood on the table for Williams if they did not have a clear vision for how he fits into their offensive plan.

Hyde is an immensely talented running back whose bid for 1,000 yards came up just 12 yards short due to a late-season knee injury. He is healthy. But he is learning a new system. Shanahan and Turner hand-picked a running back they believe best-fits the requirements of the position in their scheme.

Hyde is probably still the favorite to win the starting job, but he will have to earn it. However it shakes out, it is probably safe to assume the club will employ more of a backs-by-committee approach with Williams and Tim Hightower available for key roles.

49ers vs. Broncos live stream: How to watch NFL preseason game online

49ers vs. Broncos live stream: How to watch NFL preseason game online

Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for ... Jimmy Garoppolo is back.

The 49ers quarterback is expected to make his return to the gridiron Monday night when the 49ers face the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is undecided on how long his franchise signal-caller will play, but it marks one of the final steps in Garoppolo's return from the torn ACL he suffered in Week 3 of last season.

If you blink you might miss Jimmy G, but the 49ers still have a number of intriguing players who likely will play meaningful snaps in Denver.

Rookie wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd have opened eyes during training camp, and the 49ers' defense has impressed during joint practices with the Broncos.

While Garoppolo only will see limited minutes, you still won't want to miss the action in Denver. 

Here's how you can watch 49ers vs. Broncos game live online:

Start time: Monday, Aug. 19, at 5 p.m. PT
TV channel: ESPN
49ers live stream: fuboTV -- Get a free trial

49ers Mailbag: 10 questions before Monday night preseason Broncos game

49ers Mailbag: 10 questions before Monday night preseason Broncos game

DENVER -- Coach Kyle Shanahan is expected to play more of his regulars in Monday night's preseason game against the Denver Broncos, as opposed to the exhibition opener in which nearly every 49ers starter sat it out.

Still, you’ll find more answers below than anything you see on the field in Denver. The following questions were submitted via Facebook:

How has Jimmy G looked in practice so far? (Chris Lynn Overstreet)
Everything has been mostly positive for Jimmy Garoppolo, as he returns from the knee injury that sidelined him for the final 13 games of last season.

He has not sat out any practices. And he has taken more than twice the number of snaps of any of the other 49ers quarterbacks. Before his memorable five-interception day in Santa Clara, Garoppolo had thrown fewer picks than any QB on the team during training camp.

He’s moving well, and appears to be gaining more and more confidence in his knee. Garoppolo threw the ball pretty well during the 49ers’ two practices against the Broncos. He is probably right where the 49ers expected/hoped he would be at this stage.

Which player, or players, are performing well below what you anticipated throughout camp? (Ryan William Walker)
There have been few surprises and few disappointments throughout camp. The 49ers have expected Solomon Thomas to take his game to another level, but I’m not sure that has occurred, yet. And wide receiver Dante Pettis was expected to be the No. 1 receiver, but he has not stood out on the practice field.

Who will get majority of the carries in the regular season? Coleman/Brieda and what happens when McKinnon comes back? (Zach Benjamin)
Tevin Coleman is pretty clearly the team’s No. 1 back. But the 49ers would like to deploy multiple backs to keep them all fresh, fast and healthy. Matt Breida has already shown that he is capable of being a big-play threat. Jerick McKinnon is still a ways from getting back on the field. Everything is up in the air, until the 49ers see how effective he can be upon returning from the knee injury that wiped out all of last season.

Do you honestly think CJ Beathard will be on the team? Or is it to early to say? (Jason Kaaha)
Yes, I do honestly believe he has a decent chance to be on the team. The 49ers could keep three quarterbacks. But, even then, I’m not completely convinced the 49ers have decided on Nick Mullens as the backup to Garoppolo. The race for the No. 2 job has been pretty even during camp. I’d put Mullens in the lead, but it’s closer than you might think.

Which TE is behind Kittle for the backup spot? (Tiny Martinez)
Ross Dwelley has been pretty clearly the No. 2 tight end ahead of draft pick Kaden Smith and veteran Levine Toilolo. I’m more curious about what they’re going to do about their No. 3 tight end. Dwelley has been very consistent in all phases in training camp. He has made large strides from his rookie season.

Are we going to address OL depth again before start of season? (G.A. Raz)
That’s doubtful, because offensive line play around the league is a concern. I’m not sure any team has a surplus of offensive linemen they can ship off to another team. The 49ers addressed their depth on the line last week with the signing of Sam Young to compete to be their swing tackle. The 49ers were hurt in their first preseason game when Shon Coleman sustained a season-ending leg and ankle injury.

What rookies on offense and defense do you see starting ? (Leo Castillo)
Wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd have put themselves in positions to play significant roles in the offense. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw is making a spirited run at a starting job at the Sam linebacker position.

What about Nick Bosa? Before his injury, he might have been the best player on the field. But, especially with him returning from an ankle injury, I envision the 49ers using him as a pass-rush specialist, and not necessarily a starter at defensive end on base downs.

[RELATED: Kyle Shanahan undecided how much 49ers will play Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Broncos]

Now that Kwon is practicing again, are the Niners expecting him to be the week 1 starter over Greenlaw, or might he start the season on the PUP list like McKinnon? (Max Moore)
Linebacker Kwon Alexander has been practicing all of training camp and is ready for the regular season. There have been no issues with his knee. (Plus, he’s not eligible for the PUP list because he has been practicing.) He is full-go right now.

Why are the 49ers even considering Jimmie Ward over Tarvarius Moore? (Joseph B Ryder)
Ward knows the defense. He’s smart and he plays hard. Free safety is one position, above many others, where the person in that position cannot make mistakes or it usually ends up in touchdowns. Moore has made tremendous strides in recent weeks, but my guess is the 49ers’ coaching staff still feels more comfortable with Ward back there. But Ward has yet to practice since coming back from a fractured collarbone. Since moving back to safety, Moore has put himself in position to be in the conversation in a short period of time. He is going to be the long-term starter, but I still don't think it's his time, quite yet.

Are there any visible changes to the training routine following the hiring of the new athletic staff? Injuries seem still to be an issue. (Martin Buelow)
The offensive and defensive linemen do one set of stretches and warmups while the smaller players do another set before practices. Another visible change has been the management of workloads. The 49ers will follow up a hard practice with a lighter practice the next day.

I don’t have numbers to back this up, but it seems like there have been fewer soft-tissue injuries than in the past. Coleman’s injury has been the most serious, but no level of conditioning can help a player avoid a fractured lower leg and dislocated ankle.

The 49ers are relatively confident that all of their other injured players will be available at, or near, the beginning of the regular season.