San Francisco 49ers: 5 Legitimate Concerns Heading Forward to the Season

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San Francisco 49ers: 5 Legitimate Concerns Heading Forward to the Season
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Colin Kaepernick will have their hands full once the regular season begins.

One would figure that life would be easy for a team that many experts have predicted to win the Super Bowl at the end of the 2013 season.

Such claims would make sense after all.  The San Francisco 49ers came within one play of that last season, narrowly losing Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens.  In the following weeks and months, San Francisco was able to bolster its roster with a number of trades and free agent signings combined with a solid draft.  The core of the team remained mostly intact, consisting largely of young and talented veterans paired with a top—notch coaching staff.

Yet the road for a Super Bowl return may not be so easy.

In fact there are plenty of obstacles and question marks that loom large in the 49ers' camp as the team heads toward the regular season.  Some of these concerns possess elements that the coaching staff and team can prepare for.  Others may be more subtle.

CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco has the 49ers currently ranked second on his NFL power rankings directly behind the Denver Broncos, suggesting that there is a legitimate possibility that San Francisco and Denver meet in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Sure, that is a possibility and one that 49er fans would love to see take place.  Yet as stated, for that to happen, the 49ers would have to make best of the scenarios and concerns that may affect the team.  Of these, there are plenty.

In addition to the forthcoming slides, there are a number of additional concerns.  Will the offensive line, so dominant last year and lucky enough to have all five of their starters start all 16 regular season games, remain healthy over the course of 2013?  Will the 49ers' secondary be exposed like it was during the playoffs last year?  Can San Francisco's defense, still highly touted as written by CBS Sports analyst Pat Kirwan, remain a dominant force which was so critical to last year's success?

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will have to meet or exceed his performances from last year.  The coaching will have to be just as good if not better.

And then of course, there are the other factors which may play significant roles this year. 

Here are five of the most critical concerns that face the 49ers as they head toward the 2013 season.

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