The NFL is entering the doldrums between player signings and the start of training camp proper, at the end of July. That’s not to say things aren’t happening, however—we’re about to enter the middle of OTA season, as teams begin to train and build back up to full football speed.
For a veteran team like the San Francisco 49ers, the OTAs are the most valuable as refreshers, with experienced players taking the time to take in any new wrinkles added to the scheme during the offseason and to polish up their technique.
For rookies and other first-year players, however, OTAs are a crucial period. They need the time to absorb the new plays and terminology used by their new club. They need to show their new coaches what they can do and that they deserve time with the first team. It’s their first chance to showcase their skills for their new employers.
Every player has a storyline to watch over the course of OTAs, but for rookies and other first-year players, those storylines can have a huge impact on their careers. Let’s take a look at five of the biggest storylines entering San Francisco’s OTAs, in terms of how it will affect the 49ers in 2014.