Excitement is building for the four consecutive days of organized team activities that begin Monday in Santa Clara. And I don’t mean Alex Smith’s excitement, or Taylor Mays’, or Mike Singletary’s or yours. I mean MY excitement. As the new kid on the block, I don’t yet have a lot of contacts “in the building” or detailed memories of the past few seasons.
I need some live football to report and analyze. We should get plenty this week. To set the mood, here are 49 questions I hope to be able to answer after the dust settles Thursday.
1. Does Alex Smith look as confident and poised as everybody says he does?
2. Will Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati get any first-team reps?
3. How about Taylor Mays?
4. Will Davis be in any better shape than he was at the rookie camp?
5. Will Iupati throw anyone to the ground during 1-on-1 linemen drills?
6. Will Mays intercept any passes off a veteran QB?
7. If he does, will personnel director Trent Baalke pump his fist and shout, “That’s what I’m talking about!”?
8. Is it really going to rain on Monday?
9. Will Manny Lawson show up?
10. Will Anthony Dixon be pushing Glen Coffee for No. 2 repetitions?
11. Will there be a fight?
12. If there is, who will play Manny Pacquiao (offense) and who will play Floyd Mayweather Jr. (defense)?
13. What does the depth chart look like at cornerback?
14. How long before Singletary gets annoyed that reporters are asking depth-chart questions in May?
15. Who is the first-team nickel back right now?
16. Will any of the rookies fail to grasp the concept and stand around trying to watch the veterans like they did on April 30?
17. Which of the undrafted rookies will surprise everyone by making plays?
18. How will the punt returns be divided among Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams and LeRoy Vann?
19. And the kickoff returns?
20. Will Vann get any work on the offensive side of the ball?
21. Will all of Navorro Bowman’s reps be at inside linebacker?
22. Who will be the first 49er to limp off the field injured?
23. Tight hammy or strained calf?
24. Will Kentwan Balmer be healthy enough to participate?
25. Will Patrick Willis loan me $50?
26. Who will be the first rookie to get chewed out by Mike Singletary?
27. Will Aubrayo Franklin be on the field?
28. How about Nate Clements?
29. And Frank Gore?
30. If Franklin is absent, will Isaac Sopoaga get all the first-team reps at nose tackle?
31. Will Vernon Davis have an easel set up on the sidelines?
32. Will David Carr look comfortable in the offense yet?
33. Can my thumb tendons withstand four days of tweeting?
34. Who will look better in the slot, Jason Hill or Kyle Williams?
35. Will rookie TE Nate Byham continue to display good hands in the passing game?
36. Will Alex Smith and Ted Ginn be in rhythm yet?
37. Is Ginn catching the ball consistently?
38. Who will be the first player or coach to say “It is what it is”?
39. Have O-line coach Mike Solari and assistant Ray Brown added any new wrinkles to blocking drills?
40. Who are the first-team outside linebackers?
41. Can Shawne Merriman have an impact in his first practice with his new team?
42. Were you paying enough attention to notice that last nonsense question?
43. If Moran Norris and Anthony Dixon work in the same backfield, will the ground rumble after the snap?
44. Is Jarrett Brown challenging Nate Davis for third-team reps at QB?
45. Will someone finally admit that Isaac Bruce is retired?
46. Will the improvement that everyone hopes to see in Chilo Rachal be evident already?
47. Has Alex Boone shed another percentage of body fat?
48. Will the Yorks be handing out “Vote Yes on Measure J” flyers?
49. Why couldn’t this team be named the 29ers?