May 29, 2024
The season opener sends the 49ers to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, with or without Nick Bosa.

SANTA CLARA – The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year has yet to show up on the season’s doorstep, but 49ers fans sure have by submitting questions for this Week 1 mailbag via social media:

What is really going on with Nick Bosa? This seems suspicious. (@_wrrongg)

This contract impasse actually seems like it’s about to end, because the season is about to begin. No more training camp practices or preseason games to skip. No more time to squabble over guaranteed money or injury protection, etc. Both camps have been quiet, as promised, which should have told you they expected a prolonged negotiation that, in no small feat, resets the market.

Has the 49ers’ front office progressively gotten worse over the last two years that a change is needed after this year regardless of win/loss ratio, citing the handling of Bosa, Lance and kickers as recent references? (@J_Propar)

No. The front office is not to crucify for Trey Lance bombing in two injury-marred seasons, nor for the still-at-the-table gamble to go cheap at kicker (as was their intent on drafting a quarterback so high in 2021).

When do we hear from Jed? Pathetic they haven’t signed yet. (@mlucey13)

Jed York next should resurface at a trophy presentation. The season is almost here. He has learned the public spotlight should belong to his coach, Kyle Shanahan, as well as his general manager, John Lynch, who needs to chime in on personnel matters. When I spoke with Jed on the Levi’s Stadium field before the Aug. 19 preseason win, he would not comment about the Bosa deal, but I did not sense any dismay or disrespect, just more of an inevitability a deal would get done as talks progressed.

Do you think there is any discord between Shanny and Lynch, when it comes to personnel decisions like drafts and trades? (@FowleBall15)

Any? Sure. Anything serious? No. They’ve seemed to work in lockstep from Day 1. Now they’re entering their seventh season with a great balance. I try not to judge just what I see personally – they play catch like best friends during practice warmups – but in how the roster is built. They want to win a Super Bowl together, they’ve come close, and now they’re a five-month grind from it.

Contract aside, do we need to worry about Bosa not spending time learning Wilks’ defense from a schematic perspective? (@fluffyskg)

That is the least of their worries. New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was not brought in to revolutionize the defense but to maintain its principles, which, in Bosa’s case, are to use his gifted and tailored skills to beat an offensive tackle and double teams on pass and run downs.

Is everybody healthy and ready to go? Are there any notable injuries heading into Week 1? (@topdoggtuck)

Ha, the 49ers fully healthy, even for Week 1? Preposterous. They are managing injuries to players such as …

Kittle playing? Dre? Hufanga? Mason? Gipson and Burks? Ray-Ray McCloud? (@joespiegel)

Wednesday will illuminate things more. That is when their first official injury report comes out after practice, though their status won’t be listed until just before boarding Friday’s flight to Pittsburgh. Some could be game-time decisions, such as Jake Moody, who is battling a quad strain in his kicking leg. All those listed have been rehabilitating on the side, and all have a decent chance of playing. McCloud might be the surprise activation.

Assuming Bosa is back and the injured starters are ready to go, who do you see being the Week 1 inactives? (@YaBoyElRey)

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Examining 49ers’ end game if Nick Bosa doesn’t face Steelers

The seven likeliest players to be inactive: offensive tackle Matt Pryor, defensive tackle Kalia Davis, running back Jordan Mason, cornerback Ambry Thomas, linebacker Dee Winters, tight end Brayden Willis, and McCloud. Emergency quarterback: Brandon Allen.

Do all the writers get along and share ideas? Do the content guys get on your nerves, too? (@Michael21985873)

I’d like to think writers, reporters, broadcasters and social-media bandits, er, creators all have a respectful drive to deliver unique, insightful information. No one does it the same. Competition is healthy, just as it is for players on their depth chart. Ideally, everyone acts professional, fair, and respectful to colleagues, to players, to coaches, to followers. Realistically …

I’ll be there (in Pittsburgh). Any restaurant suggestions? @eat_vizzles)

I’m sure the food scene has changed since 2015 when the 49ers and I last visited. And Yelp or Eater may better guide you. But here is what I wrote about Pittsburgh’s grub for our NFL preview magazine to help fans making road-trip pilgrimages: “The Strip District and Market Square are hot spots. Both offer hefty Primanti Bros. sandwiches stuffed with fries. Roland’s Seafood and Peppi’s are also worth checking out. Stock up at Mancini’s Bakery for your tailgate.

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