In 2011 and 2012, the same year that the San Francisco 49ers made it to the Super Bowl, the 49ers went into the season with Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Dashon Goldson, and Donte Whitner starting in the secondary. In 2013, all except Goldson were starting. In 2014, none of them will even be on the team.
The 49ers are slated to start the season with Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver, Eric Reid, and Antoine Bethea in the secondary. Some fans might look at these names and not have a second thought about it. Others are losing sleep over it. With a very tough schedule for 2014, should the 49ers be concerned for their secondary?
The 49ers are obviously satisfied going into the season with these four players starting in the secondary. This is evidenced by the fact that they allowed their two former starting cornerbacks leave and get picked up by their bay area rivals, the Oakland Raiders, for cheap.
The only concerning thought about this secondary is that the 49ers may be banking more on potential than actual skill. Culliver has never started a game, and while he has the potential to be a very good corner, he can be very inconsistent. Not to mention his current legal troubles. Brock played well last year, but just one year ago, he was fifth on the depth chart. Will he continue his good play or will he revert back to his old self? Reid has proven to a very good player, but he is young and inexperienced. Will he hold up his play without Whitner next to him? Bethea is the only veteran in the secondary, but he has never been a true standout player. He is extremely solid, but he probably isn’t going to make the pro bowl anytime soon.
The 49ers will most like use their first round pick on a corner and another on a safety, so they will also come in to compete for a starting spot. The 49ers also have very capable players such as Eric Wright and Perrish Cox that can hold their own when they make it on to the field.
All in all, the team doesn’t seem to be too worried by the state their secondary is in. They feel like their guys can hold up with anyone in the league. If everyone in that secondary can play up to their potential, then the 49ers will have one of the better secondaries in the league. Although, that might be a pretty big “if.”