August 24, 2014


New faces: S Antoine Bethea, WRs Brandon Lloyd and Stevie Johnson, OL Jonathan Martin, rookie RB Carlos Hyde.

Key losses: S Donte Whitner, CBs Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers, holdout RG Alex Boone.

Strengths: QB, LB, WR, TE, OL.

Weaknesses: DB, depth on DL.

What's New: Colin Kaepernick has his deepest receiving corps yet and challenge will be keeping everybody involved, while offense features more streamlined playbook intended to simplify certain elements.

Expectations: Defense that has been among NFL's best will be missing All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman for at least half-season as he recovers from left knee surgery following devastating injury in NFC championship game at Seattle. 49ers also lost NT Glenn Dorsey to biceps injury, and team will need to be at full strength to challenge defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks.


AP NFL website: and

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