SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-8)
OPEN CAMP: Aug. 1, Santa Clara, California.
LAST YEAR: 49ers went 8-8 and missed playoffs for first time in four years following three straight trips to NFC championship game and Super Bowl runner-up after 2012 season. San Francisco parted ways with fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh, now coaching his alma mater at Michigan.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Head coach Jim Tomsula; WRs Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson; RB Reggie Bush; DL Darnell Dockett; OL Erik Pears; CB Shareece Wright; former Australian rugby league star RB/special teams Jarryd Hayne.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Harbaugh; LBs Patrick Willis and Chris Borland; RT Anthony Davis; DE Justin Smith; RB Frank Gore; LG Mike Iupati; WR Michael Crabtree; CBs Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox; P Andy Lee.
CAMP NEEDS: QB Colin Kaepernick spent much of offseason in Arizona working on his craft under guidance of Kurt Warner. Now, he will try to take on greater leadership role necessitated by departures of veterans Willis, Gore and Justin Smith. New-look offensive line must come together quickly and looks to find some consistency during preseason with perhaps LT Joe Staley only one playing in regular spot as Alex Boone likely moves from RG to LG in place Iupati. Veteran placekicker Phil Dawson is helping groom rookie punter Bradley Pinion. New coach Tomsula has had time with players during organized team activities and minicamps but still must get plenty done during camp to determine best combinations.
EXPECTATIONS: Lots of questions here. Three-time All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman hopes to return to top form in hurry after missing 2014 while recovering from left knee surgery after injury in NFC championship game at Seattle. He wants to lead defense after playing alongside close friend Willis; group still includes pass-rusher Aldon Smith and veteran secondary.