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5 49ers Questions with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports


**Our training camp series of interviews with some of the most prominant national media around the NFL continues with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The top football insider at CBS joined after visiting practice last Sunday. If you missed our similar posts, be sure to check out the interviews with ESPN's John Clayton and Tom Pelissero of USA Today.

Here are the top five questions with La Canfora, who you can follow in Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.

Q:Is there a player who stood out to you while watching practice?

La Canfora:"Pierre Garçon. I'd heard he's in better shape than this time a year ago, and he has the right mentality going. He's someone who looks like he's obviously going to be featured in this offense."

Q:How big is it for the 49ers to have NaVorro Bowman back in the lineup?

La Canfora:"Just seeing him on the field, I can only imagine what that means to the locker room, what it means to guy's spirits. Especially in spite of all the guys who aren't here, to have someone like that back and around them, from an emotional, spiritual and obviously production standpoint, it's significant."

Q:What is your impression of a Jim Tomsula-led practice?

La Canfora:"I had a feeling that they'd be going live a little bit. He's a defensive line coach. You build your team from the inside out. Sometimes you're that circus master and you have to tame the lions, but sometimes you also have to let the lions eat a little bit too. You could hear the cracking of the pads and it was some real football."

Q:What needs to happen for the 49ers to be successful in 2015?

La Canfora:"You can't overthink it. They need to get quality and consistent quarterback play. They need to have multiplicity in their offense. You've got to be able to get the ball downfield. That's why Torrey Smith is here. Colin has all the natural talent in the world and all the athleticism in the world and he has a huge arm. I'll be interested to see how much he does outside the pocket and where that pendulum is. It's kind of swung from one degree to the other at different times throughout his career as to how much they let him do his thing. When nothing else is there, do you tuck it and run or throw it into the third row of the seats? The offense is going to have to be dynamic, and you're going to have to hope that Trent Baalke has done his thing and that some of these kids he's drafted on the other side of the ball the last few years really start paying dividends."

Q:How big of an impact can Torrey Smith make on this offense?

La Canfora:"He's a tremendous character guy. He's an excellent human being. He has a great energy about him. People are drawn to him. He's a big play receiver. He can be a bit streaky. Last season he didn't start too well, but in the second half he was a touchdown machine. He had some really big moments for the (Baltimore) Ravens. Big moments in really big games. It's rare that good Ravens players leave the roost in their second contract. It doesn't happen that often. He'll be someone that has to have a big season for San Francisco. If they're a successful team, Torrey will be a critical element of it."

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