Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The coaching environment can be rich following a 35-0 victory. The positive outcome gives coaches an opportunity to be more aggressive in addressing shortcomings without worrying about affecting confidence too negatively.
Coach Mike Singletary made it clear this would be a tough week for guards David Baas and Chilo Rachal. Singletary did not mention them by name, but he praised the other three offensive linemen while saying he planned to meet with line coach Chris Foerster to figure out some things. Pressed for details, Singletary said he needed to find out whether Baas had recovered from the foot injury he suffered during training camp, alluding to how offensive linemen tend to downplay injuries.
Whatever the explanation, Baas and Rachal clearly struggled against the Rams. Baas has dealt with injuries, as Singletary mentioned, while Rachal is a young player with 10 career starts.
Scouts Inc. on Baas: Baas has adequate initial quickness in the run game, but lacks top athletic ability and body control. He lacks foot quickness to adjust against quicker defenders, but once he locks on, he can create movement off the line of scrimmage. In passing situations, his lack of foot quickness creates problems against quick, change-of-direction rushers. He struggles with second moves and DTs get outside his frame quickly. He has enough strength to sit and anchor against the bull rush. Overall, he is best suited to play in a short area, where his aggressiveness off the ball makes him effective.
Scouts Inc. on Rachal: Rachal has good size and strength, and has excellent finishing skills as a run-blocker. He is most effective when he keeps his pad level down and uses leg drive to create movement. He's limited athletically if he's asked to pull and lead out in space. He lacks speed on the move and adjustment skills on the run. He has adequate foot quickness and short-area strength in pass protection.
Those reports affirm what you see from these players in games. They can appear quite slow when pulling, and quick defensive tackles give them problems.