Mailbag: Antoine Bethea fitting in

Weekend mail call:

Mike from Oakland wants to know if Joe Looney can handle the right guard position in the regular season if Alex Boone's holdout lasts that long.

Bill Williamson: I think it gets to the point where Boone is out in September. I think Jonathan Martin -- who is the sixth offensive lineman -- could get a look as guard. Martin hasn't played guard in the NFL, but the 49ers could use him there. Looney has had success on a limited basis, but expecting him to play at the level of Boone may be a stretch.

Gerald from San Diego wants to know if the 49ers like Blaine Gabbert so far.

BW: So far, so good. The coaching staff likes his ability and his development so far. But I think the staff wants to work with him through the summer to continue to help him development. The key is for Gabbert to get to the point that he can help the 49ers win should he have to play.

Henry from San Francisco wants to know how Antoine Bethea is fitting in with the 49ers' secondary

BW: Very well. Bethea is a pro and he fits in with the 49ers' scheme. The 49ers may occasionally miss Donte Whitner's crushing hits. But many scouts think Bethea may be a better overall fit and there will not be a drop off.