Leading Off

Leading Off: Are you ready? It’s time for football again

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly six months since the Seattle Seahawks whipped the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

In the interim, we’ve had the draft and numerous offseason activities, but that hardly satisfies the hunger of diehard NFL fans.

Action resumes this week, when teams start practicing for the 2014 season.

The 49ers and Raiders should have compelling camps with several intriguing story lines.

In Napa, the Raiders will be dealing with a bonafide quarterback controversy as they try to rebound from a 4-12 season, with newly acquired veteran Matt Schaub trying to withstand a challenge from rookie Derek Carr of Fresno State.

There also will be competition for Darren McFadden at running back, with Maurice Jones-Drew expected to get plenty of carries.

In Santa Clara, the biggest story for the 49ers likely will be the possible holdouts of tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone, both of whom want new contracts.

Their absences could overshadow the emergence of a high-powered passing game. The 49ers signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a lucrative long-term contract, and the team has depth at wide receiver with veteran Stevie Johnson and draft pick Bruce Ellington joining a group that includes Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.

It’s just 45 days until the first regular-season game.

– Tom Couzens


What to watch

Baseball, Giants at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m., CSNBA: The Giants open a four-game series against the Phillies before hosting the Dodgers.

Today’s poll

Who should be the Raiders’ starting quarterback?

• Derek Carr

• Matt McGloin

• Matt Schaub

• Other, please

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Weekend poll results

Do you support a public subsidy for a soccer stadium in Sacramento ?

• Yes, it would be great to have an MLS team: 17%

• Yes, but only if the team’s owners pay their share: 42%

• No, enough with the handouts: 41%

Total votes: 166