The 49ers wrapped up their third day of practice today. Apparently the original plan was to have a morning and afternoon practice, but Mike Nolan decided to cancel the afternoon practice. The team starts practicing in pads tomorrow, so it sounds like a chance to give everybody a little rest before then.
On current injury issues
"Arnaz Battle is nursing a little bit of a hamstring that kind of bothers him somewhat. He might take fewer reps at times, although he didn’t today. But someone like Ashley Lelie, naturally that gives someone else the opportunity to take some of those reps so it’d be important for him to get back. He should be back in a few days."
"Walt Harris was held out of practice just because that’s the way we’re doing it. Just like we’ve done the last two years with him: one a day. That is the case with certain players. Jonas Jennings is one of those and Walt Harris, Isaac Bruce, Arnaz Battle – those are the four that come to mind. Joe Staley should be in at the middle or end of the week. We’ll see how it keeps going, but it will not be tomorrow. Aubrayo Franklin should be in the next day or two. [Damane] Duckett will be a few days. Michael [Robinson] has got a strained knee, and they’ll look at it when they go inside . . . it just looks like a strain.”
On the WR battle
"There are a few established guys and a couple I can speak of right away: naturally Isaac Bruce and Arnaz Battle. [Bryant Johnson] might be in that group but, at the same time, he’s in a new situation and a new offense, and it’s important for him to stay in the competition as far as doing everything he can to get better.”
On whether Battle and Bruce are considered the "starters," with Johnson the #3
“No, I would consider all three of them. I would just talk about a three-wide situation because that’s definitely the case. We’re trying to get our best out on the field, so they may be part of the best 11 as it looks right now when you compare them to a fullback offense or a tight end offense.”
On Josh Morgan
“He’s caught a lot of balls, so he has made a good impression. He’s done a very good job, and he’s working hard. He needs to continue to do those things not only on the field but off the field as far as taking care of his body . . . It would be nice if he factors in because he’s certainly done a very nice job for three days and five practices.”
On whether they'll keep 6 receivers on the 53-man roster
“No, I would hope for at least four. Five would be reasonable, but six would mean that we’ve got a decent core of guys. So, I was hoping for guys to show up and then we’d have six, but I wouldn’t go that far today.”
On whether Tony Wragge and Chilo Rachal are battling for a starter role or backup role
“You know, at this point, if everybody’s healthy, it will be a long shot for one of them [to start over David Baas]. But they keep getting better. I’d like for one of them to prove me wrong. You get your expectations too high on a rookie and you’ve either got a bad football team or you’re getting ready to be bad.”
MY THOUGHTS (Fooch, not Nolan)
It sounds like Josh Morgan is making quite an impact on the coaching staff. Maiocco and Barrows indicated back in June that Morgan looked impressive in OTAs. If Ashley Lelie can't get healthy, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Morgan get a roster spot over Lelie. Considering the team has 3 solid receivers already, it would not be like cutting your top receiver by any stretch. Lelie continues to frustrate. He's out for several days and that's just not going to help him, especially considering he was in the dog house most of last season.
As for the battle at right guard, Nolan makes a good point about getting high expectations for a rookie. Even if Rachal isn't able to step up, Wragge has been a decent offensive lineman when called upon. And, as previously discussed, even if Wragge or Rachal doesn't take the starting job, they can work to providing some excellent depth.