49ers-Raiders joint practice getting feisty

The 49ers and Raiders met up today in the first of two days worth of joint practices and things quickly got a little feisty.  As this picture shows, Rathman was involved in breaking up some skirmishes.  In looking over the two practice recaps (Maiocco and Barrows), I love the fact that Frank Gore was getting especially feisty.  You know he had some energy to unleash after being held out last Friday.  This was his first opportunity to run over an opposing team's defense and he seemed to really enjoy it:

Barrows: The biggest hit of training camp was delivered today. But it didn't come in a team situation between the Raiders and 49ers and it wasn't given by defensive player. Instead, the blow came courtesy of Frank Gore during a pass-blocking drill when he absolutely leveled Ricky Brown, an outside linebacker and one of the better pass rushers on the Raiders. Gore, who's about 5-9, 215 pounds, put the 6-2, 235-pound Brown on his back.

According to various sources, Gore stood over Brown and glared at him after the play. I've posted Coach Singletary's post-practice press conference transcript but he specifically spoke about Gore's intensity and the warning he issued about fighting:

"I told Frank that I was going to put him on the bus if he does that again, but he did a nice job. Frank is a guy that gets excited about what he’s doing and to me his heart, his emotion and his enthusiasm is what this game is all about."

Singletary did mention that while he warned them against fighting, there was no penalty for it (as there was for intra-team fighting previously).  Either way, I'm glad to see this kind of passion and intensity at this point in the preseason.

Head Coach Mike Singletary
Post-Practice – 08-18-09
San Francisco 49ers


On what the team took out this morning practice:

"I thought that we got some good work out of it. I was hopeful for us to come out and really have a good opportunity to get some one-on-one work in, their offensive line against our defensive line, our offensive line against their defensive line and the same deal with our defensive backs. Just looking at the match ups and I thought that we got some good work in."

On where he keeps watch during practice:

"Everywhere. I just try and stay focused on all of the things that I can. They are certain things that are more important to me than others and I have to [look at] the other things. My eyes are everywhere."

On what’s important to him during these practice sessions:

"Well, the trenches are always very important. The defensive line and offensive line because I think that’s where it starts. And of course the quarterbacks, but we just have to continue to focus on those things until we get them where we need to get them."

On the amount of work it takes to coordinate a practice session between the 49ers and the Oakland Raiders:

"Actually, it was done relatively easy. We talked to his coordinators; I talked to our coordinators and just got a feel for what they needed. We threw out a format that looked pretty easy we both said ‘hey, that looks good. We can have nine-on-seven; we can have our backs go against the linebackers. We can do this,’ and then boom, it was done."

On 49ers running back Frank Gore’s intensity during running back/linebacker drills:

"I told Frank that I was going to put him on the bus if he does that again, but he did a nice job. Frank is a guy that gets excited about what he’s doing and to me his heart, his emotion and his enthusiasm is what this game is all about."

On whether or not he talked to his players about fighting during the practices:

"Yes, I did."

On what his message was concerning fighting during the practices:

"Don’t."

On what was the penalty to the players for fighting:

"There is no penalty and there will be no penalty. But, this morning I did not want them to fight."

On whether he was pleased with the morning practice session went smoothly with no skirmishes:

"I am. I cannot guarantee that it will stay that way, but for this morning I needed to see that. I wanted us to understand in our progression of what we are doing that we didn’t come here to fight. We didn’t come here for all the other things. We’ve got too much work to do. We’re not good enough for that, but at the same time our guys will take care of themselves and they will respond. I gave them permission to make sure that they did take care of themselves and each other."

On whether planning for a scrimmage against the Raiders takes more time for his staff:

"Not at all. You just put it together and let’s go."

On if there is anything to take into account when going up against the Raiders:
"You come up here, you stay in a hotel, you’ve got to change a little differently, you’ve got to catch the bus over here, some guys walk. You’ve got a lot of things going on, but that’s a part of who we are – just get over it and let’s go."

On his assessment of Glen Coffee during morning practice:
"Not bad, he kept getting right back up there, he won some, lost some. Frank was exceptional. Coffee didn’t do a bad job. The thing that I love about him is his heart. He gets out there and he’s going to do it until he gets it right."

On critiquing Frank Gore during the running backs/linebacker drill:
"He was exceptional."

On why Singletary threatened to put him on the bus:
"I was kidding. I just wanted him to know that I thought he did a great job but that is a running back and I was like ‘okay now, I don’t want you out here getting hurt’ but he gets into it."

On whether he was pushing the line for what is acceptable emotionally on the field:
"No, if you have emotion, do it. I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I love the emotion. I love the enthusiasm. That’s the game, that’s passion. If I told him to stop doing that, he couldn’t, but I just told him, ‘I want you to watch yourself, don’t overdo it over here.’ In a good way, I was pulling him back."

On whether his enthusiasm had anything to do with him not playing on Friday:
"It could be, but to me I just think that’s who Frank is. He’s a competitor and everything that he does, he does it with his heart and that really is the thing that I think sets him apart."

On his impressions on Brit Miller since he’s been in camp:
"I knew him very little before camp and I know him just a little bit better now. But, he’s a guy that knew what he was coming in and he’s just a guy that is really going to work hard and he’s going to try to learn all the things that he needs to learn on the on the go. He’s going to spend all the time that he can with Coach Rathman, getting better in all the little small techniques, those kinds of things, so I think he’ll be fine. I think he’ll continue to make progress and get better."

On whether a player scoring two touchdowns forces him to give that player more opportunities:

"No, it doesn’t force anything. I think it’s just one of those things where he made some plays and I think you want to reward a guy when he does things like that. You want to try and see if he can take it to the next level. How much better can he get? So therefore, you give him the opportunity."

On whether Frank Gore is going to play on Saturday:
"Not determined yet."

On whether coming out to play with the Raiders is business as usual:
"Every day that we come out, nothing is ever business as usual. For us, the whole reason we feel so thankful for the opportunity to come out here, is just an opportunity to get better, an opportunity to work against another team that is very talented and so I’m very thankful for that. For us, I think our guys are excited about the opportunity and we are going to practice hard today. We are going to practice hard this afternoon, we are going to practice hard tomorrow morning and we’ll practice hard tomorrow afternoon and we are going to play hard on Saturday. That is what we are going to do."

On whether he gets more out of these two days with the Raiders rather than on Saturday night:
"Well, we see a lot. Right now, on the 1-on-1s, you get a chance to see the guys – they’re a little bit more exposed. You get a chance to see what they can do. There are a lot of talented teams, but talent can only take you so far and the thing that I want us to strive for, is being the best team in the league and that takes a lot because there are a lot of great teams out there. We want to be the best team in the league and that takes a lot of detail, a lot of getting the small things right. So, as you can see, we’ve got a lot of work to do."

On what his pass rush showed him in the practice today:
"I think the biggest thing is Saturday night. It’s one thing when it’s out here. We know what our guys can do and we know that they can pass rush. It’s just a matter of getting it in the game and putting it together at game speed. That will really make the difference."

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