Yes, one of the most interesting tidbits from today's player-organized practice was this: Michael Crabtree is sporting a bit of an "afro". I confirmed this with Mindi Bach of CSN Bay Area who replied succintly, "Yup!" Bach would go on to say she liked Crabtree's added hair-depth noting it was also well-manicured.
In other news: 25 players attended the first day of what's being dubbed "Camp Alex", after the oft-maligned man who organized and led the activities, Alex Smith. Five of the players were defensive guys: Parys Haralson, Isaac Sopoaga, Ray McDonald, Curtis Taylor and Justin Smith.
The other 20 players were made up of the following:
QB: Alex Smith, David Carr, Colin Kapernick
TE: Vernon Davis, Nate Byham, Delanie Walker
Alex Smith indicated he expected Frank Gore, who could arrive later in the week. Daniel Kilgore's agent also said his client would be in attendance this week. Adam Snyder has been participating in all of the activities prior to this, but was absent today for some reason. I'll recap what we know regarding today's festivities (yes, there's EVEN MORE) after the jump.
Upon arrival players were immediately ushered into a class room where the media was told Alex Smith was going over film, drawing on the grease-board, and essentially teaching the offense to the room. Anthony "Boobie" Dixon later said "Alex is just as good as a coach, man. It's really impressive how much he knows."
Vernon Davis (a long-time Alex Smith supporter who even helped talk Singletary into re-inserting Smith into the Philadelphia game of 2010) also noted how Alex was coaching in the class room, "like a coach would".
When the players hit the field, the media tried to get close enough to observe the action but were told by Smith that the practice was closed. Matt Barrows indicated he pushed the issue with Smith who was "the most prickly I've ever seen him. A good sign, in my humble opinion."
Tim Kawakami had this funny tweet:
Crabtree talks at length, Alex smith is the badass. This lockout is weird.
There were whistles, wind-sprints, even some defense...sounds like a good impersonation of a real-live mini-camp.
Bach noted that Kaepernick wasn't seen throwing, possibly due to his recent leg surgery, which is believed to be minor and not threatening to any sort of training camp.
After practice the players were made available to the media. Crabtree said that he's been in the Bay Area for three weeks now but didn't see the need to work out with the team until activities became organized...which apparently qualifies Camp Alex. He said he'd always done better working out on his own in terms of conditioning.
Anthony Davis also spoke to the media, reporting he's a few pounds lighter and traded-in some fat for muscle thanks to a personal trainer he hired in the off-season. Barrows noted that Davis appeared to be in good shape during sprints...a good sign.
These are encouraging scraps in the midst of a grueling, lockout-worsening off-season and clearly prove that the 49ers are the team to beat in the NFL going forward. I mean, Alex Smith is being a leader...he even reportedly sent Vernon Davis to the showers and de-pantsed himself during a break in the action.
Okay, I made that last part up.