Vernon Davis was the star of the day according to most of the writers. He continually got open for deep completions, although much of it came against the second team. Once Michael Crabtree's injury came to light, a big concern was how the team would make up for the lost production. Davis was an obvious candidate. So far in camp, his name has been mentioned repeatedly, whether as the standout of the day, having made the play of the day or just having good practices. His timing and chemistry has improved with Colin Kaepernick, something missing during the regular season last year, but he appears to be excelling regardless of who's quarterbacking at the time. Christian Gin noted that he had several receptions of more than 20 yards. All signs are pointing to a big year out of VD.
Four receivers did not take part in practice today in A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams, Ricardo Lockette and Kasim Osgood. Quinton Patton has yet to catch a pass, as per coaches instructions due to an injured finger. There are 14 receivers on the 49ers 90-man roster, as Cam Inman noted in a tweet, and 6 of them aren't playing (Crabtree & Mario Manningham being the others). I'm conjuring up an image of a zombie movie where the living dead slowly amble forward with one leg dragging behind.
To fight the injuries and get some competition in, the 49ers signed veteran free agents Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins. Both worked out for the team around noon, along with Laurent Robinson, and the pair were signed shortly after. Once they were fitted for helmets and uniforms, they observed the first half of team drills before jumping in. Each caught a short pass. Collie will be looked at in the slot, where he excelled with Peyton Manning and Colts before injuries derailed his career. Hawkins' best year came in 2011, when he played in all 16 games, catching 47 balls for 470 yards and his lone career touchdown.
Injuries were again a major factor at practice. Aside from the receivers, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Jonathan Goodwin and Frank Gore, to name a few, did not suit up for practice. Tarell Brown took limited part in the drills, allowing Tramaine Brock and Nnamdi Asomugha to move up the 'depth chart'. The cornerbacks continued to get solid reviews in practice but they really should look good against our 7th and 8th string receivers. Grant Cohn notes that Nnamdi did not give up a single reception in man coverage and Brock had the lone interception of the day, sneaking in front of a long Colt McCoy pass.
The big injury scare of the day occurred when Mike Iupati fell to the ground and had to be helped from the field. At first it wasn't clear what the severity of the injury was. Joe Looney filled in for a few plays, and after being examined by a trainer, Iupati marched back out to finish out practice. I don't know about you guys but I'm getting a bit nervous about this injury bug going around. Bumps and bruises to our camp body wideouts is one thing, but Michael Crabtree, Chris Culliver and Patrick Willis are not so easily replaced.
Other notes from practice include:
- Lawrence Okoye continued to get repeatedly single-blocked by the second team offensive line. Marlon Moore had a touchdown and another long completion, continuing his strong showing. (Gin)
- Phil Dawson hit two field goals of 56 and 57 yards on a windy day in Santa Clara.
- Eric Reid looked both good and bad at times. According to Matt Maiocco he gave up two touchdowns, one after biting a play fake near the goal line and later being part of a coverage mix-up. Otherwise he seemed to have played well.
- Perrish Cox looked strong according to a few of the writers.
- Daniel Kilgore, playing center in place of Goodwin, has had no issues with the snap (always a concern) according to Cam Inman.
- Grant Cohn notes that LaMichael James struggled in pass blocking.
Being a Sheep
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