[EDITOR'S NOTE 7/29 11:40PM: I've noticed many people googling "49ers training camp" are coming across this post. If you end up here and have not been to Niners Nation before, feel free to explore the proverbial studio space. If you want to leave comments here, scroll to the bottom and you'll see an option for registering. Registration is free and it gives you the power of commenting and writing your own Fan Posts, which are like blogs within the blog. Anyways, hope you enjoy your time here, as we've got a great little community that is growing every day. We'd love to hear from you.]
The long "winter" that is the NFL offseason is finally at an end. While games do not kick for another couple weeks, practice is officially underway today. Thursday saw the 49ers report for duty and take care of phsyicals and whatnot. Thankfully all the rookies are under contract and in camp. To throw some cliches your way, in July everybody's a contender. Some more than others, but every team has some reason or another for hope. The 49ers hope comes in the form of Mike Martz and Justin Smith among many others.
We've broken down different training camp battles (twice). We've looked at the new 49ers on the field and amongst the coaching staff. We've even looked at possible best and worst case scenarios. Consider this post then a quick overview for those who may have been away from Niners Nation awhile, as well as general info on training camp in Santa Clara.
Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Center
Santa Clara, CA
8 practices open to the public: July 25, 26, 27, 28, 30; August 1, 2,3
John Clayton with quick thoughts on the 49ers training camp and things to do away from camp:
• What John Clayton says: What's better than 49er camp? First, it's located on the outside of Great America amusement park, which could make for a great doubleheader for the entire family. Catch a morning or afternoon practice with one of the up-and-coming teams in football and slide over to the theme park. The 49ers train at their headquarters and have a nice setup for fans, with stands and refreshments.
• What to do besides training camp: Santa Clara is 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco; visit 49ers' camp in the morning and shop in Union Square in the afternoon. Other must-see places in San Francisco include Alcatraz, Pier 39, Golden Gate Park and the Ferry Building. Back at team headquarters, the Santa Clara Golf & Tennis Club is located but a few feet away, should campgoers wish to take some swings while in town. For a true taste of Silicon Valley history, the Intel Museum also is just down the street. And nearby Triton Museum of Art offers free admission.
Isaac Bruce, WR
DeShaun Foster, RB
Bryant Johnson, WR
J.T. O'Sullivan, QB
LaJuan Ramsey, DT
Alan Reuber, OT
Allen Rossum, KR/PR
Barry Sims, OT
Justin Smith, DE
Dontarrious Thomas, LB
2008 Draft Class
Kentwan Balmer, DT/DE
Chilo Rachal, G/T
Reggie Smith, CB/S
Cody Wallace, C
Josh Morgan, WR
Larry Grant, LB
Training Camp Battles to watch
QB1: Alex Smith vs. Shaun Hill vs. J.T. O'Sullivan (no snickering please)
Ted Linebacker: Jeff Ulbrich vs. Larry Grant vs. Brandon Moore
RG (winner does battle with Baas): Chilo Rachal vs. Tony Wragge
CB #2/3: Walt Harris vs. Shawntae Spencer vs. Tarell Brown vs. Reggie Smith
WR #2/#3/#4: Bryant Johnson vs. Arnaz Battle vs. Ashley Lelie vs. Jason Hill vs. Josh Morgan
FS: Mark Roman vs. Dashon Goldson
ROLB: Tully Banta-Cain vs. Jay Moore vs. Parys Haralson
World Wide Supremacy: Patrick Willis and Andy Lee vs. God (trick question, Lee and Willis ARE God)
We'll have wall to wall coverage of training camp. I'm going to attend one of the eight practices, although that may expand to more if I have time. In the meantime, if ANYBODY here attends training camp, we'd love to hear your thoughts in a Fan Post. In the meantime I'll be scouring the Internet for information as things happen. I hope everyone is as excited as I am for the return of football!
And of course, if you haven't yet signed up, the random drawing for spots in the first Niners Nation Fantasy Football League will be held July 31. For those not selected, additional leagues will be created to fill all demand and there will be equal prizes to all winners.