Yesterday, the 49ers conducted a normal morning practice and then followed that up with a strictly special teams practice. One of the valuable aspects to that kind of dichotomy of practices is that we get to hear from multiple coaches. Yesterday, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye spoke about the offense in the morning, and special teams coach Kurt Schottenheimer had some comments in the afternoon about the special teams units.
One of the players showing some promise is rookie wide receiver and return man Kyle Williams. Williams was a sixth round pick out of Arizona State who showed some flash in college. As to his receiving abilities, Raye said:
He's had more snaps the last two days because of some nicks at his position and he made a couple plays. He made a couple plays today. It looks to me, from what I've seen of him, that he has very good short range quickness and ability to drop his weight and change direction. He's very quick in and out of things and you have to get around him pretty quick because he can run off in a hurry and create some space. We're pleased with what he's done. We'll see how it goes and how he plays over there Sunday in the snaps he gets in Indianapolis.
As to Williams' return abilities, Coach Schottenheimer said:
Kyle has a lot of quickness and dart to him. He's got great maneuverability. He's going to get a lot of work in the preseason.
It sounds like his quickness off the snap on offense translates to the necessary quickness as a punt returner. It remains to be seen how many snaps he'll get at wide receiver. I'd imagine Crabtree and Morgan won't see a lot of time in this first game, meaning the snaps will be split between Jason Hill, Ted Ginn Jr, Williams, Brandon Jones (if his hamstring is healed), Dominique Zeigler, Kevin Jurovich, Bakari Grant, and Scott Long.
Jurovich, Grant, and Long will probably get nothing more than scraps in the fourth quarter. That leaves Hill, Ginn, Williams, Jones and Zeigler with the bulk of the snaps. Jones has had some hamstring issues, so he might be limited, and even if he's not limited by injury, he's likely to be limited by being buried on the depth chart.
Whatever the case may be, I'd suspect we'll see a lot of Kyle Williams this Sunday.