As Fooch mentioned last night, the 49ers players wrapped up what has been dubbed "Camp Alex" yesterday. The Smith who organized and led the activities for offensive players, Alex, cleared the air about any potential bad-blood between himself and Michael Crabtree...OK, but Crabtree has work to do in order to win over the fans at this point.
Lost in the Crab-Smith drama was the fact that another Smith, Aldon, made it to the practice and spent his first time with teammates since he was drafted number seven overall in April of this year. As of writing this, the only tidbit we have regarding Smith joining the defensive players was Matt Barrows saying that yet another Smith, Justin, led Aldon and the rest of the defense through a rigorous conditioning session today.
Another player who took part in today's festivities was free-agent David Baas. I find it telling that two guys (Baas, Alex Smith) who aren't under contract for the 49ers are eager to participate in voluntary player-only workouts. In fact, Baas has a playbook and said that he expects for "everything to work itself out".
The aforementioned Crabtree was absent from on-field work again today and Alex Smith explained that due to the past stress-fracture injury, he encouraged "Offseason Allergy" to take it easy. I'm sure it's difficult to ascertain how I feel about this matter.
After the jump we'll examine the mounds of other info we have regarding today's session.
The starting lineup on the offensive line during team drills went: Staley, Iupati, Baas, Snyder, Davis. Personally I like this lineup. Snyder has played very well since primarily moving to the interior of the line. He had been acting as the de facto center prior to Baas' arrival, making himself even more versatile and valuable to the 49ers.
Chilo Rachal had a "previous commitment" that prevented him from taking part in Camp Alex. I get it, so did Alex Boone...but if Rachal doesn't want to lose his starting gig (assuming Harbaugh even feels Chilo is the favorite to win it) he better start showing up. Snyder not only played well during limited opportunities in 2010, but he also seemed to bring out the best in Anthony Davis as well. Davis could use a veteran player like Snyder next to him.
Chemistry is also a huge part of an offensive-line unit. With Snyder helping Staley lead the OL drills, etc...I think this is something Harbaugh will not overlook come time for a "real" team activity and/or training camp.
I think Harbaugh expressed to the players before the lockout began, and likely again during the tiny window in which it was lifted, that he wanted them to step up and do everything they possibly can to conduct practices and install the offense. Guys like Staley, Alex, Snyder, etc. are going to be rewarded for their roles in organizing and leading these activities.
At any rate, I'm very pleased with how this "camp" has gone down, for the most part. It seems to have been run in a structured format and intended to mimic an official team activity...something that should well-serve the players who attended.