The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their third day of training camp practice on Saturday, wearing full pads for the first time. Through the offseason, it has been primarily either shorts and helmets, or helmets and shells, but not much more than that. Adding pads into the mix, along with the ability for live contact, provides a better grasp on where things stand. The next step will of course be getting on the field in preseason game action, but this is a big step.
The practice recap is a little bit short for now. Trent Baalke dropped in on the media for a 45-minute chat. Cam Inman is putting together a rundown of the topics Baalke touched on. I'll update this post with links to the other practice reports as they come in.
Quarterbacks in general
Overall, it sounds like the passing game had its best day of training camp. Colin Kaepernick was 7-of-7 in 11-on-11 work. The passing game was a little rusty through the first couple days, but hearing that it was improved once they moved into pads is certainly a positive.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson received some praise, with Matt Barrows listing him among the three or four players with the best day of work. According to the 49ers.com report, McBLT got work with the second team, and also got some time behind the first team offensive line. The 49ers have five quarterbacks on the roster. Kap is the starter, Blaine Gabbert is the No. 2 at this point, and then you've got McBLT, Josh Johnson, and Kory Faulkner. I'm really curious to see just how the 49ers rotate the backups in the preseason. Kap will probably see anywhere from one series to one quarter of play in the first preseason game. I suspect we see Gabbert play the second quarter, and then McBLT and Johnson split the second half. For now, I would be surprised if we saw a whole lot of much from Kory Faulkner in preseason games.
Blaine Gabbert, specifically
By all accounts, Gabbert has looked great through the first three days of training camp. It appears that each day he has had at least one particularly good throw, and overall, he's doing good things. That's important, but as we move forward, the big key will to see how he does during the preseason.
When the 49ers acquired Gabbert, our Jaguars blog mentioned that he was a classic teaser quarterback with the look of a complete quarterback, and a guy who was great in practice. Unfortunately, he struggled when it came to game action. Maybe his coaching staff did not adequately prepare him. Or maybe he's just not a good game quarterback. We'll get to see what he can do in a couple weeks when the 49ers open their preseason schedule in Baltimore. Once the pass rush is real, we'll find out if Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff have helped him take a step forward.
Tramaine Brock had a solid day
Brock is more or less locked in as one of the two starting cornerbacks. Chris Culliver is currently starting opposite him, and while I expect Culliver to end up with that job when the regular season starts, I could see Brock being the more locked in option. I believe Culliver has a higher upside than Brock, but Brock has a much higher floor, while also retaining a solid enough upside.
Brock had a pick and some pass breakups, on a day in which the quarterbacks were putting on a bit of a show. I'd enjoy Brock developing into a lock down corner, but I'm really just looking for a solid, consistent product.
None to speak of on Day 3. We like that.