The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their fifth day of practice on Tuesday, and the media reports (linked at the bottom) indicate it was a strong day for the defense. There was one notable series of plays in which the first team offense and defense squared off on third down plays. The defense stopped the offense on four straight plays.
This comes on a day in which the group was a little short-handed. Chris Culliver, Tramaine Brock, and Ray McDonald all joined Justin Smith on the sideline for the session. Vic Fangio did not believe the issues to be serious, but all three were dealing with reported leg injuries that could use a little rest. As Fangio said, there's no point in rushing them back at this point.
Aldon Smith is dominating
The first string offense and defense get to square off against each other times, but they also mix it up with the second string units. In all instances, it sounds like Aldon Smith is thoroughly dominating. We'll know a bit more when the team hits the field in preseason action, although even then Vic Fangio might keep things fairly vanilla. Whatever the case, when the regular season gets here, if Aldon is cleaned up, this could result in his best year to date. Smith has always been dominant, but if his mind is clean, who knows what he might do. He has as much pass rush upside as anybody in the league. Considering how good he has been thus far, that's scare to consider. Well, scary for other teams!
Chris Cook is on the board...sort of
All the practice reports led (or quickly followed) with reports of Chris Cook hauling in an interception over Brandon Lloyd. He has never intercepted a pass in his regular season career, so that will be something to track. If Chris Culliver maintains his hold on the starting job opposite Tramaine Brock, the real question is when we'll see Cook. Injuries are always a concern, so there's the insurance aspect. But I also wonder if the 49ers will rotate him into the base defense on occasion to keep Brock and/or Culliver fresh.
Kap to Crabtree looking solid
The 49ers offense was shut down on four straight third down attempts, but it sounds like they did some solid two-minute drill work. Kap and Crabtree connected on a touchdown. It's interesting reading the various reports because I've seen reports of a 19-yard, 30-yards, and 50-yard touchdown. It is possible they are talking about different drills, but it's interesting getting the varying angles.
First off, this is kind of funny. Cam Inman (San Jose Mercury News) and Taylor Price (49ers.com) had back-to-back tweets that conflicted just a little bit. Taylor does point out certain things that go wrong, but obviously writing for the team site requires a certain amount of tact in how he discusses events. Team coverage will be somewhere between neutral and favorable most of the time. There's nothing wrong with that, but it can lead to funny tweets like this.
This is kind of random: