The day after a very short the practice without pads, the San Francisco 49ers finished out the work week with a longer padded practice before their day off. There were a few bright performances on each side of the ball. There were also a few new drills since I last attended training camp. Here are some of my training camp takeaways:
- Charles Haley was at practice today working with the defensive line. He gave one on one instruction to many members of the DL. (He wasn’t on my flight but we must have been flying at the same time as we both attended the Hall of Fame ceremony last night.)
- New LB vs RB drill puts them against each other in a one on one blocking situation. NaVorro Bowman went against Carlos Hyde and pancaked him the first go around and Hyde ended up with his backside on the grass. The second time Bowman used a spin move on Hyde that was so quick, he got the entire LB group yelling. Needless to say, Bowman looks quicker and more agile than last year. Although this drill was intense, both groups huddled up for high fives after it was over.
- As the competition for he ILB spot next to Bowman continues, Michael Wilhoite took his day with the 1s
- During QB/WR route warm ups a Colin Kaepernick pass glanced off of Quinton Patton’s fingertips on what seemed to be a miscommunication. Both players pointed at themselves saying it was their fault and they had a little chat afterwards. They connected later in practice when they were both on the same page. I only note this as Kaepernick has been criticized in the past for being anti-social. He doesn’t seem so on the field.
- Kenneth Acker joined the punt return group that usually consists of Bryce Treggs, Bruce Ellington and DeAndrew White. They practiced by catching FG attempts behind the goal posts as well as working with RB coach Tom Rathman in the end zone fielding punts by Bradley Pinion.
- First round pick DeForest Buckner continued to play on both sides of the DL. He suffered what seemed to be an elbow stinger but it didn’t appear to be serious. He was regularly double teamed out of necessity.
- Gabbert had the better practice today completing 10/13 while Kaepernick was 4/10 and a fumble in 11-on-11s. Kaepernick had passes nearly intercepted by Marcus Cromartie and Kenneth Acker. Michael Wilhoite almost picked a Gabbert pass that glanced off of the hands of Carlos Hyde.
- DiAndre Campbell put up some good numbers with five receptions thrown by Gabbert, three of which were in one series, and two from Kaepernick. He almost had a touchdown on a pass from Kaepernick but it was broken up by Cromartie at the goal line, as both players had their hands on the ball and Campbell just couldn’t pull it in. Campbell was usually covered by Rashard Robinson who has demonstrated his vocal personality on the field.
- Bryce Treggs caught three passes in one series from Thad Lewis in 7-on-7 play. The WR said after practice that everyone in the WR room is competitive and it will make them all better players.
- The one small skirmish of the day was between RB Kendall Gaskins and LB Ray Ray Armstrong during 11-on-11s with the 3s. The offense ran power and it got a little heated between the two.
- In the TE competition, birthday boy Blake Bell had big day catching 2 passes during 7-on-7s, one for a touchdown and two during 11-on-11s. Bruce Miller ended the day with four receptions, Garrett Celek with two, Vance McDonald with two, Je’Ron Hamm with two and Busta Anderson with one.
- In the running back competition behind Carlos Hyde who had 5 carries and 2 receptions, Shaun Draughn had 3 carries and 3 catches, Mike Davis had 5 carries and 2 receptions, DuJuan Harris 5 carries and 1 catch, Kelvin Taylor 4 carries and 1 catch and Kendall Gaskins 3 carries and 1 catch.
The players have tomorrow off, practice at the facility on Tuesday, at Kezar on Wednesday, and back to Santa Clara Thursday before their joint practice with the Houston Texans on Friday.