The San Francisco 49ers welcome the Denver Broncos to town on Wednesday for two days of joint practices leading up to their Saturday preseason contest. More and more teams are doing this, as it gives them a chance to shake up training camp a bit, and provide an opportunity to face some new opposition.
On Tuesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the teams will hold a padded practice on Wednesday and a non-padded practice on Thursday. He talked about how he and Broncos head coach Vance Joseph organized things:
“You know, we looked at the schedules and stuff because they’ve done it the last couple of years together. So, we looked at how they’d done that. Him and I talked, I believe it was on Sunday and we went through those together and just made it more to fit what we both wanted. We got two practices done together. We talked a lot more about the first practice, knowing that depending on how that first practice goes we’ll probably talk again Wednesday night to see if we want to change anything up on Thursday.”
When asked if he and Joseph had gone into details about what they would work on, he said they were not there yet.
“No, we haven’t done that yet. We know personnel groupings, down and distance, what yard lines we’re going to be doing stuff. I know we’ll get a certain amount of reps in the red zone. We’ll get a certain amount of third-down reps. When you go into a game, yeah I’d love to evaluate how we’re going to do in the red zone. I don’t know if we’re going to be there. I don’t know if we’re going to move the ball and get there or maybe we might score from outside the 20. You don’t know how many third downs you’re going to get. So, yeah, you get those situations. Going against our own, I can make sure we’re getting enough zone looks, enough man looks, things like that. But, you want to be a little bit more competitive going against someone else.”
It will be interesting to see what kind of intensity there is at practice. Shanahan has said in the past he likes intensity and a little fight, but they will want to avoid getting into significant scuffles beyond the usual in-play stuff.
Here’s what he had to say about what he looks forward to with this opportunity.
“I really like it. You go against the same coverage in OTAs you go against in minicamp. You go against the same stuff now. You’d like to get different looks and you don’t want to make your defense put in a bunch of stuff they’re not going to run in the season just so you can practice them on offense. So, the more you can go against other teams who have a different type of scheme, I think it helps both sides of your ball. Just so you can practice it and you don’t have to get it just in games. I think anytime you can get live work versus other players, you want the practice to be the same. We want there to be no difference. But, there’s a different competition level, just naturally. Going against guys you haven’t seen, you definitely want to win. Which you do every day, but I think it brings out the most in people, and you get to see how guys compete, how they go against other players. From a schematics standpoint I think it’s very important.”