The San Francisco 49ers held the first of two joint practices with the Denver Broncos and did several of the same drills we’ve previously seen in practice. The 49ers installed bleachers for fans on the outsides of both fields; 49ers offense vs Broncos defense on one field and the Broncos offense and the 49ers defense on the other. Here are my takeaways from the 49ers offense:
Von Miller vs. Trent Brown or Joe Staley
These were the best match ups of the practice. Miller and Brown faced off in one-on-ones and Miller got past Brown to the ‘QB’ virtually untouched. Brown was clearly disappointed. Staley and OL coach John Benton talked to Brown about it and a few players came over and gave Brown a pat on the shoulder pads. The next time Brown lined up facing Miller he was able to hold a wide perimeter around the quarterback. It was impressive.
Brian Hoyer has a respectable day
The 49ers starting quarterback had a very respectable day, which is apparently more than one can say about the opposing team’s offense. Although he was ‘sacked’ twice by Von Miller, Hoyer never threw an interception. He completed passes to Pierre Garçon, George Kittle, Marquise Goodwin, and Tim Hightower. During red zone drills he threw a nice corner fade to the right side to Garçon amongst other touchdowns.
Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower on rotation
Hyde has been consistently taking the first snap with the 1s quickly followed by the second snap being seen by Tim Hightower. Both running backs have played consistently in both the running and passing game.
While Vance McDonald was in with the 1s in the first series of 11-on-11s, the now healthy George Kittle saw time with the 1s in the second series. McDonald who was possibly marked for a trade during the offseason, received praise from GM John Lynch in his post practice media availability. He noted that McDonald has handled it professionally and played very well in the 49ers preseason opener especially in his blocking efforts. Blake Bell, Garrett Celek and Cole Hikutini all have been working with both Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard.
As I mentioned above, Hoyer did not throw an interception but neither did C.J. Beathard or Matt Barkley. All three QBs threw away the ball on occasion but never to an opposing player. Barkley had a spectacular throw to Kendrick Bourne during 7-on-7 end zone drills, placed perfectly in front of him where only he could catch it and another one where Denver CB Brendan Langely was draped all over Bourne. Barkley also threw deep to a double covered Victor Bolden for a completion. Beathard had a nice corner fade to Aldrick Robinson in end zone drills.
The team has one more joint practice before a ‘day off’ on Friday where the team will hold a walk through that is closed to the media.