The San Francisco 49ers kicked off training camp on Thursday, holding their first practice of the year. The first two days of practice will be unpadded, and then Saturday the pads finally go on.
Robert Saleh met with the media on Thursday, and he had an interesting comment about what he did at practice that day. Saleh was asked about the pass rush, and he said he spent most of practice in the defensive backfield. Without pads on and full contact in place, we can’t really assess the pass rush for the time being. The pass rush is a question mark, but the answers won’t start to arrive for a couple days.
Anything involving the defensive front seven vs. the offensive line is going to be wait and see for the time being. Once pads go on and we get into more physical drills, then we’ll get some answers. That’s not to say these first two days aren’t important for the pass rush vs. the offensive line, but for now it is more about getting technique and fundamentals in place.
The same holds true for the running backs. There is plenty they can still do, but without physical run blocking and defense in place, we can only assess so much. For example, David Lombardi talked about a solid cut-back run by Joe Williams. It’s good for Williams and the other running backs to have success these first two days, but we’ll be pumping the breaks the first two days.