The San Francisco 49ers opened up their first practice of training camp with a fairly normal session. The structure was very similar to what has been seen during OTAs and minicamp, and it will probably won’t be drastically different as the days progress. Here’s what we learned on day one of training camp.
Brock Coyle and Reuben Foster will be holding down the middle of the field while Malcolm Smith recovers from a non football injury that the from office says is nothing to worry about. For now Coyle will be the MIKE, communicating plays on the field. Coyle had a great PBU/near interception on a Jimmy Garoppolo pass that was intended for George Kittle.
While it wasn’t an amazing day for Jimmy Garoppolo, he still made some nice plays with Marquise Goodwin on the field. The pair connected twice in 11-on-11s and once in 7-on-7s. Their best play of the day was a 10 yard pass down the middle with Ahkello Witherspoon in close coverage. Garoppolo threw the ball at just the perfect spot, and Goodwin high pointed the ball and came down with the reception.
Richard Sherman is not fond of his “Uncle Sherm” moniker. He doesn’t like being called one of the “older” guys either. He does, however take his role of mentoring and leading very seriously and continues to coach up the young secondary during practice. We also got to see him partake in limited reps on the first day back. While he was on the field, his repaired Achilles didn’t seem to be hindering him at all. He moved well and seemed to be enjoying being on the field again. No passes were thrown in his direction.
The Versatile one
It looks like Jerick McKinnon will be on the filed a lot come game time. He admits he has gotten much more comfortable with the playbook since his arrival in Santa Clara. Now with confidence, he is ready to be put in any situation — and there will be a lot of them. He had a few great runs and somehow got completely wide open on blown coverage for a reception and an easy first down.
There were some great plays made on the defensive side of the ball on day one. Arik Armstead swatted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Tyvis Powell intercepted a Nick Mullens pass. Tarvarius Moore snatched a tie ball away from Dante Pettis. Brock Coyle had a near interception on a Garoppolo pass over the middle that was intended for George Kittle.
While the guard position will be a position of competition throughout training camp and the preseason, it was Joshua Garnett who was playing on day one. Laken Tomlinson was solidly at the left side with the ones as was Weston Richburg at center, Mike McGlinchey at right tackle and Joe Staley anchoring the left side.
While the run defense improved in 2017, the pass rush remained challenged. DeForest Bucker has a secret sack total goal for 2018 and also says not to discount the talent of Jeremiah Attaochu and Cassius Marsh on the edge. While this is something that everyone wants to see improvement in, we will not be able to evaluate as much until the pads come on and there’s some “live hitting” action on the field.