The 49ers started their second week of training camp with their third padded practice. There were a few roster changes with the activation of several players off of the PUP and NFL lists including Malcolm Smith, Trent Taylor and Jonathan Cooper. They also lost a couple of players for what is hoped to be short term injuries, Arik Armstead (hamstring), Cole Hikutini (groin) and Joshua Garnett (knee).
Here’s what we learned at training camp on 7/31
The Next Man Up
With Malcolm Smith not yet taking all of the reps with the ones, we got to see third round pick Fred Warner in the mix as the MIKE next to Reuben Foster. Armstead’s absence led to rookie Jullian Taylor getting thrust into the fold. With Trent Taylor not taking all of his reps with the ones, Richie James was thrust into the spotlight and shine he did. He caught a 40 yard pass down the right side from Jimmy Garoppolo while Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert were in coverage.
In just a few practices we are starting to see how some of the moving parts will fit into Kyle Shanahan’s offense. There have been pitch backs, jet sweeps, and end arounds mixed in with the usual handoffs and bubble screens. With versatile players comes versatile looks. Thinking about what you might see in a game is exciting.
The size of DeForest Buckner is indisputable and neither is his talent. If he’s not getting sacks of the quarterbacks he’s facing, he’s getting pressure on them. He has matured into a leader in the defensive line room and has been seen working with Solomon Thomas in position group drills. He will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
The Corner Fade
It haunts us. It brings back the PTSD type feelings and even more so when Richard Sherman is involved. During red zone 7-on-7s Garoppolo threw a corner fade to Pierre Garçon with Sherman covering him. Guess what? It was broken up. While we want to see the Garoppolo Garcon connection thrive, it’s a good thing that Sherman will be there to defend that pass if any team dares to try it.
The Family Love
It was bound to happen at some point during camp. Adrian Colbert jumped a route on a pass headed for his cousin Marquise Goodwin that would have been good for over 30 yards. Instead, Colbert returned the interception for a pick six. There were several NSFW comments and gestures between the two who yelled from sideline to sideline shortly after the play. I think the competition level at camp just went up a few notches.