Wednesday was quite an eventful day for the 49ers, as they had their first joint practice with the Houston Texans. Aside from the attention-grabbing headline of Jimmie Ward engaging in a short fight with Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, many 49ers players were given quite an opportunity to practice against high-level players from a different team.
Notably, it’s been reported that the defensive line was able to pressure the Texans’ quarterbacks extensively throughout the day. Returning veterans DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Day were among players finding their way to the quarterback regularly, but newcomer Jeremiah Attaochu, who recently returned back to practice, had an encouraging day as he found success in penetrating into the backfield on multiple occasions.
Along the offensive line, rookie Mike McGlinchey was matched up with otherworldly talent J.J. Watt for much of the day. The very first rep saw McGlinchey blown up and flattened out - but he was able to even out the performance throughout the day. Finding any sort of success against J.J. Watt is an accomplishment on it’s own, rookie status non-withstanding. Furthermore, Joshua Garnett was reported to have had a good practice. Although working with the second team, his injuries had held him back for much of the offseason - so hearing some good news from that front has been long-awaited.
On the perimeters, the WR corps largely had a good day, with nearly every lock or strong-bubble player making a key reception (or more) in scrimmage situations. The glaring omission from that group was Kendrick Bourne, who reportedly dropped multiple passes, including a pair of touchdown receptions. The secondary had an up-and-down kind of day, but a portion of that can be attributed to Richard Sherman not participating in scrimmages and Jimmie Ward earning an early ejection. The Texans have a very good stable of WRs, and the secondary had their hands full - especially S-to-CB conversion project Tarvarius Moore, who embodied this sentiment on a two play sequence in which he defended a ball perfectly, only to be beaten by a 40 yard gainer the next play.
The teams will hold a second joint practice today, before walk-throughs on Friday, and their preseason game on Saturday.
Jimmie Ward fought DeAndre Hopkins | Biderman, Ninerswire
Developmental opportunities for 49ers during joint practices | DeSimone, 4th & 9
D.J. Reed’s path to the NFL was a tough one | Branch, SF Gate