The 49ers have wrapped up their second week of training camp and most things seem to have gone according to plan. There have been some things we thought we knew and some things we clearly didn't.
Here’s what week learned through two weeks of training camp:
Training camp is a grind
While there have only been eight practices so far, six have been with pads. There is no live tackling and players are told not to take anyone to the ground but inevitably it happens occasionally. Thankfully there have not been any significant injuries, but there have been quite a few players sitting out due to strains, tightness and generally as a precaution. One of the more notable injuries is of Joshua Garnett’s knee which was supposed to keep him out for a few days. He will be getting a second opinion soon as he has said “It doesn’t feel right.”
Other players limited or held out of practice:
- Richard Sherman
- Arik Armstead
- Cassius Marsh
- Cole Hikutini
- Brock Coyle
- J.P. Flynn
- Cole Wick
- Jerry Attaochu
- Jimmie Ward
- Fred Warner
- Dante Pettis
With the grind comes mistakes and we saw those in reps towards the end of the second week. The excitement of putting on pads for the first time is long gone and players are getting tired as they finish the installation of plays. After several pre-snap penalties we saw Kyle Shanahan huddle everyone up in the middle of practice to talk about how valuable practice reps are:
I just wanted guys to lock in more. We’ve got a day off tomorrow. This was our fourth day in a row so that’s usually our toughest day. Had to cut it a little bit short yesterday just because we were losing some guys. Guys were tightening up and just made a decision to cut the last two-minute period yesterday. I just told them early on I wasn’t going to do that today. We had to lock in. We had to tough through this. I didn’t want to waste a day. I think guys were working, but I want people mindful in everything they do and not going through the motions so we’re getting better out there, not just getting tired.
Rookies are getting their chance
With the noted injuries and strains above, there have been quite a few rookies who have been able to get their chance with the first team. D.J. Reed took a few reps at free safety and Jullian Taylor stepped in with Armstead out. Dante Pettis worked with Jimmy Garoppolo under center earlier in the week as Fred Warner did with Reuben Foster at his side.
WR1a & WR1b
Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon may as well both be WR1. Both have been building their chemistry with Garoppolo and have shown up strong during training camp. Garcon, who’s 2017 season ended early after a neck injury was known to be WR1 but Goodwin stepped up strongly into that role and embraced it. Now the team really has two top tier wide receivers not to mention the younger receivers like Trent Taylor and Pettis.
The locker room is very close
One of the most important things that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have done is to build a roster that has great chemistry. Bringing a strong personality like Richard Sherman is a very big move, but it is one of the best ones they’ve made. He has become a leader and example that is very valuable to a young locker room. It is also very apparent on social media how much fun these guys are having with each other and how important that will be once they face adversity during the season.