The first two days of training camp for the San Francisco 49ers belonged squarely to the defense. The pressure was a constant for the first two practices as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo dipped and darted, throwing passes into tight coverage. The offense gained some ground on Monday. The donning of pads for the first time afforded the offense some much-needed time against the 49ers’ talented defensive front.
On the first play of 11-on-11s, Garoppolo lofted a beautiful pass deep downfield to second-year wideout Richie James. The ball traveled nearly 60 yards on what would’ve been a touchdown against the coverage of safety Adrian Colbert. It was the momentum Kyle Shanahan’s offense needed after a trying couple of days. The 49ers quarterback finished team periods completing 8 of 14 passes, a stat line that including some drops. On one play, Garoppolo threw a perfect pass toward the left sideline that fell just over the shoulder of receiver Dante Pettis, who couldn’t get his hands on the ball.
Garoppolo also added a 15-yard scramble on one play, during which you could probably hear a pin drop near the coaching staff. At the end of the run, Garoppolo slowed and simulated a slide. Shanahan said after practice that doesn’t want to limit his quarterback’s ability to run in situations where the defense allows it, but the apparent focus for Garoppolo is getting down and avoiding contact.
The offense may have won the day, but the defensive backs dominated the receivers during the 1-on-1 portion of practice - the first of training camp. Richard Sherman was matched up against Marquise Goodwin on multiple occasions and won both reps. Ahkello Witherspoon reeled in another interception when matched against Jalen Hurd, throwing the ball toward the rookie after the pick. With zero pressure and unlimited time, 1-on-1s are typically tailored toward the offense, but you wouldn’t know that after watching Monday’s action. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley had a strong showing, as well. Check out videos of most of the reps here.
- Running back Raheem Mostert authored a strong practice, reminding everyone not to forget about the special teams ace amongst the 49ers’ talented backfield. He had a few good runs that broke into the second level of the defense, as well as several receptions that would’ve gone for first downs.
- Shanahan explained after practice that he gained a new respect for Hurd after reviewing the tape of his two fights on Sunday. The rookie’s tenacious blocking is what sparked both scuffles, something Shanahan made sure to praise. On the other hand, the 49ers’ head coach also would like to see Hurd develop more restraint and allow the defense to show their frustrations without reacting in turn. The fights developed into a strong teaching moment for the 49ers’ third-round pick.
- Moseley excelled during 1-on-1s, but he also had what might’ve been the play of the day. With Kendrick Bourne running a comeback route, Moseley darted in front of Bourne to tip C.J. Beathard’s pass into the air, then dove forward to make the interception. Moseley’s interception was the first of training camp during 11-on-11s. It was also the final play of practice, inciting a huge roar from the entire defensive portion of the roster.
- Receiver Trent Taylor is the most targeted receiver of training camp during the team portions of practice. He reeled in four receptions on the day and continues to be a favorite for all three quarterbacks. His spot on the final roster becomes more solidified after every day.
- Guard Josh Garnett was the only player not to participate in Monday’s practice, suffering from a dislocated finger. Tackle Joe Staley was given a veteran’s day off.
- The 49ers resume practice on Tuesday at 10 am PST.