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49ers training camp recap: Defense returns to form on Day 4

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Our daily breakdown of the 49ers’ 2019 training camp.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers-Training Camp Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Any steam built up by the San Francisco 49ers’ offense after Monday’s practice was immediately snuffed out by the defense on Tuesday. It was a return to form for Robert Saleh’s unit. The 49ers’ defense was stubborn in the run game, giving up very little in the way of positive gains. The same can be said for the secondary, holding quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to just five completions on 14 attempts.

Neither Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida or Raheem Mostert were able to generate any real momentum on the ground. The day’s biggest run came from Breida, who was able to bounce the ball out left and beat the defense along the sideline. Cornerback Richard Sherman pursued from the far side of the field and likely would’ve knocked Breida out of bounds in a game situation. It was the offense’s most successful play of the day.

Garoppolo looked off most of the afternoon. He was routinely throwing into tight coverage and was unable to put the ball where it needed to be. High and behind the intended target seemed like a common theme. Garoppolo was able to find tight end George Kittle on a few plays, including a screen and sweep that both went for significant gains.

The 49ers offensive and defensive lines went head-to-head during the 1-on-1 portion of practice. DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Ronald Blair, and Kentavius Street all had impressive reps. Street, who red-shirted his rook year after tearing his ACL during pre-draft workouts, was able to beat rookie tackle Justin Skule on both reps. He used a bull rush on the first and a hand swipe on the second, both resulting in would-be sacks.

Notes

  • The 49ers’ defensive alignment and the utilization of the “Wide-9” have made things difficult for Kyle Shanahan’s offense and the outside portion of the run game. Running backs gaining the edge has been few and far between through four days of training camp. On that note, running backs gaining anything has been a rare sight. The 49ers’ run defense has been impressive.
  • Nick Bosa had a pair of would-be sacks during the team portion of practice. On one play, Bosa was left unblocked as the offense expected him to bite on the play fake, allowing the quarterback room to boot. Bosa immediately shot forward straight towards Nick Mullens. It was an excellent display of both speed and recognition for the second-overall pick.
  • The competition between Mullens and C.J Beathard for the backup role behind Garoppolo has been a competitive affair so far in camp. Mullens seems to have gained the early advantage, looking like the more decisive and consistent of the two. Today, Mullens completed five straight passes to close out the day with an unofficial six completions in nine attempts. Beathard finished seven of ten.
  • Players are given Wednesday off. Practice will return on Thursday at 10 am.