The San Francisco 49ers’ sixth practice of training camp was the most competitive day so far. Both the offense and defense found some success during the team portions of practice. The energy level was noticeably heightened as the two sides of the ball went back and forth.
The first competitive period of practice belonged to the offense during the 1-on-1 portion between receivers and cornerbacks. Wideout Dante Pettis was matched up against cornerback Richard Sherman on the first rep. He beat the veteran deep and reeled in a pinpoint pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the touchdown. Sherman was tested deep again by Max McCaffrey, responding with a leaping pass breakup that was nearly an interception.
Other standouts were rookie Deebo Samuel, who “Moss’d” cornerback DJ Reed on an out route near the sideline. Trent Taylor beat Greg Mabin deep but had to come back for the pass, leaping around Mabin for the falling catch. Both Marquise Goodwin and Richie James continue to win with speed and precision in their routes.
Garoppolo had another solid day, completing 8 of 14 passes during the team periods of practice. Receivers Taylor, Kendrick Bourne, Jordan Matthews along with tight ends Ross Dwelley and George Kittle were those making the biggest plays on throws from the 49ers’ franchise quarterback.
The initial team period was broken up by a short special teams session, after which the defense came out firing on all cylinders. Nick Bosa stood out today, with multiple sacks or pressures through the team portion of practice. Kentavius Street and Solomon Thomas also sacked opposing quarterbacks. Mabin and K’Waun Williams broke up passes while safeties Marcell Harris and Tyree Robinson both brought down interceptions. Linebacker Fred Warner made a couple of impressive plays throughout the afternoon, laying a huge hit on running back Tevin Coleman as well as covering him deep downfield on a wheel route.
Robert Saleh’s defense was especially impressive during the red-zone period of practice. The offense ran 14 plays and was only able to score on two of them. Defensive lineman Ronald Blair, Jullian Taylor, and Bosa all made stops in the backfield.
A highlight of the red zone period was the 49ers offense’s attempt at a trick play made famous by a certain city in Pennsylvania. Garoppolo ended up with the ball a few yards short of the end zone with both the safety and linebacker quickly bearing down. Neither was going to touch their quarterback though, as Garoppolo strolled into the endzone to the delight of fans.
- Cornerback Jason Verrett authored one of the day’s highlights. With Witherspoon out, Verrett got some additional reps with the first-team defense. On one play, Verrett was covering speedster Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin ran a clean comeback route, but Verrett dove in front of Garoppolo’s pass and swatted the ball away. It was an impressive play that sent the defensive sideline into a flurry.
- Kendrick Bourne has put together a strong camp thus far. He was undefeated during Thursday’s 1-on-1 period and had another strong day today. Bourne made a diving reception over the middle of the field on a pass from Garoppolo. He capped the day off with a touchdown during red zone work, one of only two on the day. Bourne broke left running along the front of the endzone, making a diving reception near the sideline on a throw from C.J. Beathard. Safety Marcell Harris and cornerback Tim Harris were nearby.
- Running back Raheem Mostert offered the biggest hit of the day. He caught a pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and turned up the right side of the field. Harris moved off his coverage and lined up in front of Mostert, only to be ran over by the 49ers running back. Mostert was able to gain some additional yards after the hit, as well.
- Players that didn’t participate on Friday: DT DeForest Buckner (toe), DE Dee Ford (knee tendinitis), FS Jimmie Ward (collarbone), RB Jeff Wilson (calf) and G Joshua Garnett (finger). Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon competed in individual drills but headed in with an injury to his glute.
- The 49ers return for their seventh practice of training camp on Saturday, beginning at 10:15 am PST.