clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

1-on-1 takeaways: Sherman and Deebo shine

Notes from each positional group at today’s practice

NFL: JUL 30 49ers Training Camp Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Practice just finished up a little bit ago, and it was a sluggish day. You can tell the players had the day off yesterday. I’ll let Rob explain later today. For now, we’re going to talk about the 1-on-1 periods, as they feature plenty of action. I was watching the linemen, as well as the linebackers and the safeties. Rob had his eye on the guys on the perimeter. We haven’t been notified as to why, but we’re not able to film 1-on-1’s anymore. Here’s how things shook out.

How long do we have to wait?

The 1-on-1 portion between the linebackers and safeties seem to go the same each day. Good luck guarding George Kittle, and the other tight ends don’t challenge the safeties. Usually, the running backs make the linebackers look silly. There’s just too much space for them to operate, and it almost comes off as unrealistic.

That wasn’t the case today.

First of all, how long do we have to wait to acknowledge that Dre Greenlaw is legit? I know it’s only practice, but these are meaningful reps. This is how they get a chance to shine in games. I pride myself on being objective. When a player is doing well, I’ll say that. When a player isn’t, I’ll say that. In Greenlaw’s case, he looks like he knows what’s coming. There’s a difference between that, and merely guessing routes. It helps that he’s athletic, but Dre’s awareness is more second round than it is late Day 3. I feel good about saying Greenlaw is the best man coverage linebacker on the team. Warner is better in zone, and a better player overall, but Greenlaw might be the next guy on the field.

The tight ends did a good job of using their size today. They can be more consistent with using their body as their benefit. In our 53-man roster projection, I said Kaden Smith>Ross Dwelley. This entire time I was under the impression that 82 was Smith, the number he wore in college. Oops. Dwelley can play. He’s making the team.

Staley stumping Bosa

Much like the linebackers and safeties, it seems to be the same story in the trenches. Arik Armstead will go once and get shut down, then the next rep he makes whoever he is going against look silly. Solomon Thomas is too quick for the interior linemen, and Mike McGlinchey isn’t challenged. Not much changed today. I’d say the offensive line had the upper hand.

The main event is whenever Joe Staley goes against Nick Bosa, who hasn’t lined up on the right side in two days. You will hear “heavy hands” quite a bit from defensive line coaches. That’s what Bosa has. When he goes to put his hands on you, you are going to jolt back whether you like it or not. Bosa is that strong. Bosa would get his hands on Staley first, brushing the veteran back, but Staley is a wily veteran. His ability to recover is incredible. He won both matchups, and you could tell Bosa was frustrated. After the second matchup, Staley went to coach up Bosa. I could watch these two go at it all practice.

Don’t test Sherm

The wide receivers and cornerbacks had their 1-on-1 session in the red zone. This is the only part of the field when the playing field becomes even for the defense, as the offense is limited in the number of routes they can run. If you ran a fade on Richard Sherman today, he probably broke up the pass. That happened twice against Jalen Hurd, who is noticeably bigger than Sherman. That didn’t matter, though. Uncle Sherm has seen it all and didn’t look slightly concerned that Hurd was going to beat him. The offense tried to get him another time, using the 6-foot-4 12 Shawn Poindexter on a fade. It didn’t matter. Same result.

Deebo Samuel had a rollercoaster of a day. He had the best route, where he shook Dontae Johnson out of his shoes. The route? A slant, naturally. He also beat Jason Verrett and Greg Mabin for touchdowns. He’s so difficult to keep up with. His speed and quickness are one thing, but good luck jarring the ball loose from Deebo.

Ahkello Witherspoon returned to practice and looked great. I don’t believe he got beat the entire portion. Oh, and there’s no chance he’s 6-foot-3. ‘Spoon is a giant.

Kendrick Bourne had a strong session as well. After what Shanahan said about him after practice, he’s making the team. He went out of his way, which is rare for Shanahan.

The last noteworthy item was DJ Reed guarding Jordan Matthews. Reed tends to get under the opposing receiver’s skin, and I love it. Reed won three reps in a row against Matthews, and Matthews was visibly frustrated and yelling, “one more time, one more time.” Matthews finally beat him the fourth time, but that’s the type of feistiness you want in your slot cornerback.