It’s so nice to finally be able to talk about football. One more day until the pads come on.
“I think overall tight ends are occasionally forgot about or not advertised enough,” Kittle said. “And I think the fact that guys are exploding through the ceiling that was set with me, Travis Kelce got a fantastic new deal, I know Ertz is about to get one and the guys that are just blowing through that, it’s fun to see and I think tight ends will just continue to prove that we’re worth a lot to the team.
That was a big part of it,” Kittle said. “I just wanted to get it done, have some security. Now, I can go onto the football field and not have any worries about anything. I don’t have to worry about getting injured, I don’t have to really worry about anything ... I get paid to play football, and now I’m taken care of and my family is taken care of and now I can just focus on that. I don’t have to worry about money, I don’t have to worry about anything else. I can just go out there and play football and run through someone’s face and I’m really excited about that.”
McKinnon has never appeared in a regular-season game with San Francisco due to a torn ACL, which he sustained a week before the 2018 opener. He has been on the practice field sparingly, as he missed all of last season when the graft on his left knee did not fill in properly.
But on Saturday, he showed some of the skills that Shanahan figured would make him a big part of the team’s third-down offense.
“When he came back last year, trying to get him back and he’d try to work through it, you could tell it just didn’t heal right,” Shanahan said after practice. “He had to go through all that stuff again.
“It’s still the first day, the first step, but you can tell it healed right. And you can tell Jet’s put that work in, and you feel all that he’s gone through the past two years. I feel he’s finally in position where he has a chance to have that comeback now.”
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Don’t get me wrong — Garoppolo wasn’t bad during the first practice of camp — he completed six of eight pass attempts. He’s a good quarterback. But he wore a brace on his surgically-repaired knee, which surprised me, because Kyle Juszczyk said Garoppolo doesn’t wear it anymore. He didn’t throw the ball with more zip and velocity than last year. And when nShanahan called deep passes, Garoppolo first refused to throw the ball. Then on a later play, Garoppolo overthrew Tavon Austin by five yards. Garoppolo still needs more work on the deep throws. Too bad he didn’t have OTAs or minicamp.
2. Wide receiver Trent Taylor.
Made the best play of the day — a diving, one-handed catch near the sideline. But he had to dive because the timing of his route was off. Taylor’s timing seemed off all morning, as he caught just two of five passes that came his way. Taylor is another wide receiver who missed all of last season. He’s entitled to be rusty.
Odds and ends
As Mike McGlinchey noted earlier this week, Daniel Brunskill and Tom Compton alternated at right guard with the first-string offense. Brunskill was at that spot when practice began; Compton was next to McGlinchey later in the session. … Newcomer defensive end Dion Jordan passed the eyeball test. A roster spot is not guaranteed for Jordan, but he appears to be in excellent shape and cuts an impressive figure at 6-foot-6 and around 270 pounds. … Undrafted rookie JaMycal Hasty had a pair of nice runs late in practice in which he weaved his way through the defense. With four tailbacks (Mostert, McKinnon, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson) ahead of them on the roster, Hasty and fellow undrafted rookie Salvon Ahmed have uphill battles to make the 53-man roster. … As Richard Sherman noted recently, he and Emmanuel Moseley are the first-string outside cornerbacks. Sherman and nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams both had pass breakups in Saturday’s practice.
Barrows also noted that Aiyuk fielded punts at practice.