The San Francisco 49ers just finished their second padded practice. They’ll have Wednesday off. Center Ben Garland sprained his ankle in practice today and sat out the second half of the session. Reporters who were on-hand didn’t think Garland’s injury is serious. Daniel Brunskill moved to center in Garland’s absence.
Let’s review some tweets from the folks that attended Tuesday’s practice. Where do we start? Quarterback completion percentage, baby.
#49ers 11-on-11’s today— Taylor Wirth (@WirthTM) August 18, 2020
Garoppolo: 10-16 passing
(Pettis x2, Kittle, Mostert, Aiyuk x2, Woerner, Taylor x2, Coleman)
Runs w/Garoppolo: Mostert x5, Coleman x4, McKinnon x2, Aiyuk
Which brings us to Pettis:
A lot of you have been asking about Dante Pettis. He had his strongest period so far in the 11-on-11 session that just wrapped up. Details to come. #49ers.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 18, 2020
After tumbling down the #49ers depth beginning this time a year ago, WR Dante Pettis had his most active practice in a long, long time. He has three catches — all over the middle — as he competes for a roster spot.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) August 18, 2020
Repeated Dante Pettis sightings at today’s practice. Pettis had five catches over the middle, two from Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Mullen’s and one from C.J. Beathard. #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 18, 2020
Nothing spectacular, but good, solid day for Dante Pettis. He found soft spots in the zone off play-action. He caught balls from every 49ers QB. His biggest gain came from Garoppolo. If Pettis can give Shanahan today’s complementary versatility, this pass offense can really fly— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) August 18, 2020
Dante Pettis was just fantastic today in practice.— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) August 18, 2020
Pettis having success over the middle is important. Last year at this time, he alligator-armed everything, and that bled into the season. It’s one day of practice, but with injuries at the position, getting a couple of catches a game from Pettis would go a long way for the 49ers. The door is open for Pettis to make plays. He’s also been fielding punts and kicks.
Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon had a couple of long runs:
#49ers just wrapped their fourth practice. A bounceback day for the offense. Big runs from Jerick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert. Dante Pettis made a handful of catches and was the most productive WR.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) August 18, 2020
Worth noting: Richard Sherman rested during most of the team drills.
Yesterday, Kyle Shanahan said that McKinnon could be a deep threat in this offense if they get the right matchup. McKinnon has been lining up in the slot early on in camp.
One of the most impressive plays of the day, imo, came from rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk. Caught a quick pass towards the middle, stopped, turned and broke outside where there was space for a big gain. #49ers— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) August 18, 2020
This is a “punt return” offense, as former NFL cornerback Will Blackmon called it. Aiyuk will have plenty of space to work with this season. He’s a nightmare when the ball is in his hands, so this won’t be the last time we see hear about Aiyuk taking a short pass for a long gain.
On Sherman sitting out, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said the competition opposite of him is open, and he wants to see someone step up and win the job. Ahkello Witherspoon received first-team reps today, which was a first. Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett continue to rotate. Saleh said Verrett looks more confident and comfortable this year.