The 49ers return to practice today. At first, Kyle Shanahan said there would be pads on Monday, but he may have misspoken. Shanahan said the pads are coming on after five days, but then corrected himself and said the fifth practice. Even some of the beat reporters are a bit confused on whether the pads are coming on.
Let’s hope so.
I’ve seen some training camp reports from a few former 49ers, so let’s see how the hype train is going for them.
Other highlights in the passing game included another strong day from Trent Taylor. The former 49ers slot receiver made a one-handed diving front pylon for a touchdown on a pass from Brandon Allen. Taylor also caught a pass on the near sideline.
On special teams, Taylor, Tyler Boyd and Pooka Williams took the majority of snaps in returning punts, with Taylor breaking through and showing his breakaway speed.
“I think he’s going to be a playmaker,” Patrick Mahomes said of McKinnon on Friday. “I’ve seen it from day one, right when he got in here. The way he’s able to run the ball, but then catch the ball out of the backfield, I mean I think he’s a playmaker that will be a big part of our offense.”
“He’s a talented receiver,” said Andy Reid. “He’s been doing this for a long time, especially for running backs’ longevity in this league, the average longevity is like three years. So, for him to have been in it and doing it this long, he brings great experience. But he sure has a knack for the pass game. He does a nice job with that.”
Kendrick Bourne’s quickness: He hasn’t had as many targets as Nelson Agholor so it’s been tough for him to stand out, but one thing stands out when watching Kendrick Bourne (even when he’s not open or going through drills): he has some quick feet.
Bourne has the quickness and foot speed to be a true difference maker for the Patriots’ offense in 2021. His ability to get in and out of his routes make him a tough cover for defensive backs. As New England looks for life after Julian Edelman, Bourne may be the guy to do it with his ability to line up all over the formation and consistently help move the chains.
The cornerback room is supposed to be one of those rooms where competition is everything during training camp, but right now, I think it’s going to be very difficult for any of the current backups to supplant left cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and right cornerback D.J. Reed.
Witherspoon still managed to make some spectacular plays Saturday. On a third-down play in the red zone, Witherspoon stayed glued to DK Metcalf’s hip and swatted away a pass from Wilson on what looked like a hitch route. Then on the next play, Wilson tried Witherspoon again, this time going for tight end Gerald Everett near the front pylon. Witherspoon soared in the air, got the ball at its highest point and knocked it down.
Wearing the No. 99 he wore when he began his career with the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers, Smith has been on the field for all three of Seattle’s practices since the start of training camp and hasn’t appeared limited. Early in Thursday’s practice, he engaged a tackling sled, lifted it up and nearly flipped it over.
“He’s made a good first impression about learning stuff,” Carroll said. “He’s a very bright kid. ... He knows what’s going on in the game, brings us experience and background and all of that. He’s having no trouble picking things up. He’s got a real style. He’s always had this marvelous length and reach and hands and hand play, and you can just tell, he’s got a strength and power to him that’s really unusual.”