Finally, the pads come on during Tuesday’s practice. It’d be a nice surprise to see Nick Bosa and Jalen Hurd participate, but that might be asking for too much right away. I’m ready to see the first big collision. My guess is it will involve Kyle Juszczyk.
2. Tight end Ross Dwelley.
Caught two long passes up the seam. On one of them, Dwelley beat All Pro linebacker Fred Warner. Dwelley has six catches in training camp, while starting tight end George Kittle, who gets paid like a top-level wide receiver, has only two catches. More on Kittle below. He better watch out before he becomes the next Wally Pip. Shanahan said Dwelley has the best hands on the team.
“I’ve been learning this whole time,” Kinlaw said on Monday. “It’s been more learning for me than work, especially on pass rush being able to get with those two and pick their brains. I’m always looking to learn. I’m always trying to get better at everything I do.”
Bosa and Ford have shared tips on how to be a better pass rusher — different moves, and how to get out of certain situations.
Kinlaw would love to be on the field for every defensive rep to put the knowledge he has acquired to the test, but he was limited to 8-10 snaps on Monday. He wants to use what he has learned from his position-mates and also from his coach, Kris Kocurek.
Completed 9 of 13 pass attempts, threw two touchdown passes, ran for a third and threw one pick. He also forced passes and didn’t see open receivers downfield for the first time in camp.
Here’s the blow by blow of Lance’s morning.
1. Ran a zone read and gained five yards.
2. Didn’t throw to an open Richie James Jr. running a deep crossing route, and instead scrambled for five yards. Conservative decision.
3. Ran a second zone read and gained five yards.
4. Rolled to his right, threw on the run and hit Travis Benjamin in the chest. Unfortunately for Lance, Benjamin’s chest dropped the ball.
I’m on the sidelines of the second Niners’ training camp practice, standing behind the defense. (This just in: Arik Armstead is tall.) Avicii’s “Levels” is blasting at 85 decibels through speakers right over my shoulders. Hard to hear yourself think. Offense v defense, unpadded, on the practice field. First-round rookie Trey Lance takes the snap, gets chased to his left, fluidly, calmly, portraying no sense of rookie yips. Up the left seam, maybe 18 yards downfield, wideout Brandon Aiyuk has a step on a corner. Lance whirls so his body is mostly facing Aiyuk, and he whips a hard spiral maybe 23 yards downfield that Aiyuk plucks out of the air. Big gain.
“Oooooohhhhhhhhhh,” is the sound emanating from the defenders standing in front of me.
Translation: This kid might be the goods.
The defensive line had a few nice moments, with Zach Kerr remaining stout in the run game, Kentavius Street finding himself in the backfield a few times, and both Jordan Willis and Arden Key finding a few would-be sacks. Some of those were coverage sacks, or hesitancy by Garoppolo to throw the ball.
Arik Armstead and Mike McGlinchey had a nice battle going on, with McGlinchey rebounding well after Armstead beat him once.
Lance has done little wrong since coming to the 49ers. Peter King of NBC Sports reported that Lance has watched more film on his iPad than any other 49ers player — a fact of which Shanahan said he was unaware.
“I also know how electronics work,” Shanahan said. “You can press play and watch a movie and act like it was on for eight hours.
“That’s why I don’t ask everyone’s hours. I kind of just see, ‘Are they prepared?’ And it wouldn’t surprise me because he seems prepared each day.”
“I have noticed a difference in the offensive line — the different size,” Juszczyk said. “When you get in the huddle, it’s, ‘Wow,’ we have quite the group in front of us.”
This year I wanted to continue to focus on blocking in space, which I’ve felt has always been a strength of mine,” he said. “But there were some plays last year where I felt it could’ve been a little bit better.”
“I feel we are already one of the most creative run teams in the NFL, but I don’t think that can stop us from being even more creative,” Juszczyk said.
Shanahan said he “thought Trey had one of his better days on Saturday,” but that he’d given no thought yet to altering how practice repetitions are divided or to getting Lance work behind the first-string offensive line. He reiterated his previous thoughts about a rookie’s ability to overtake a veteran like Garoppolo before the regular season begins.
“Jimmy’s played too good of football and is too good of a player,” he said. “Trey’s trying to learn everything and soak it all in, so that’s why I’d be very surprised if he was able to do that.”