Saturday’s practice was fun as we saw fans inside of Levi’s Stadium for the first time since the 2019 NFC Championship. The players fed off that energy.
We’re now less than a week away from the Niners playing football against someone else.
Ryans said having an elongated, unscripted session like Saturday’s was a nice warmup to what he’ll be doing Sundays this season.
“It helps a lot,” Ryans said afterward. “Just getting into the flow of calling the game. Just thinking — it’s a chess match that is going on. What am I thinking that Kyle (Shanahan) is running? How are we going to defend it? … So it was really good for me as a new play caller to just go through that process as many times as I can before the regular season starts.”
Ryans’ units looked good Saturday with defensive tackles Maurice Hurst and Kentavius Street continually disrupting Lance and the second-team offensive line and Verrett finishing with two batted passes in the red zone against the first-team offense. Verrett, who played just four snaps before going on injured reserve in 2019, is in the running (with linebacker Fred Warner and safety Jimmie Ward) for best defender of training camp so far.
Former NFL on Fox colleague Jay Glazer — whom Lynch refers to as his “knucklehead buddy” — surprised him Friday night at the most inopportune time.
“I was standing there at Steve Hutchinson’s party, and he came from behind and hit me,” Lynch said of Glazer. “I had a glass of red wine, and it went flying all over my jacket.”
On Saturday afternoon, the jacket was returned to Lynch without any traces of cabernet sauvignon.
“The people here are so kind,” Lynch said. “She was so sweet. She took my coat and got it dry-cleaned already, and all the red wine is out.”
Now, everything is vine and dandy for Lynch’s big day.
What Jimmy Garoppolo and the first team did doesn’t matter, although they did generate a touchdown and a field goal. Nevertheless, the larger point is that once the 49ers open the box that says Lance is the starter, there’s no going back. And the reason they won’t go there despite flashes of brilliance and strong practices, is because of days like Saturday.
Lance is undeniably talented. Left tackle Trent Williams called him a “generational talent” per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Putting a player like him in Kyle Shanahan’s offense is a good way for that player to become a superstar. The 49ers are going to exercise patience though because potentially stunting his development could lower his astronomically high ceiling.
1. Head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Managed to make Jimmy Garoppolo look good in front of 20,000 fans. Called lots of short passes, and benched Dee Ford for the first time in a few days. Which means Garoppolo had all day to throw. And when Jason Verrett broke up a few of his passes, Shanahan benched him, too. This is exactly how you artificially boost a quarterback’s trade value just before the season starts. Beautiful execution.
2. Cornerback Jason Verrett.
Broke up three of Garoppolo’s passes during team drills. Verrett is the best cornerback I have ever covered. He’s phenomenal.
The team held an open practice Saturday and over 19,000 people showed up.
Last season fans were not allowed in the stands due to the pandemic and the group today was more than excited to be back.
“Me and the family we’re just blessed to be here, just happy to be able to be back you know it’s been tough times lately, thankful to the organization to opening it up to us fans, just excited, we’re excited for this season we’re gonna win baby!” said Niners fan Steve Wisely.
The 49ers first home game with fans is next Saturday.