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Golden Nuggets: Welcome (back) to the Bay, Brian Hill

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

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Maiocco’s 49ers camp observations: Purdy-to-Deebo on repeat mode

“In practice, Purdy completed 16 of 19 pass attempts on the day with seven of his throws landing in the hands of Samuel. In Purdy’s final two sets of plays, he hit Samuel on three passes that gained more than 20 yards apiece.”

Ronnie Bell’s stock surges as 3 49ers DBs stumble vs. Broncos (paywall)

“He was hard to miss when the 49ers needed stops at game’s end, making tackles at the line of scrimmage and in space. Knight began training camp as a backup nickel back, then switched to safety last week because of injuries at the position. His best path to the 53-man roster might be to establish himself as a special teams ace — gunner? — who can be a backup at three spots: safety, nickel and outside cornerback.”

Lombardi: 49ers practice report: Steve Wilks says defense will employ a dual-nickel approach (paywall)

“We’ll continue to just try to find a perfect mix,” Wilks said. “So I think that’s the key thing. And that’s the reason why you saw Demo in there last week.”

49ers QB thoughts: The Trey Lance conundrum under spotlight after preseason showing

“Until there’s something more concrete with Lance though where the fan base isn’t so clearly (and understandably) split, the team isn’t likely to make any major commitments to him as either the backup or the starter unless they’re forced to by availability ahead of him on the depth chart.”

Branch: 49ers game review: Why Trey Lance probably didn’t gain ground in his QB2 bid (paywall)

“Shanahan wants his next man up to play a caretaker role on a team stocked with offensive playmakers. The backup’s ability to avoid losing games will be more valuable than his ability to single-handedly win them.

Viewed through that lens, Darnold, who didn’t lead the game-winning drive, probably didn’t lose anything in his competition with Lance on Saturday.”

49ers’ Deebo Samuel discusses leaner frame, relationship with Ronnie Bell

“It’s been smooth,” Samuel responded after Monday’s practice. “You know, in our receiver room, we harp hard on ... like, first it started off with run blocking, and so he was struggling with that at first. And so me and Brandon was on him hard about that. But once he got that, and then his reps start going up, and you can see, like, kind of reflecting back when I was a rookie, how hard it is, and how hard you got to practice to get ready for a game...So, he’s been getting better at that, and it kind of shows in the game. He’s a real-life gamer.”

49ers reunite with running back on 1-year deal

“Hill (6-1, 216) was originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round (156th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Throughout his five-year career with the Falcons (2017-20), Cincinnati Bengals (2017) and 49ers (2021), he has appeared in 48 games (three starts) and registered 209 carries for 982 yards (4.7 average) and three touchdowns on the ground to go along with 38 receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown through the air. Hill has also spent time on the practice squads with the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns (2021). He most recently played for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL, where he appeared in eight games and registered 88 carries for 416 yards (4.7 average) on the ground to go along with 24 receptions for 204 yards and one touchdown through the air.”

FMIA Training Camp: Jerry Jones Still Believes; Shanahan on the SF Safety Net

“I’ll never forget a conversation I had at the Arizona Biltmore at the [2017] owners’ meetings. Kyle and I just took over. John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome were there getting coffee one morning and I was too. They said how excited they were for me and Kyle, how good it was for the league. I said, ‘Interesting you say that. In my conversations with Kyle, we talked about having a John Schneider-Pete Carroll relationship, John Harbaugh-Ozzie Newsome. That was our goal, because of the respect we had for how you guys have done it.’ One of the things I said was if Kyle and I go into a draft, and if I like a player but Kyle doesn’t, we’re gonna move on.

“Thank God John Harbaugh said this. ‘Could I talk to you for a sec?’ He said he couldn’t let me leave because of the respect he had for me and Kyle. He said, ‘The one thing Ozzie and I learned is if you feel really convicted on a player, it’s your job to sell Kyle on him. Tell him why you love him. Show him film as to why you love him. If you can’t agree, then you move on. But man, there’re not enough good players that if one of you doesn’t like him when you start talking, next! I can’t tell you how many times where Ozzie’s loved a player and I hated him. But by the end, Ozzie’s got me all in and vice versa.’ That was a great lesson.

“I’ve learned it’s good to evolve. At the beginning, every one of our scouts could tell you, here’s what we’re looking for in a receiver. We wanted separators. That was huge for us. But then, the league evolves and people start holding and playing physical on the separators. The response to that became Deebo Samuel, a guy who’s thick and strong and powerful. We kind of started playing bully ball because what you realize in today’s football, power and oomph kinda translates.

“Then there are so many little things. Give you an example. I didn’t know the life of a road scout, like what those guys go through. Early on, I didn’t understand that those guys struggle to feel connected to the team because they’re rarely here. They come around for meetings, and then it’s, ‘See ya in six months.’ By year two or three, I started saying, Hey, that scout seems not in a great mood. Well, of course—he doesn’t feel connected to our team. Now it’s every two weeks, let’s do a Zoom. We all jump on and say hey fellas, how you guys doing? Here’s what’s going on with our team. You assume that those guys know but they aren’t in our team meetings. I’ll write notes to the scouts.”