Last year’s offseason was completely different than this year’s offseason. Last year was strenuous. Jim Harbaugh made every practice extremely competitive. Players got hurt. Michael Crabtree blew out his Achilles’ tendon right away. So, Harbaugh created an open competition for the No.2 WR job. That didn’t work out so well. Quinton Patton broke his finger during training camp.
This year’s offseason has been much more laid back. Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Frank Gore have participated in position drills in front of the media, but not team drills. Stevie Johnson did not participate in team drills in front of the media, either. Somehow, he still re-injured the hamstring that slowed him down last season. Quinton Patton participated in team drills during Week 1 of OTAs and was excellent, so the 49ers held him out of team drills during Weeks 2 and 3. While he was stretching last Tuesday, 49ers’ wide receiver coach John Morton walked over to Patton and told him not to get hurt, whatever he did. Patton followed directions.
Without Crabtree, Boldin, Johnson or Patton on the field, Brandon Lloyd has been the starting split end and Bruce Ellington has been the backup split end.
It will be interesting to see if the 49ers continue to rest and protect most of their key offensive players during mini camp next week.