SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights from the 49ers’ first practice of training camp, which took place at Levi’s Stadium.
1. WR Torrey Smith. Made the catch of the day – a one-handed catch near the sideline. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick lofted the pass over cornerback Shareece Wright’s head, and Smith reached out and caught the pass like Kevin Mitchell in 1989.
2. WR DeAndrew White. Caught two deep passes, one during one-on-one drills and one during team drills. First, White beat cornerback Mylan Hicks down the left sideline. Then White beat corner Marcus Cromartie down the right sideline. I still haven’t seen White drop a pass this offseason. He’s on fire.
3. OLB Eli Harold. Beat Joe Staley once during one-on-one pass-rush drills. Harold faked to the outside and then beat Staley to the inside. Later during team drills Harold looped around the inside and tagged backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert for the “sack.”
4. ILB Nick Moody. Intercepted a pass intended for Vance McDonald during one-on-one drills. McDonald ran a quick out route but couldn’t shake Moody. Gabbert tried to force a pass to the tight end, and Moody reached out and picked it off.
5. TE Blake Bell. Made four catches during team drills, including two deep ones down the middle of the field.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. The grass. I watched the first hour and half of practice from the stands in Levi’s stadium – I wanted to get a view from above the field. I noticed players slipping and falling on the grass during warmups and team drills, but I couldn’t see why. So I walked down to the field for the final 30 minutes of practice and stood on the sideline. That’s when I noticed clumps of grass all over the field. One reporter said it looked like the aftermath of a buffalo stampede.
After practice, a reporter asked head coach Jim Tomsula if he expects to practice in Levi’s stadium tomorrow. “I expect it,” Tomsula said, “but we’ll reserve our right to make decisions as we need to.”
The next seven practices are scheduled to take place in Levi’s Stadium.
2. TE Vernon Davis. Dropped one pass, and failed to catch another because he never turned his head to look for it. He just ran down the field. As the ball flew past his head, a coach yelled out, “Come on, Davis!”