49ers training camp report: Day 11

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights of the 49ers’ seventh padded practice of training camp.


1. S Jaquiski Tartt. Played free safety for the second-team defense and picked off Colin Kaepernick during seven on sevens. On that play, Kaepernick stared down his intended target, Vernon Davis, who was running a post route. Kaepernick seemed to expect Davis to run a straight seam route, and the pass sailed right behind Davis’ head, right into the hands of Tartt, who was reading Kaepernick’s eyes. After the play Kaepernick raised his hand to take the blame for the interception.

2. TE Derek Carrier. Made five catches and dropped zero during team drills. Carrier almost never drops a pass, and clearly is the second-best receiving tight end on the roster behind starter Vernon Davis.

3. CB Kenneth Acker. The only defensive back who broke up a pass during a three-on-three drill. The pass was intended for tight end Xavier Grimble, who was running a corner route. Acker was playing zone coverage in front of Grimble. Blaine Gabbert tried to loft the pass over Acker, who jumped and dropped the interception.

4. RB Kendall Gaskins. The fifth-string running on the depth chart back after Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush, Mike Davis and Jarryd Hayne (in that order). Hyde clearly is the best running back on the roster, but Gaskins seems like the second-best through two weeks of training camp (keep in mind it’s hard to evaluate running backs in practice when there’s no live tackling). Gaskins is a big, powerful running back who has a terrific feel for when to cut during stretch zone plays. When he carries the ball during practice he frequently reaches the second-level of the defense. He reminds me of Lorenzo Taliaferro, the Baltimore Ravens’ backup running back.

5. QB Colin Kaepernick. Completed seven-of-nine passes during 11 on 11’s just one day after he completed 10-of-14 passes during 11 on 11’s. Earlier in camp Kaepernick struggled during full team drills—he seemed uncomfortable behind the Niners’ offensive line. Now he seems confident.


1. TE Vance McDonald. Dropped a pass for the second day in a row. Today, he dropped one in the end zone when he was open – he had a step on NaVorro Bowman. Gabbert’s pass hit McDonald in stride and he just dropped it. I praised McDonald earlier in the week for improving his hands, but my praise seems to have been premature.

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    1. Is Lynch really just a pass rush specialist? I thought he did pretty good against the run last season too… how did PFF grade him against the run?

      1. Imo, even if Brooks is 1st down dude, Lynch could be 2/3. Mix & match. I can see OKoye & Tank as Wide 9 Edge Rushers on certain downs too; maybe 2/L.

      2. I don’t remember the numbers Scooter, but Brooks was classified the better of the two against the run while Lynch graded out as the better pass rusher.

          1. I have this PFF subscription that I keep forgetting about and so I feel the need to try and get my money’s worth :) Here are the stats:

            Ahmad Brooks:
            Snaps: 621
            Overall Rating: -7.2
            Rush Rating: -4.1
            Coverage Rating: 0.5
            Run Rating: -0.9
            Penalty Rating: -2.7

            Aaron Lynch:
            Snaps: 521
            Overall Rating: 5.3
            Rush Rating: 5.6
            Coverage Rating: -0.4
            Run Rating: 0.0
            Penalty Rating: 0.1

            Aldon Smith:
            Snaps: 426
            Overall Rating: 5.8
            Rush Rating: 0.5
            Coverage Rating: 1.1
            Run Rating: 3.7
            Penalty Rating: 0.5

  1. Ha! About this as reported by Maiocco. I wonder if that’s a first for any team.

    “One-two stretch: As preparations continued at nearby Levi’s Stadium for Taylor Swift’s two shows, perhaps it was no surprise that “Shake It Off” blared over the loud speakers on the 49ers practice field as they conducted their pre-practice stretch.

    But what happened next was a bit of a surprise. The next song was Luciano Pavarotti’s “La Donna È Mobile (Rigoletto).” It was the first known playing on the practice field of an opera classic.”

          1. That would be an excellent choice since it has a lot of intensity and energy. Maybe you should e-mail Tomsula. I’m thinking he might be the instigator since the Sound of Music is one of his favorites.

          1. If that was truly the chase, then the team would have traded or released McDonald instead of giving him every chance to win the #2 TE position.

              1. My point is that Baalke must have confidence in them or they wouldn’t have been drafted or still with the team.

              2. It’s all good Seb. I’m a pessimist when it comes to VMac, but I’m hoping a better TE coach not named Mangini will do wonders for him.

    1. 2 days ago he was having a resurgence; now he’s on the trade/release block again. Tough room. Let’s be honest guys, there is no other TE on the roster that offers his combination of blocking and receiving other than Davis, so he’s not going anywhere. It is frustrating that drops a pass he should catch too often, but he’s their best blocker which should guarantee his spot on the roster. For the most part I’ve been encouraged about what I’ve read on him so far this TC. It’s been his best one for sure.

  2. Kaep at No.15 according to Jaws


    This was last year. He’s actually ranked pretty high. Take away the running threat, and it might drop. His example of Kaep’s inability to read defenses which leads to sacks is a good one.

    If he does a better job with his short passes, blitz recognition, the offense will be alot better.
    It sure seems like Tomsula is attempting to run a more fluid offense, and we actually might be better then last year.

    Not sure about the defense. We might have a better punter though! Who would have thunk that!!!!!!

    1. Fan77, you really need to improve your reading comprehension. Your post mischaracterized Jaws and demonstrates you clearly only see what you want to see re Kaepernick.

      “It was two years ago, I said Colin Kaepernick had the skillset to become one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. I watched him against Dallas in week one 2014 and I saw consecutive plays with traits I really like. Pocket movement and the ability to deliver accurately knowing he’s going to get hit. How about maintaining his balance and poise and his downfield focus moving out of the pocket? These are high-level attributes.”

      ~Yeah gee this guy really can’t play from the pocket. He just runs.

      “Kaepernick also presents problems for defenses that like to play man-to-man, especially on third down. His ability to get out of the pocket and run for first downs is a significant weapon in the 49ers offense… That’s an issue for defenses and how they choose to play Kaepernick. There is no question Kaepernick has multiple skills that stress defenses. Few quarterbacks can run 90 yards for a touchdown. But it’s true that he must become a more consistent passer. And he must improve his pre-snap awareness and post-snap recognition… The physical talent is there but much remains to be learned.”

      ~Unlike the tenor of Fan’s post, it sounds like Jaws is very optimistic and yet realistic about Colin’s need for growth.

  3. It looks as if Kap has made better progress from last week and that is to be expected since the first week of TC usually features more GOOD news from the defense.

    CK’ touch passes (lay-ups as K.Warner describes) has shown improvement and with players like Reggie, B.Miller, and Hyde catching passes out of the backfield, this could be huge this coming season.

    What I don’t like hearing is how Kap continues to lock on to WR’s thereby allowing the defense to easily read and react to his passes.
    This is a bad habit that will plague CK in the regular season if not addressed immediately.
    I’m sure that Kap’ mindset is that he could get the ball faster to the WR (because of his cannon arm) than the defender can, but if rookies are reading his passes in TC what chance does CK have against defensive starters.

    I more than anyone want Kap to become our franchise QB and his enormous talent certainly gives my reason to feel that he can become just that, but when he starts getting picked off in real games because he can’t break his bad habit of locking onto a receiver …. well, we’ll see.

    1. Kaep should practice turning his head 15 degrees while looking out of the corner of his eyes. he should practice that until it becomes second nature to him.

    1. I was on the La’el bandwagon for the 49ers to take a chance on him as well.
      Dallas signed him for a little 2.mil and the gamble may pay off if Collins can get playing time on a offensive line that many consider the best in the NFL.

      The questions swirling around Collins at the time scared off many teams – and in hindsight, on the heels of the Aldon Smith incident perhaps it was a good decision for Baalke to pass on Collins even though he was never a suspect in the murder case.

      1. I have to disagree with that AES. A sixth or seventh round pick would have been a low risk – high reward situation.

        1. Mid,
          At the time (draft) I was a strong advocate for the 49ers to grab Collins for the same reason you mentioned.

          But having your name mentioned in the same breath with a murder (even though not a suspect) case is serious business and one that the 49ers evidently were not willing to take on.
          Also, the 49ers top brass may have had the hypocrite label attached to their name had they signed Collins on the heels of Jed York’ “winning with class” decree.

          1. Mid,

            It’s very easy to say the 49ers should’ve drafted him, now that we know that Collins was completely innocent of all wrongdoing, but there was no way to be sure during the draft. Can you imagine the sh_t storm the 49ers would’ve put themselves in had Collins been involved in the murder?

            Having said that, the 49ers sure could use Collins, right about now…

            1. AES and I were loudly voicing our opinions on this blog on draft day that we should have drafted Collins. Maybe there would have been a sh*tst*rm, but I think the 49er brain trust could have figured a good way to save face if needed. To me the risk was worth it and I still feel that way. However, it didn’t happen, so it’s moot at this point.

            2. 20-20 hindsight shows there are 32 teams that regret passing on him (even the Cowboys as they could probably have signed him for less money if he was a 7th round draft pick). Not one GM in the NFL was willing to stick their neck out for him. That should tell everyone all they need to know about how teams viewed the situation at the time.

              1. What didn’t help Colluns is that the NFL refused to allow him to withdraw from the draft and enter the supplemental draft. I said it before and I’ll say it again; I expect that to be heavily discussed at the next C.B.A.

  4. Odds on Gaskins making it to the practice squad? You’ve got him listed as the 4th RB but you omitted Hunter. Too many roster locks ahead of Gaskins to make the 53, so can he slide to the PS or will he be snatched up by another team?

    1. Practice Squad is the route, probably also for Hayne (he will go the Okoye route).

      Hunter, Hyde, and Bush will be the 3 rbs who see the most snaps

      1. Always heard that Okoye was Tomsula’ pet project.
        But if he fails to show any definite improvement in the next couple of preseason games, Okoye’ days as a 49ers may come to an end.
        We should have enough potential talent on the d-line to more than compensate if Okoye gets his walking papers.

    1. I guarantee Gabbert and Ellington make the team, Patton versus Simpson is still yet to be determined but it’s not looking good for him….

      1. I think the same thing should be taken into consideration with Patton as it is with most athletes, and that is he could be better during games than in practice.

      2. Patton hasn’t been there in games or practice from what I’ve read this season about practice. Ellington can’t get healthy and there are players with more upside, White. Gabbert might just end up traded due to cost

        1. Thanks MWN. I’ve been checking in but not commenting.


          Thank you for your daily reports. Your observations and those of your colleagues really help to give a sense of what’s happening out there and are much appreciated.

  5. I watched most of the 1Q of yesterday’s Packer-Patriots game. When I switched over to the news it was 0-0 and neither QB had gotten much done. The 2 best QBs in the game (imo) weren’t impressive in PS#1; just for perspective.

    1. They are freaking amazing Razor. Still bringing it like that at this point in their career is unbelievable. Can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

    2. The Final Frontier was good- not crazy about this single…. I always wished they would get back to the edge of Killers, my favorite album, but alas, Dickinson’s operatic style is counter to DiAnno’s punk/metal…..

      Mr Robot has lost my interest- think it was Scooter who recommended it…. Banshee n The Bridge r two gd sleepers.

      I am eager to see if the o/u drops before gm 1 and I will be putting some $ diwn- Aldon’s departure does scare me a bit w Lynch not being healthy- Brooks two yrs ago could make a case for Defensive MVP tho….

  6. Since the Niners are going to run the up tempo offense, I would like to see a WR go long and draw the DB down the field. Immediately after the play, another WR should sprint to the huddle while the first WR runs off the field. This will make the DB have to run 40 yards back near the LOS, and possibly catch him out of position.

    1. Theres a difference between up tempo and no huddle.

      Also, per the rules of the NFL

      “With the exception of the last two minutes of either half, the offensive team, while in the process of substitution or simulated substitution, is prohibited from rushing quickly to the line and snapping the ball with the obvious attempt to cause a defensive foul; i.e., too many men on the field.”…you forget the Ref stands over the ball, making sure they are in position, and will move away and have to be in position before the ball can be snapped. Your idea is pretty bush league really, and no team worth its salt should do that.

      1. Funny, do you mean to say that the 12 men on the field penalty never happens? Coulda sworn I have seen it happen before.

      2. If the DB has to rush to get back, he might not have time to analyze the formation, and he may miss an assignment or cover the wrong player, even if he gets back in time.

        1. This strategy would be employed to catch the defense out of position. The tag team approach would tire out the DBs, so in the later part of the game the Niners could set up a WR with fresh legs against a DB who has run constantly, and could be tired out.

          1. Are you incapable of posting ONE reply? Get all your thoughts in order before you hit post comment. Youre as bad as those people who send one sentence texts, and then another, and then another, so your phone is blowing up…

            1. I am sorry, but i read a comment, then realize that I needed to elaborate. Too bad this site does not have an edit feature. I did not realize that there was a limit on posts.
              I thought that the bloggers like hits.

    2. If the offense substitutes then the defense is allowed to substitute before the ball can be snapped. That is why your idea would not work.


          You do realize they are top athletes, typically DB’s can run for days (these aren’t oline and dline). If the WR is subbing out, who’s going to replace him…a worse WR, so #1 wr sprints and subs, #1 db sprints and subs, now you have your #3 WR vs their #3 db.

          You seriously sound like you learned football from playing madden…2 years ago

          1. I am sorry if you think players can run all day and not get tired. However, I am cognizant of the idea that players can get tired and it is possible to strategize around that concept. It is called wearing down your opponent.
            Please go to your reality and plug your ears up and trill Lalalala, it still will not change the concept that players do get tired. Players who sprint 40 yards every play will get tired, especially players who have only seconds of recovery time because of the no huddle with quick snaps.
            You may diss my credentials, but I was the only one on all the blogs who wrote that Kaep should drop back to pass and turn his head one way while looking in the other direction, BEFORE the 2013 NFCCG. If he had followed my advice, he might have seen 2 players wide open. I take a back seat to no one. I am merely posting on this site my thoughts and ideas so the Niners may improve. I am not here to scream insults and demonstrate my ignorance, unlike you.

  7. I was an advocate to draft a center in this past draft. From the reports it sure seems like we should of. The things I will be looking for in tomorrows game is the o-line, management of the game, punter (maybe the best draft selection in this past draft). I suspect that the game for the most part will be vanilla so not really placing much value in winning or losing. No injuries is the most important part of tomorrows exhibition.

    1. I do not beg to differ, I flat out disagree. Harold is a first round talent and he lasted until the third round. After the Aldon fiasco, his selection is looking like a genius pick.

      1. You may be right, but I’m concerned about his frame. He’s quick, but he may always be a situational player, unless he can play another position.

        1. I see him as a substitute for Lemonier on third downs as a speed rusher to sack the QB. If he gets 10 sacks, he will be in consideration for ROY.

          1. I guess it depends what you think of value. A punter much like a QB can carry his unit. Nothing like having a punter that can punt a team out of poor field position. Also hang time, also pinning the opposing team deep in their territory. A punter can win the ST battle and with that coupled with winning either the offense or defensive battle you probably are winning the game.

            1. The dude is a child when it comes to his gamesmanship understanding of football, its not worth your time trying to explain to him field position and how much flipping it can impact the game….if it doesn’t have a sexy stat next to it, its not valuable in his eyes.

            2. Personally, I hope Pinion punts the ball as little as possible, because that would mean that the drive did not stall, and the Niners scored. I do hope that Pinion can take over the kickoff duties to save Dawson’s leg for FGs.
              I hope Pinion can kick the ball as high as he can, and aim to let the ball come down on the 3 yard line so they have to bring it out. With the high kick, the gunners will have time to get to the 10 and pin them deep. Otherwise, if it is kicked out of the end zone, the ball comes out all the way to the 20.

            3. Actually, I was one of the few to applaud the selection of Pinion, especially when many were criticizing the Niners for picking him too early. I pointed out that Bill Walsh said that it did not matter which round a player was chosen in as long as he helps the team.

      2. How about this?

        We don’t run a standard offense at all…Just gadget plays that fool the defense…We can then put running backs at the wide out and tight end positions, replace Kap with a real running back, and give the offensive line leather helmets, then install a Wing-T formation???…With NFL teams not having a book on Tomsula’s coaching tendencies (haviing coached only 1 NFL game, but the most important one–the last game of a season when all the Vets are sure to play, while the 49ers start all their Vets), then we can fool the oppositon on our way to destroying Shula’s 14-0 record.

  8. I now live in DC and heard rumor (John Fein/Redskins insider) that the Redskins could be actively pursuing Vernon Davis for a conditional low-round draft pick.
    Heard anything??

    1. Baalke is not going to give away their best TE for peanuts.
      Celek, Carrier, Cleveland or Grimble would be logical choices for a 5th, 6th or 7th conditional.
      Low round? How low? First? OK. Second, maybe. Third or fourth, no way.

      1. I’m not saying he’ll be given away for peanuts, but Davis’ value might not be as high as you think. He had a terrible year last season, is getting up there in age, and is in the last year of his contract.

        However, the 9ers will have to see something in their young TEs before they trade Davis.

    2. Davis for a conditional low round pick makes no sense for the 49ers on any level. They need him for the passing game first and foremost, and giving him up for a low round pick is likely less than they would get from a compensatory pick if he’s signed by another team after the season as a FA. If the Redskins offered a 2nd, there would be something to think about.

    3. I might beleive Davis being traded for a 3rd round pick but nothing lower.
      Then again, we did trade a sixth round pick for Boldin.

  9. It’s the height of NFL Training Camps, interest and excitement of fans is high. So Espn is showing LL baseball and espn2 is showing tennis.
    But Shady McCoy was on Ridiculousness. By the way, yeah, he’s still pissed.

      1. I dont. Those asian teams have players who look like they could shave, and the American team look like smurfs next to them. I want a more level playing field.

      2. I’d rather they cancelled the panel discussions than the info shows to accommodate the LLWS. How much Stephen A Smith do we need?Doesn’t matter, they can’t please everybody all the time. Some sports though don’t hold my attention on TV; tennis, golf, bowling, poker. Poker! If poker is a spectator sport then so is Geology. Even soccer many times seems like a cure for insomnia.

  10. The US LL teams are all star players from a given community. In some countries, they draw from a larger base and then many of them have more training as a team than the US teams. While there have been a few cases of age fraud, mostly Latin America, the competitive edge comes from the selection process and more organized training.

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