49ers training camp report: Day 13

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


1. OLB Aaron Lynch. Started at left outside linebacker in the first-string base defense and at left defensive end in the first-string sub-packages. Today was only Lynch’s second day of team drills, and he already seems to have taken Corey Lemonier’s job. Poor Corey.

2. S Jaquiski Tartt. Today the Niners practiced their dime defense – six defensive backs – more than they’ve practiced it all offseason. Rookie safety Jaquiski Tartt was the sixth defensive back most of the time. He lined up in the box next to inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman while Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea lined up behind them at safety. Don’t be surprised if on passing downs the 49ers use their dime defense more than their nickel defense.

3. CB Keith Reaser. The starting cornerback opposite Tramaine Brock in the base defense. Brock and Reaser frequently switched sides – sometimes Reaser lined up on the left, and sometimes Brock would. The Niners seem to want Brock to shadow the opposing team’s best receiver, so Reaser needs to be able to play both sides of the field.

4. CB Kenneth Acker. The left cornerback in the nickel defense (while Brock was in the slot and Reaser was on the right). Acker was targeted six times during team drills, and he gave up only two short catches. He also broke up three passes. He seems much better than second-year cornerback Dontae Johnson, who played with the third-string defense today.

5. QB Colin Kaepernick’s 21 short and intermediate passes during 11-on-11s. Missed four of his first 10, then completed 10 of his final 11. In total, Kaepernick completed 16 of 21 short and intermediate passes. His two best were intermediate throws to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, both of whom ran corner routes toward the sideline. Kaepernick is as good at throwing the corner route as any quarterback I’ve ever seen.


1. QB Colin Kaepernick’s two deep passes during 11-on-11s. Both were intended for Jerome Simpson along the sideline and both landed out of bounds. Quarterbacks coach Steve Logan seemed to feel the deep passes were enough of an issue to make Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis and Kaepernick practice them against air toward the end of practice while the rest of the team worked on special teams. Smith and Davis took turns running go routes while Logan studied Kaepernick, who overthrew the first deep pass and then completed the next five.

2. WR Quinton Patton. Lowered his shoulder into Tank Carradine and almost knocked him off his feet with a blind-side block near the sideline at the end of a play. As soon as Carradine regained his balance he went after Patton, who backpedaled faster than I’ve ever seen anyone backpedal. As Patton was retreating he threw a jab that hit Carradine in the facemask, then disappeared behind his teammates.

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  1. Grant, were you able to refrain from busting out laughing when the Patton-Tank exchange happened? The way you described it sounded pretty comical.

      1. My impression in camp last year was that Acker was ahead of Johnson before he got nicked up. I see so few reps that it was hard to be sure. Thanks for the flip-flopping sides info on Reaser.
        When Cook got released I began to think that the Newbies may be showing well. If Johnson gets beat out he’s still experienced depth.
        Patton’s extended laughter may have been adrenaline-fueled nervous laughter.
        Seen it before.

  2. “As Patton was retreating he threw a jab that hit Carradine in the facemask, then disappeared behind his teammates.”

    Lol! Hilarious!

    The way you describe the play though, sounds like Patton did a good job blocking on the play, and Tank probably over reacted.

    1. Not the whole story though. From Matt Barrows:

      After a running play, receiver Quinton Patton seemed to take exception to a hit by Carradine on the running back. He gave Carradine, who is 295 pounds, a shove, at which point Carradine charged the 205-pound Patton on the sideline. The two were quickly separated but the minor melee broke the rhythm of practice that Tomsula and his coaches have been trying to build.

      Tomsula asked for the music to be turned down — and, boy, I wish I was permitted to report what he said — beseeched the players to watch their tempers and avoid unnecessary penalties. Carradine was involved in a flare up on the defensive sideline Tuesday. He also had a tussle with center Joe Looney in the spring.

    1. Sounds like I couldn’t have been worse than Martin. It feels like every practice he struggles. Can’t be long before Thomas is starting. Why don’t they play Martin more at center, his natural position? Wasn’t he regarded as one of the best centers coming out of college? Didn’t Looney play guard?

  3. Grant,
    Who was working inside on the d-line when they were in dime? I assume Tank and Williams or Tank and Dockett?

    1. Yeah, and I think Grant is correct – the dime will probably get used quite a bit this year. Basically a “Big Dime” package.

      1. I like the fact the 49ers staff is working to put their best players on the field for strategic match up advantages….

  4. “Quarterbacks coach Steve Logan seemed to feel the deep passes were enough of an issue to make Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis and Kaepernick practice them against air toward the end of practice while the rest of the team worked on special teams”

    Grant, what do you mean specifically to practice against air?

  5. Grant,
    Do you see Lynch taking Aldon’s spot at ROLB and Brooks going back to LOLB anytime down the road, like before Week 1?

  6. “Gabbert also continues to look good. Yes, in terms of pressing the ball deep downfield, Gabbert makes Alex Smith look like Dan Fouts. But he’s efficient and is particularly fond of his tight ends. (See: Saturday’s game). Tight ends are the strength of the team right now, so that’s not necessarily a bad habit. He had an intermediate-long pass down the middle of the field to McDonald on Wednesday.”


    First of all, good to hear the TEs are being involved. Second, “Gabbert makes Alex Smith look like Dan Fouts” is one of the best lines by one of the beat writers this camp!

    1. “Gabbert makes Alex Smith look like Dan Fouts”

      I don’t understand this. Does this mean Gabbert sucks? Or is Alex Smith garbage? Is this a knock on Dan Fouts, Alex Smith, or Gabbert? Or am I missing something here?

  7. Make no mistake about it. Our corners are TRASH. You can be optimistic all you want but reality will hit when the regular season starts. The way I seen Armstead get pushed around cut blocked and punked last Saturday makes me hate the fact we passed up on Kevin Johnson and Marcus peters. Oh well. Chris Forester needs to stop bs-ing and just make the O line like this: Staley, Thomas, Martin, Pears, Boone. Pears is a better guard than tackle and Boone is out of position at left guard. Marcus Martin at this point is a better center than looney or Kilgore. And Brandon Thomas I can already tell you is better than any of the young guys we got or scrub back ups. What I say is true cause I am a truther.

      1. Neither. Just someone that’s not blinded by believing everything this team does is good. I’m a faithful but I’m realistic too. I don’t just believe everything is all peachy cause the team reps tell me so.

        1. I can’t argue with your outlook. I consider myself a realist also. But your timing is questionable. Not saying you’re right or wrong but don’t you think it’s early to call them garbage? What if the front 7 are good and it takes pressure off of them? Or what if it’s just practice and not game mode?

        2. You’re blind to facts. Pears was awful at guard with the bills last year which is why he was available. Boone has played well at LG, and Kilgore was a lot better than Martin at C before he got hurt, they wanted Martin to win that job and he couldn’t. I’m fine with truth, just be accurate.

            1. My best friend is a bills fan and said he was terrible. But we don’t have to believe him, pff rated him historically bad at RG. there was a massive gap between him and the next worse G. Thats why he is at T

              1. Tomsula seems to think different and moving Boone to left guard instead of right tackle is questionable. I guess we will see how good he (Pears) is in this new scheme.

            2. Those Bills fans left out an inconvenient fact that the whole O line struggled. The tackle on Pears side was a rookie, so Pears did not have enough help.
              Maybe it will be like Carlos Rogers, who was decent in Washington, but shined as a Niner.
              Pears has tenacity.

              1. I agreed completely not moving Boone to RT was questionable but after learning what a terrible G Pears is I understand why they are putting him there. I also hope he is the Rodgers of the O line. I was saying you can’t go on an angry rant then say pears is a better G than T when the rest of the football world sees different. I know the bills line was bad but to be graded that low he must have sucked something awful

              2. I guess it does not matter if you or I are right, coach Tomsula likes him, and is giving him a chance to start at RT. I agree that he is much better at tackle than guard.
                Angry rant? I was being mild. You do not want to see me infuriated. Its unpleasant, so I really try hard to refrain from going on attack mode.

      2. Oh, NinerTruther is a troll, no question about that. Anyone who thinks he knows how TRASHY our cornerbacks are after 13 practices and 1 preseason game is about as truthful as a psychic.

      1. I don’t think either of us are wrong. Pears sucked ass at G last year, that happened and we both think coach thinks he will be a good T and we both think he shld get a shot… I think you believe I meant you were ranting. My comment was actually to ninertruther. I didn’t think u were ranting at all. My bad

        1. Hopefully not ward. Remember what B Marshall did to him? Graham is 3 inches taller and about 45 lbs heavier than Marshall I believe. I think they drafted tartt with graham in mind.

          1. I think they should have somebody give Graham a shot at the LOS and then let either the LB or Tartt cover him. But definitely rough him up at the LOS if possible.

          2. Tartt was a surprise, but they knew Seattle just acquired Graham, so he would be the logical counterpiece.
            Dontae Johnson has decent size too?

            1. John is 6’2″ but only runs about 200lbs I think. Also he seems to be really falling out of favor getting demoted to the third team. Moody is interesting. He has size, speed and experience at safety but prime time is right, he got smoked last week. I was surprised how well he played around the line and poorly in space for a former safety

              1. Apparently the CB shuffle of the past couple of days is not an indication of changes in status/ depth chart but about giving other guys a go to work out the best combinations. At least that is the official word coming out of team HQ. So Wright has not lost the starting job (yet) to Reaser, and Johnson is not now behind Reaser and Acker (yet). Officially. But could just be a matter of time before that becomes official.

              2. Sorry about the kerfluffle . I hate this format because it is hard to determine who is replying to whoom. An edit feature would help, too, but they seem incapable of generating one.

              3. No prob, the format can get hard to follow.
                I read that too. I’ve also read that Johnson hasn’t looked great tho and reaser and Acker have been playing well. But then again I’ve read that wright has only given up like one catch all camp long. So who knows. I guess the next couple weeks will tell.

              4. Sounds like they want the players to be flexible and versatile. If they can be switched around and rotated in, the DBs will have fresher legs for the 4th Quarter and the stretch run at the end of the season.

              5. Shane/Scooter- The confusion of this format is why I usually put the names of the people I am responding too at the beginning of my posts. One never knows in what sequence our posts will end up.

              6. Sebnynah,
                I agree, I think that’s the thought process behind that. I hope it works. I’m nervous sometimes we are doing this at the expense of getting 11 guys out there gelling together. But in tomsula I will trust!!

              7. I wish the Niners had the luxury to set the line up to let them gel, but they had a ton of turnover, and Coach Tomsula must figure out who to play first. With the musical chairs, he will have tape to help decide, and these preseason games are like the big test to see how it works.

              1. While at New Orleans, JG never scared the Niners, and he tended to disappear in big games.
                Tartt will give him a pop, and he will deflate.

      1. Good response; proportional. I was tempted to go all Church Lady on that comment yesterday, but let it go. I don’t even wish an injury on Gatormouth Sherman; as much as I don’t care for his style.

          1. Well said Grimey and BT, re: Iupati.

            As far as Sherman goes, I don’t want him to sustain a career altering injury either, but it would be nice see Sherman get up very slowly five or six times in the first quarter against the 49ers, then once every series for the rest of the game.

  8. So how important is the long ball and Kap’s completion percentage on those throws? I know several have suggested we won’t see 8 in the box with T Smith on the field. I wonder if we saw 8 in the box because we couldn’t beat people with the pass in general. It would seem that being able to complete successfully short and intermediate throws if that’s enough to keep Safeties out of the box? I also wonder how much of the long throw completion percentage is QB and how much is WR? If they connect during 1 on 1’s they both have the necessary skills, but with a full defense it interupts timing as the WR often faces a safety and DB. A little hitch or impediment from a DB can throw the timing off enough to mess things up. And then there’s the inexplicable times when Kap throws the ball out of bounds as Grant reports. Any thoughts, I just wonder if its not the most important thing for the offense yet?

    1. Coach, there was a Hammer sighting on the pre-season game 1 blog, Or the blog just following. He’s out there, just waiting to strike, I bet ;)

      1. He’s computing which week Blaine takes over from Colin. Just kidding.
        There’s been a lot of fluff in the comments section to go along with some football, he may be waiting for the dust to settle. (And, uh, ahem, I’m sometimes the source of some of that fluff.)

    2. I saw him maybe a week or two back… i would say its probably the former, but i cant say for sure.

      Hey its a long season, we all need to rest up.

  9. So let me get this straight. Pears was a sucky right guard so he’ll be a better RT? Yeah makes sense. Especially cause the right guard we have is awesome. Kilgore is too soft and had tiny arms to fend off those big DT’s. That’s why he got injured cause the game is too much. I’m telling you the line up of staley Thomas Martin pears and Boone is the way to go. But I’ll wait til the season to rub it in. And as far as our corners being trash, I meant every word. We have nobody. Brock is still unproven. Even last year he was gettin smoked. Same with ward. He was burnt toast as well. And who now shareece wright? He got snagged on by deandre Hopkins for the two pointer. Nuff said. I thought dontae Johnson was gonna be good but I was wrong. They even demoted him for two corners who haven’t even played an nfl game. Both acker and reaser were injured last year and are not even battle tested. So yeah my logic is not what needs to be questioned. Rather what needs to be questioned is you BLIND faithful fans who think we have a squad when we don’t. I hope I’m wrong. But I’m not.

    1. Why even bother coming to this site if you think the Niners will suck? Go root for another team and leave us real true fans in peace.
      Your logic is about as sound as the Isis leader who prays to Allah before he rapes a hostage.

      1. No sorry. True fans don’t find acceptable the garbage that the organization did to this team. True fans don’t go with the flow and let this nonsense fly. Matter of fact it’s you passive fans who ruin the team by thinking it’s ok that our team sucks and let’s the organization get away with this foolery. I been a fan my whole life even thru the dark ages 99-00, 03-10 including the 2-14 ’04 season where our wins came from a sweep of the cards by field goals. So you can get out my face with that true fans talk you sucka. You can ride with this trash a$$ tomsula Baalke York regime all you want but I’m not havin it. I expect better than this. You chump.

            1. Just a little game I play. If I can get the poster to hurl insults and expletives, I win because they have lost control of their temper.
              You are the loser…in so many ways.
              Have a great day.

        1. Ninertruth is a joke. “Pears was a sucky RG so he’ll be a better RT” ummm yes actually. That’s why there are guards, tackles and centers not just “linemen” not everyone transitions as well as Boone. Some guys can’t just switch. How do you defend saying a guy is a good guard after he is rated dead last at his position? Kilgore is too soft? He took the job away from your boy Martin and was one of the best performing linemen before he got hurt. It’s football injuries happen. He broke his leg, is Ian Williams soft? Was Justin smith soft when he got hurt?
          I wish I was on this site when you were undoubtedly bashing Rodgers when we brought him in like you are wright. That must have been embarrassing. It has nothing to do with being “realistic” you’re burying the team 3 weeks before the season as if we are 2-8. You just make yourself look foolish.

    1. Its not often you see a guy that is in a big battle just to make a roster be in such demand for press conferences. But he’s used to it. He was the face of the Parramatta Eels here in Australia for a long time.

      1. Not often you see a guy never playing a down in the NFL make an impact with his first opportunity. Hell, even guys that have played for years in the NFL are still struggling with their opportunities. He’s big, fast, intuitive, smart and tough. He does it again and there won’t be any tapping the brakes or stashing him on the practice squad….

        1. One 53 yard run and this guy has arrived? Hardly. Let’s wait til week 3 of the preseason before passing any judgement.

          1. I gave him a snowballs chance in hell to make the team when Bush said he’d make the team during OTA’s. I don’t want you to take my word for it, but speaking for myself, I should have listened to him. I think the last great returner the 49ers had was you Mr. Sanders….

              1. Joe Arenas 49er 1951-1957

                “His 4,572 career kick and punt return yards was the best in NFL history at the time of his retirement, and his career average of 27.3 yards per kick return remains ninth best in NFL history.”

        2. If he keeps flashing in preseason he’ll make a 53 man roster somewhere. Not sure if it will be with the 49ers, but some team will likely give him a shot. But he has to keep flashing.

  10. Even though they haven’t officially converted Tartt to ILB, they intend to use him in that capacity. By going to Dime and rolling Tartt next Bowman, you are essentially playing him at ILB. I like that.

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