49ers training camp report: Day 3

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights from the 49ers’ third practice of training camp.


1. WR Torrey Smith. Faced Niners’ No. 1 cornerback Tramaine Brock twice during one-on-one drills and beat him both times. First, Smith ran a fade route to the back-right corner of the end zone, jumped and caught the ball over Brock’s head. Then Smith beat Brock to the inside with a quick slant.

2. CB Shareece Wright. The only cornerback who didn’t get beaten during one-on-one drills. Wright faced Quinton Patton twice. The first time, Patton ran a fade route to the back-left corner and Wright broke up the pass. Then Patton ran a double move—first in, then out—but still couldn’t shake Wright, who broke up that pass, too.

3. CB Tramaine Brock. On second-and-five, Colin Kaepernick dropped back and forced a throw to his No. 1 target, Anquan Boldin, who wasn’t open. Brock was all over him. Kaepernick threw the ball as hard as he could, the pass was low, Boldin reached down to catch it, bobbled it, then Brock snatched it out of his hands and ran it back for a touchdown.

4. DE Tank Carradine. The starting three-technique on the right side of the defensive line in the Nickel defense – one of Justin Smith’s old positions. Carradine also rotated in at right defensive end with the base defense and, toward the end of practice, exploded past second-team tackle Trent Brown to tag Kaepernick for the sack.

5. OLB Ahmad Brooks. The Niners’ most violent pass-rusher during one-on-one drills. Today he pancaked reserve offensive tackle Sean Hooey – just threw him on his back. Brooks seems in fantastic shape, unlike Aaron Lynch, who seems overweight. Lynch spent the afternoon conditioning on the side field.


1. TE Vance McDonald. Caught zero passes during team drills. On one play he ran a seam route down the middle of the field and no one covered him – the defense messed up. Kaepernick saw McDonald wide open and threw him the ball. McDonald reached out and let the pass fly right through his hands.

2. The Colin-Kaepernick-Torrey-Smith connection. Smith keeps getting open during team drills and Kaepernick keeps missing him. Today Smith ran a drag route and Kaepernick threw the ball behind him. Then Smith ran another drag route and Kaepernick threw the ball too far in front of him. Finally, Kaepernick threw a deep pass to Smith, who was open – he had beaten Shareece Wright by a step or two. Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and Steve Logan both muttered, “We’ve got it!” when Kaepernick released the ball. But the pass landed well short. Kaepernick threw off his back foot. Smith had no chance.

  1. “The first time, Patton ran a fade route to the back-left corner and Patton broke up the pass.”

    Always a problem when you are beating yourself…

  2. Grant, Matt Barrows is reporting that Dockett saw his first action of camp during nickel reps. Did you see which DT position he played?

  3. Bonus: Darnell Dockett practiced today and was the starting left defensive tackle in the Nickel defense. He lined up at one-technique. Ian Williams rotated in at that spot as well.

    1. Thanks Grant. I think that gives some clarity (though not definitive) of how the team currently pictures the starting DL:

      – Base D: RDT = Dial, NG = Williams, LDT = Dorsey.
      – Nickel (4-man) front: RDE = Aldon, RDT = Tank, LDT = Dockett, LDE = Brooks.

  4. Let’s do an Over/Under on how many times Kaepernick ends up in the Good, the Bad, and the Good and Bad.

    I think last year he really didn’t take training camp seriously. This year he has to show improvement. Jon Clayton did a report on the Niners training camp, and he said Kaep still has that elongated throwing motion. He also has the best fastball in the league. He had that last year too!

    I think the Niners should just let Kaep loose as a runner. That’s what he is. Let him run, then every now and then chuck one deep and hope Smith catches it. It’s just as good as a punt.

    Also forces the safeties to play back, which gives him more room to run!

    Listen to me JT! I got it figured out!

    1. The question I have is who threw the ball so that Torrey could beat Brock? We’re always so selective in what we see. Some only see bad, others only good. He’ll show on both. Its not noted but he threw TD’s to Patton and several others in the red zone period.

    2. I want Kaep to run more, but not so much that he may get injured. He should be moved around to keep the defense guessing, and be allowed to use his mobility to avoid sacks and buy time.
      Ideally, Kaep should just hand off the ball or get the ball into the hands of his playmakers as much as possible. He should make it to the playoffs, relatively untouched with fresh legs so he can run wild when it counts the most.
      Running QBs end up like RGIII.

    3. NO MORE EXCUSES BAALKE AND YORK COOLAID DRINKERS…If Kap can’t hit his targets in practice, imagine him trying to complete passes against the fierce pass rushers of the whole defensive line of #1 draft picks the Rams have, Seattle, Pittsburgh, or Baltimore…Can you say B-U-S-T/

      1. 3 days into TC and you declare Kaep a bust. You are a certifiable genius. Your dazzling brilliance shines from every orifice.

        1. If you have ever played any sport other than nintendo on your keyboard and got your lazy ass off the couch to throw a football to friends running pass patterns in the park you’d be smart enough to reserve your comments and realize how easy it is NOT! to throw interceptions outside of live action (Real, competetive games).
          Because Kap keeps throwing them and you can’t tell the difference between real and make believe I know you just a fat ass

            1. Sorry, however you might not have read Grants last 7 articles where I’ve addressed the 49er offensive line probs and this joker completely omits my comments attempting to bolster his debate. The first time he used the tactic was okay, the 2nd and 3rd time it’s crossed debating protocol into lying and now he just did it again…A few months ago other have complained about these tactics

  5. Grant two questions! one do you think bell has a shot to beat out not only McDonald but carrier for playing time ?

    And two is it getting time to accept Patton for what he is a good guy but ordinary talent? Do you have Simpson Ellington and white ahead of him based on competition?

  6. I am not concerned about Kap and TS getting on the same page. I think they will work things out. I am worried about robert quinn getting a clean shot at kap and knocking him unconscious.

  7. They should establish the line up as Staley, Thomas, Martin, Looney, Boone, and let them play together so they can gel and gain cohesiveness. Let Pears, Killgore, Tiller and/or Brown be backups.
    Versatility is nice, but familiarity and comfort are also factors to consider when trying to generate synergy.

    1. No way. We are devastating on the left side with Staley and Boone and a lot of the runs will go that way this years. Pears is an excellent pass blocker and belongs at RT. In 120+ more snaps than Iupati last season, Pears gave up one less sack.

          1. Good thing they found out about Pears in TC.
            Of course, if you read what the Bills fans said about Pears, they said he should be relegated to water boy.

        1. Pears was also so flustered, he committed several false starts.
          Niners should put their 2 best players at tackle. Boone is better than Pears.

        2. Talk about over reacting.
          By your logic Boone should be also a backup:

          Ryan Sakamoto @SakamotoRyan
          #49ers LG Alex Boone had a rough practice today as he allowed a sack to DE Tank Carradine while also committing false start penalty.

          Give it sometime, will you?
          Early 2011 Staley had to defend the OL saying that they didn’t suck.
          One year later they were considered the best OL in the NFL.

          1. Boone is a battle tested veteran. Pears was eviscerated by the fans and media while at Buffalo. I will stick with my assessment of the 2.

            1. The word was also that Pears played much better in the zone scheme before they changed to the power blocking scheme in Buffalo. The front office probably had that in mind when they signed him.

              1. I hope he succeeds, but Pears has not shined so far in TC. I think he could be a very adequate back up and he gives good depth to the O line.

  8. “McDonald reached out and let the pass fly right through his hands”

    Well dangitydang and H E double toothpicks. As athletically gifted McDonald is, he’s a low to mid level bust if he doesn’t start catching balls. A TE that was the 55th overall pick (that played slot in college) should be snagging those puppies with ease.

    1. Brodie- He played slot in college. That’s the problem I and some others on this site saw with McDonald coming out of college. He was not known for having good hands in college as well. If he was a player being converted from a non receiving position then it might be assumed that he still had undeveloped upside as a receiver and could improve with work. But he played as a receiver all through college so the idea that he was going to improve seemed unlikely.

  9. By most camp reports the offensive line looks awful.

    I expect O-lines to gel slower than defenses in training camp. Whiffed blocks, false starts, clumsy shifts come with the territory early camp. But it sounds like everyone except Staley and Boone are simply getting whipped. That includes the athletic Marcus Martin, new body and all. If this keeps up, the “Real Double Ms” will have one of his Ms taken away.

    Grant, poor execution aside, how are Looney, Martin, Pears, Thomas, Brown staking up athletically?

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb early in camp. With Mangini’s aggressive style and the 9ers abundance of pass rushing talent we will have at least 50 sacks this year. The biggest question for this team is O line, if the coaching staff can put together a better than avg O line group things are going to be okay. As for CK he will be CK not great but good enough to win regular season games.

    1. Agree. The season seems to hinge on the O-line. With Kilgore’s injury its guaranteed the line will have at least two configurations be season’s end.

      My question is why are the O-linemen getting beat. If its technique issues I’m happy. The more they get burned in training camp, the more learning opportunities.

      1. B2W… I f you check with any college level or pro coach, they will tell you almost to a man, that the Dline is always ahead of the Oline at the beginning of the season.. Especially this year with the niners, the Oline has new checks and options to decipher, while the D has less to work on…GET THE BALL CARRIER. The Defense is just pinning their ears back while the Oline is just trying to protect. Hopefully, it’ll all even out.

        1. Not to mention, without pads, all the D-Line does is grab their loose jerseys. Once the pads go on, jersey is tight, shoulders protected and the D-Line advantage is neutralized….

          1. Razor- The team should design teflon embedded material around the uniforms of the offensive and defensive linemen.

            1. Wiltalk

              They tried that with the tear-away jerseys, but still nothing beats lard…for several different reasons

    2. You’re too right, but its very early in TC to panic. Lets see how it goes in pads and if the beatings continue by the DL and OLB’s. It also shows how good Staley is. Boone struggled without him beside him.

        1. If the offensive line struggles as it has the last season and a half it makes it all the better to have a QB who can run and escape pressure with athleticism rather than a conventional QB. Especially if you have slow receivers running slow developing plays although the latter two shouldn’t really be a factor this season.

    1. Here’s hoping. Boldin, Torrey Smith and a Victor Cruz clone would be a pretty formidable WR trio. Then add Vernon Davis to the mix…

    2. Good comparison. UDFA. Elevates for the ball. Good hands. Gets open.

      The padded practices will be a nice test. If he can beat press coverage, he’s a weapon.

  11. Toss your playbook to Chryst before you exit stage left Patton. If you can’t beat Wright, then you have no business playing.

    1. Interestingly though, I saw another report (or maybe it was a tweet) that Patton had the best day of the WRs in team drills, including a 45 yard TD from Kaep.

        1. This early plays need to be put into context. Example- was the play a result of a good effort or a missed assignment or bad effort by the defense. If McDonald doesn’t let that TD pass go through his hands it would have been an example of the latter. The same could be said for a failure when targeted. It could have been a really good defensive play. One needs to factor the entire preseason .

          1. The Patton TD was a simple 3 yard screen that he cut across the grain to break free. Too many unknowns to get any perspective on how good a play it was. Was it 11 on 11 or 7 on 7 drills? At best it speaks to his ability to run to daylight rather than his ability as a receiver. Not trying to diminish his play rather just put that one play into context.

  12. I had previously stated that Kaep should study Joe Montana, and watch how he threw the ball. Joe threw a ball that was precise, catchable, with touch and he hit his receiver in stride. I never ever saw him throw a fastball at a receiver 8 yards away. Kaep should swallow his pride and stop throwing the ball so hard. He is not doing himself any favors if he throws it so hard it ricochets off the receivers hands for a pick six. He is hurting the team just to stroke his ego, and it is counter productive.
    Kaep does not need to make a windup and hurl the ball at 100 MPH. In fact, he should just deliver the ball with a quick flick of his wrist, he has plenty of arm strength to do that,especially for a ball that does not need to travel 80 yards, but just 8.
    It is really hard to throw a fastball and give the ball arc so it drops over the LBs and in front of the safeties. He might also get less balls batted down at the line of scrimmage if he stops throwing fastballs and give the ball more arc.
    Some fans may think it odious to criticize Kaep, I just want to help him become a better QB, and Giles, Warner and all the Niner coaches want him to throw with more touch. If he throws with less velocity, he will improve his completion percentage and lessen his interceptions.
    He might even win more games.

  13. I’m curious to hear how many times this year announcers and pundits will ask, “Where were the 49ers stashing THIS guy?” If we hear that a lot, we’ll understand just how great Baalke is and why exactly Harbaugh and his rigid group of vet-lovers were sent packing.

    1. With the marvels of modern medicine, players with injuries can recover fully. Baalke has shrewdly picked up players with talent, but other teams had passed on because of the injury bugaboo.
      Thomas, Tank, Reaser, Dial, White, Acker and Smelter were all injury picks.

    2. E- Just because some player suddenly starts becoming more productive does not make TB a great GM. He has his strengths and weaknesses. And those are often a trade off. As sentryman stated Baalke’s style is picking injured players which other teams who did not have the luxury of a deep team could not afford to do. That does often result in getting a bargan. But it also often results in getting a player who never recovers. There is also the factor that when you draft a player who requires that much time to make an impact ( if any at all ), it is at the expense of not drafting a player who might fill an more urgent immediate need. I think the luxury of drafting the injured or best player available is no longer a luxury. All though he still did it this last draft and probably the draft before that as well. It’s all a trade off. I also think that Harbaugh’s not playing some younger players might have been more a result of him and Trent not being on the same page in respect to the type of players and roster each wanted. Irregardless to who was right or wrong, it has to be to the advantage of the team as a whole that this negative dynamic between coach and GM is no longer operative.

      1. JH conducted brutal practices, and many players were beat up. He also played the vets a lot and wore them down over the season.
        However, that is not the reason he left. I will not enumerate all the reasons, so everyone should just accept the outcome and move on.
        I wish to discuss the existing squad and all the coaching during TC, and last season is ancient history to me.

        1. Without trying to start an arguement, Harbs coached under the new CBA where practices are restricted. Landry, Lombardi, Glanville, Parcells, old Tom Coughlin, apparently Denny Green too, those guys ran brutal practices.

          1. When the Niners were 2-14, Bill Walsh ran pre game tryouts with 50 to 100 players. I bet those were pretty brutal,too

            1. I saw on NFL.com that one coach (forgot which one) was running his guys through Grass Drills. Anyone remember them? They were every day in my Paleolithic HS days. Sprint 40 yards, hit your belly, sprint 40, do a left shoulder roll, sprint 40, right shoulder roll.
              Whew! They were brutal at the end of practice.
              Lombardi used “Up-Downs”; same idea, they just ran in place.

  14. After reading numerous TC reports and watching Higlights on SF49ers. com, a couple of things are jumping out quickly.

    The pass rush has the capability to be among the best in the league.

    The right side of the Oline has the capability to be among the worst in the league.

    There appears to be a lot of talent at WR and RB with big play capability, and from what I’ve seen, Kap has definitely worked to compact the throwing motion and improved the release, but everything will depend on how the Oline plays. First impressions are not favorable.

    Today is the day real football begins for these guys. If DeAndrew White continues to make plays with the pads on and in PS games, he will have to be kept on the 53 which means Patton has to turn up the intensity and go out and make it impossible for them to cut him.

    It’s going to be an interesting camp.

  15. Maiocco did a little prodding of the Rhino with his line of questioning as to why he didn’t lobby to play OT. Interesting exchange….

      1. Boone just said he didn’t, and Maiocco followed up with, and I’m paraphrasing, Aren’t you a OT? Boone gave a pc response. I’m whatever the coaches want, followed by a Cheshire smile….

        1. Previously, I called him a buffoon for allowing all those sacks and then venting on the Seahawks when they had to play the Raiders next.
          However, I think he has gained wisdom and humility, and I hope he does attain the RT spot. Boone would be happy and get a pay rise, and I firmly believe he is the best player to help anchor that side of the line. He does have talent, and tons of experience. I think Looney and Boone would work together well.
          People who want them to put him next to Staley so they can run to the left may have legitimate reasons, but there are better reasons to do differently. I would argue that with Boone on the right, they could run both left or right, so the defense would have to cover both sides instead of stacking against the left.
          Brown is a possibility, but I think they should let him get more seasoning before trusting him to block and protect Kaep. i would put in Pears before Brown.

          1. As mentioned before- Pears seems to function much better in a zone scheme than the one they ran at Buffalo. Pears was also a much better pass blocker than Davis. Perhaps the staff wants to see what the other options are before resorting to moving Boone to RT. Although one would hate to see the team still making O-line adjustments far into mid-season.

    1. His draft status would indicate a higher ceiling.

      Also Baalke does a pretty good job with acquiring personalities that fit.

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