49ers training camp report: Day 9

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


1. ILB NaVorro Bowman. During an 11 on 11 fourth-down drill, Bowman tagged Colin Kaepernick for a sack when Kaepernick was scrambling toward the sideline. After Bowman tagged him, Kaepernick threw a deep pass across his body to Anquan Boldin, who caught the ball for a gain of about 40 yards. After the play, Kaepernick got in Bowman’s face and seemed to say something to him. The next play, Kaepernick scrambled to his right again and threw a short pass across his body to wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Bowman stepped in front of the pass, picked it off and high-stepped down the field while he stared at Kaepernick.

2. ILB Nick Moody. Intercepted a pass thrown over the middle by backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Moody calmly reached up with his right hand and tipped the ball to himself like he’d done it million times. This was his third interception of training camp.

3. DT Tank Carradine. Recorded two sacks during team drills, beating second-team left guard Joe Looney both times. Carradine also beat starting left guard Alex Boone once during one on one pass-rushing drills.

4. RB Reggie Bush. Caught seven passes and dropped zero during team drills. His best catch came while running a wheel route down the sideline on fourth-and-seven. Kaepernick threw a touch pass and hit Bush in stride.

5. WR DeAndrew White. Caught five passes and dropped zero during team drills. His best catch was the catch of the day – a 50-yard one-handed touchdown grab on a pass thrown by third-string quarterback Dylan Thompson.


1. RB Carlos Hyde. Dropped not one, not two but three passes during team drills. Each time he dropped the ball he seemed to “hear footsteps” and turn his head before securing the pass.

2. CB Dontae Johnson. Gave up a 50-yard touchdown catch to Jerome Simpson on a pass thrown by Colin Kaepernick during 11-on-11s. I haven’t seen Johnson break up one pass during training camp.

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  1. Kaepernick sure is Moody. Ask Bowman what Kaepernick said to him before he picked him off? Is Johnson thinking too much? Mmm, could be….

    1. If Johnson struggles during preseason games, I wonder what the plan will be when they go nickel. Stick Ward back in the slot and keep Brock on the perimeter?

      1. That would be my guess if Ward is healthy. Brock/Wright start. Ward/Tartt alternate slot responsibilities depending on match-ups.

        Grant wrote he thinks Ward is a true safety that will struggle in the slot corner role. I can’t come to a hard conclusion myself until I see Brock, Wright, Reaser, Ward, Johnson, Tartt play. Except for Wright, there isn’t alot of pro footage to know for sure.

      2. I was surprised to hear that they were putting DJ at RCB. He played mostly in the nickle last year and fared better then when put on the edge. If I was a betting man I’d wager that he’ll be back playing most slot at a point not too distant from now.

        1. I thought Johnson played pretty well in both the slot and perimeter last year until the last three games of the season. Those last three games where he started he got burned a bit though.

          I think if he learns to use his length/ size/ speed combo to his advantage, in time his best position will be on the perimeter. But as to whether he’s up to it right now we’ll just have to wait and see.

          1. I don’t think he has the speed to be on the perimeter, I’m aware of his 40 time but he doesn’t play that fast. At least not yet. Maybe he was too much in his head last year. I like the kid, just not sold on him as a starting edge corner. I’m also not saying he can’t be just fine out there with more time, I was merely stating that after seemingly playing better in the nickle last year I mostly expected him to resume those duties.

            1. As pointed out in this article, he showed plenty enough speed to stick with Jermaine Kearse last year, who’s a pretty good deep threat.


              I think his bigger issue is ability to change direction, more so than straight line speed which I think he has enough of. And he can get away with that more on the outside if he learns proper technique.

              1. And just to clarify, this was just an FYI regarding your comment about his speed. Like you, I’m not sure if he’s ready to be starting on the outside just yet. I guess we’ll have a better idea after a few preseason games.

              2. Interesting take on the change of direction. He may be able to compensate for that somewhat as he gains more experience; anticipate the route and stay in position; not bite on head fakes and double moves.

    2. He could have been fired up and telling bowman good job. To get him hyped for the season. He has been gone for awhile.

    3. Possibly we can use G-Joe Looney as a wedge buster on special teams, that way Baalke can draft all Guards next draft hoping to hit the lotto (that one might stick), kind of like he did in this year’s draft by overdrafting tight ends…I’m still waiting for the next Jerry Rice or John Taylor who can put fear in DB’s from either side of the field, wherever they motion to.

  2. Questions for you regarding the CBs Grant,
    Where are Reaser and Acker lining up primarily and how are things progressing with them? Which one seems to be ahead? Also, who do you think would be the best fit at outside nickel corner between Johnson, Reaser, and Acker?

      1. Cant wait. Finally, real football. If they have no delay of game penalties, I will call it a success, no matter what the score is.

    1. Grant,
      I agree. We heard so much about all this young talent at CB, even cut Cook which I understood, yet we keep hearing the same 3 names over and over. How does Reasers speed look in coverage? Acker looked great last year, this year?

      1. I guess we will see Saturday night? What I will be looking for is how the coaching staff has coached these guys from a structure perspective. How well organized they are and the tempo at which they play.

        1. What did we learn about Harbaugh and his team when they played their first preseason game against the Saints on the road? No much.

          1. This has nothing to do with Harbaugh. It’s all about a new staff and new schemes and how the players are adapting.
            Have you not heard Tomsula talk relentlessly about playing an uptempo style?

            1. What we learned about Harbaugh and his first preseason game was nothing. That’s what we will probably learn about the team and JimT during his first preseason game — nothing.

  3. Bowman knows what most knowledgeable 49er fans know… Kaepernick has trouble spotting underneath coverage.

    1. I think he has already. If Moody continues to be part of the turnover equation it’s a foregone conclusion.
      I never was a Wilhoite fan. He seemed to shy away from contact a lot of the time. I noticed it most whenever we played the Seahawks.

  4. Jawing with linebackers didn’t help Kaepernick vs the Raiders either.

    I often like it when Colin act like a “football player”, and not just a quarterback. Combative can be good, but its a waste of energy to have the king skirmishing with the enemies minions.

    1. Brodie,

      I think it depends on how you use it. Rivers has always been combative with defensive players in games and it seems to help him. I think in Kaps case, most of the time it’s productive, but in certain instances, like the Raider game, it goes too far. I like an edge to a QB, but it has to be controlled and sometimes Kap lets it go too far.

  5. It seems like Moody is beating out Wilhoite for starting ILB. Haven’t heard much about dres anderson or carrier. It will be interesting to see how the DL rotation works. We seem to have an abundance of riches. I continue to worry about OL however.

    1. As far as Bowman stepping in front of Kap’s pass. I need more info before I can critique. Was it a tight window? Did Simpson not step up? Bad throw ? Etc..

    1. No one got the tough yards better than Terry Kirby. William Floyd was decent but Kirby could get the tough yards then break it to the house. One of my favorite Niners. Thanks for bringing him up CFC.

  6. Sounds like Nick Moody’s safety background (and offseason dedication to film study) is paying coverage dividends. Can’t wait to see him get reps Saturday.

    1. Pretty sure Wilhoite played some safety in college at Wabash too. Different pedigree though vs. FL state for Tartt

    1. I wonder if they might move Okoye to the offense. He is a big body who is fast, and the O line may need help.
      There is no spot on the D line for Okoye. Sounds like TJE is looking good.

      1. I think its too late in the game for that. Offensive Linemen have to know a lot more than defensive linemen, so that transition would be extremely hard to make at this point.

  7. Maiocco on Brandon Thomas:

    “Thomas’ stock was falling dramatically during the offseason program and first few days of training camp. It appeared to still be rusty from the torn ACL that wiped out his rookie season. But Thomas appears to be moving much better over the past week to place himself into serious consideration at right guard. Marcus Martin has not solidified his hold on that position, so Thomas will have a chance to work his way into the mix with his play in the exhibition games.”


    1. I would argue that this is more of a statement of how disappointing Martin is rather than how good Thomas is. Multiple reports have indicated Martin gets blown back by dt’s. This will kill passing plays and running plays.

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