Earlier in the day, Jimmy Raye had this to say when I asked him if David Baas had “locked up” the center position in Eric Heitmann’s absence: “I don’t know that that’s the correct phraseology, but I would say he’s in the lead. He has the lead in the clubhouse. Now the rules official may come and say it was a sand trap and it’s a two-stroke penalty, but I think he’s the leader in the clubhouse and … if the guy bogeys at 18, then he has a chance, he has a real chance.”
Solid golf joke, solid analysis.
Since then, however, the situation has gotten a little more interesting. Baas missed the afternoon practice with a stinger suffered in the morning session – which explained why Tony Wragge had gotten first-team reps toward the end of that practice.
No word on how serious Baas’ injury is. A stinger can knock you out for a couple days, or it can linger and become a problem. Will Baas be able to play against the Raiders on Saturday? Against the Chargers on Sept. 2? What if Wragge, who almost certainly would start if Baas can’t go, performs well? Would we have renewed competition to be Eric Heitmann’s temporary replacement?
Stay tuned. It’s a little more drama than O-line coach Mike Solari wants at this point, but it does warrant some attention.
Other notes and observations from today’s afternoon practice…
• In addition to Baas, T Alex Boone sat out with dehydration. He left the morning practice clutching his right hamstring – no doubt a dehydration-induced cramp. Veteran courtesy for RB Brian Westbrook, DE Justin Smith, LBs Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes and Travis LaBoy, CB Nate Clements and S Michael Lewis.
• Camp Singletary is sort of going out with a whimper. The afternoon session ran a mere 1 hour, 20 minutes (granted, it was hot), and tomorrow’s practices have been combined into one, beginning at 3 p.m. Team period was fairly low energy today, with a lot of flares and swing passes. Camp officially breaks Friday.
• The best pass – and quite nearly the most disastrous – of the p.m. was Alex Smith’s rocket to Ted Ginn in the back corner of the end zone. The only problem: It was in the hospitality area, with white tents shading tables and chairs just behind the end zone. Ginn almost became the first 49er to be listed as doubtful (tent pole lodged in abdomen).
• Weirdest drill I’ve seen in a while: The SF quarterbacks practicing their defensive angles on interception returns. A camp assistant had to play DB, catch a ball and head down the sidelines, where Alex Smith or one of his understudies would try to hem him in.
• Wragge and OLB Parys Haralson jawed and pointed at one another after one play.
• With all those veterans being treated courteously, the first-team defense looked like this: Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean Francois and Demetric Evans on the line, Haralson and Manny Lawson at OLB, NaVorro Bowman and Keaton Kristick at ILB, Phillip Adams and Karl Paymah at the corners, and Taylor Mays and Reggie Smith deep. Quite possible only three of those guys will start against the Seahawks on Sept. 12.