Day 8, practice 14: Raye of hope

Day 8, practice 14: Raye of hope

 

New offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye might not be the most charismatic coach in the universe. And his offense might be a heck of a lot less flashy than the one the 49ers ran a year ago.

But that approach seems to fit the 49ers’ offensive players just fine.

 

Frank Gore said he appreciates he emphasis on the run game. Vernon Davis likes Raye’s “tight-end friendly” approach. And the quarterbacks have talked about their preference for an offense that has stressed perfection over volume.

 

Raye spoke to the media for the second time this training camp. Here’s what he spoke about:

 

–He said it’s “extremely important” for the 49ers to be able to hit big plays down the field in the passing game in order to prevent the defense from stacking eight defenders in the box. Advantage Alex Smith? No, not exactly. Raye said he is very pleased with Shaun Hill’s ability to work the deep routes. “They are both doing well in that part of it,” Raye said.

 

–Raye has good things to say about rookie running back Glen Coffee, but he does not anticipate using both Coffee and starter Frank Gore on the field at the same time.

 

–The only receiver who Raye says is guaranteed to be on the 49ers’ 53-man roster is Isaac Bruce. (OK, that’s fine, but I will go ahead and guarantee Josh Morgan and Brandon Jones will be on the team after the final cuts, too.)

 

–Raye said he has not plan to change the grip of rookie QB Nate Davis, who does not throw the ball with the laces. “If I had him in Pop Warner, I would’ve,” he said. But Raye has an if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it approach with Davis.

 

–Raye said he is behind in installing elements of the spread offense or “wildcat” to the team. The reason is because Michael Robinson would be the player to handle the “wildcat” duties, and he’s been out since early in camp with a groin strain. Also, Micheal Spurlock can do it. Raye said he knows less about Arnaz Battle because he did not practice in the offseason as he rehabbed from an injury.

 

–Yesterday, coach Mike Singletary said he figured Michael Crabtree was continuing to study the team’s playbook during his contract impasse. That would be impossible. Raye does not allow the players to take home any team-issued materials after organized team activities. The only thing Crabtree can review would be his personal notes from the 49ers’ offseason program.

 

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And here are the deets from the recently completed morning practice:

 

–“Take that!” That’s what Shaun Hill could’ve said after lofting a beautifully thrown deep ball to Arnaz Battle down the right sideline. Battle made the grab behind rookie corner Carlos Thomas.

 

–Other than that play, Hill and Alex Smith were solid but not spectacular. They completed the balls they should complete, and did not take many shots down the field. Smith was 11 of 13, while Hill was 6 of 9.

 

–Running back Thomas Clayton was matched against rookie Scott McKillop in blitz pickup. This is an area of the game that RBs coach Tom Rathman really enjoys. After Clayton locked up McKillop, Rathman turned to the crowd and shouted, “Everybody give him a hand.”

 

–After the one-on-one session, defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn kept tabs. He admitted that the receivers won the head-to-head matchup by one.

 

–Rookie defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois saw his most action. Call it a wash. He had some good plays and some not-so good, struggling to get off blocks.

 

–Aubrayo Franklin and Dashon Goldson sat out a portion of practice because of tightness. Isaac Sopoaga and Kentwan Balmer filled in from Franklin, while Mark Roman took over for Goldson.

 

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Back at it this afternoon with a 4 p.m. practice.

 

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