Day 8, practice 15: Numbers don’t lie, but . , ,

Day 8, practice 15: Numbers don’t lie, but . , ,


If today were a real game, Alex Smith’s consecutive-completion streak would have been the second-most in 49ers history.

But, of course, if this were a real game, Shawntae Spencer would’ve loosened Smith’s molars when he came untouched on a corner blitz.


Smith was very accurate, indeed, while connecting on a bunch of shorter passes. This has not been the best part of his game in the past, but Smith threw the ball very accurately underneath today. In fact, he completed 20 consecutive passes (six at the end of the morning, and his first 14 of the afternoon) in 11-on-11 drills.


Meanwhile, Shaun Hill helped dispel some of the concerns about his ability to hit plays down the field. Hill hooked up with Vernon Davis on a pass that traveled some 30 yards down the field (against the breeze, no less). Hill threw it to Davis‘ outside shoulder, and Davis tracked the ball and made the over-the-shoulder catch.


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Does Smith’s consecutive-completion streak put him in the lead for the QB race? Of course, not. But as I noted a few days ago, Smith has performed well enough during training camp to put himself in serious contention for the starting job.


Hill is doing nothing to lose the job, either. In fact, both Smith and Hill have made improvements on the areas of their games that were considered the weakest (Smith’s short game; Hill’s deep passes).


Things should be interesting Friday when they take the field against Mike Nolan’s Broncos defense.


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Here are the deets from this afternoon’s practice, which happened to be the last time the general public will be allowed to watch the team work out:


–When Spencer came free on his corner blitz, I was thinking it, and some fan yelled it. “Hey, Shawntae does that remind you of Jon Kitna?” That got a nod from Spencer, who leveled Kitna a couple years ago with a corner blitz.


–Frank Gore absolutely flattened Kentwan Balmer with a chip block on his way out of the backfield. Balmer was working against Joe Staley, when Gore knocked Balmer off his feet. Smith completed the pass to Micheal Spurlock.


–Isaac Sopoaga made a couple really nice plays in a row. He sniffed out a Glen Coffee draw play on a third-and-long. Then, he was in the backfield quickly on a Smith pass to Davis. Again, Smith probably would’ve been sacked.


–Balmer and Demetric Evans did a nice job of recognizing a screen pass to Coffee on a third-and-9. They would’ve been able to corral him (if they were allowed to tackle).


–Rookie safety Curtis Taylor came up from his safety position on a Smith pass near the goal line to Coffee. Again, Taylor probably could’ve blown up Coffee with a big hit.


–Rookie defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois looked like he had a difficult time working against 49ers backup left tackle Barry Sims.


–Smith’s completion streak was snapped when he threw high to Vernon Davis in the end zone. He might have been just throwing it away, as Davis was well-covered. Smith finished 15 of 16 in the afternoon session.


–The 49ers have a light day scheduled for Sunday. They have just an hour-long walk-through in the afternoon.


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Here’s a photo gallery from the first week of training camp.


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