The 49ers held their first practice of the offseason in front of the media Wednesday afternoon. Before I get into the good and not so good from the players, I want to start with the good and not so good from the head coach – Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan is an interactive coach, like Jim Harbaugh. This is good. During position drills, Shanahan stands in the middle of the action like a defender – the only one on the field. Sometimes he actually plays cornerback and tries to take away certain reads for the quarterback so he has to go through his progressions. And sometimes Shanahan stops drills to demonstrate how he wants receivers to run specific routes. All of this is impressive.
But if you didn’t know better, watching practice you would think Shanahan is the passing game coordinator. This is not good. He spends all of his time during position drills with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends as they practice their pass patterns. He spends no time with the running backs, the offensive linemen, the defense or the special teams.
When Harbaugh was the head coach, he spent time with every position. That’s what a head coach is supposed to do. Shanahan needs to find times to delegate the passing game instruction so he can work with the rest of the team even though he’s his own offensive coordinator.
Now, to the players.
- CB Rashard Robinson. Broke up a short pass intended for Pierre Garcon, then intercepted a deep pass intended for Rashad Ross two plays later. Hoyer threw both passes. Robinson clearly was the best cornerback on the field.
- DE Tank Carradine. Started at strong-side defensive end (six-technique), lined up across from the tight end, frequently broke into the backfield and grabbed the running back on running plays. Carradine is in great shape. I’d guess he weighs 260 pounds.
- QB Matt Barkley. Threw the best pass of practice – a beautiful deep ball with perfect trajectory over the head of cornerback Steve Williams and into the hands of wide receiver DeAndre Carter who was sprinting down the left sideline.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- DE Aaron Lynch. Fat. Out of shape. Big gut. Played mostly with the second-stringers and looked winded after plays. Lynch used to be a lean, young force coming off the edge. Now, he’s eating himself out of the league. What a shame. He looks like he weighs at least 285 pounds. He needs to lose at least 15 before the season starts.
- RB Mike Davis. Dropped a short pass in the flat.
- RB DuJuan Harris. The only running back who fumbled during team drills. Ray-Ray Armstrong stripped Harris and Harris quickly jumped on the ball to recover his fumble.
THE DEPTH CHART
LWR: Marquise Goodwin
RWR: Pierre Garcon
SWR: Jeremy Kerley
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Daniel Kilgore
RG: Joshua Garnett
RT: Trent Brown
QB: Brian Hoyer
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
RB: Carlos Hyde
Leo: Ahmad Brooks
RDE (4t): Ronald Blair (Arik Armstead didn’t participate in team drills)
NT (1t): Earl Mitchell
DT (3t): DeForest Buckner
LDE (6t): Tank Carradine (Aaron Lynch was the LDE in sub packages)
ILB: NaVorro Bowman
ILB: Malcolm Smith
LCB: Dontae Johnson
FS: Jimmie Ward
SS: Eric Reid
RCB: Rashard Robinson
NCB: K’Waun Williams