Notes and observations from this morning’s practice…
If these notes are a little skimpy, I offer four points of defense: (1) The 49ers were in shells, not full pads. (2) The third-stringers got a ton of work today. (3) It was heavy on running plays, never very illuminating without contact. (4) The whole session lasted 65 minutes.
It all added up to a highly forgettable practice. Here are a few notes that must stand in for actual highlights.
• Besides C Eric Heitmann (broken fibula) and OLB Ahmad Brooks (lacerated kidney), other injured 49ers included ILB NaVorro Bowman (shoulder), OLB Travis LaBoy (concussion) and WR Brandon Jones (hamstring).
• CB Shawntae Spencer, S Dashon Goldson and WR Michael Crabtree all got veteran courtesy. That was the second practice off for Crabtree (third if you count special teams yesterday afternoon), but coach Mike Singletary insisted he is only “sore.” When the 49ers’ defense opened in a nickel subpackage to start team period and CB Nate Clements moved to the slot, it was Will James who took Spencer’s spot. Rookie Taylor Mays got first-team reps in place of Goldson.
• CB Patrick Stoudamire followed up his breakthrough performance yesterday by intercepting Alex Smith on an out pass to WR Josh Morgan. Stoudamire came down to earth a little later, getting beat down the sideline by the suddenly dangerous WR Kyle Williams; QB Nate Davis hit Williams in stride, though he may have been out of bounds.
• Speaking of young, unproven corners, Tramaine Brock had a nice play, breaking up Davis’ throw to WR Scott Long.
• Beyond the pick, Smith looked sharper today, though the first-team reps were all too scarce.
• Williams and Ted Ginn shared the punt-return duties. No drops, though Williams bobbled before catching one. Singletary enlivened the drill by barking at Tony Curtis for failing to clear away from a punt that bounced back toward the line of scrimmage.