SANTA CLARA – This is the last week of OTAs for the Niners, and today was the one practice open to the media. It started like all their other practices – drills first, then scrimmaging, but one thing was different.
Alex Smith flat out dominated the quarterback drills. Nearly every warm up pass to every uncovered receiver was perfect. Last year during training camp he’d miss a few passes as he warmed up, just like the other quarterbacks. During today’s drills he was the most confident and accurate QB on the field by far. He looked like the franchise quarterback.
The backup quarterbacks performed the drills well, too, just not as well as Smith. Kaepernick is still working on hitting moving targets accurately. Josh Johnson missed some passes low today, and Scott Tolzien led some receivers too far.
However, during 7-on-7 red zone scrimmages, Colin Kaepernick performed the best.
It was the first team offense versus the first team defense from the five-yard line. On Smith’s first play, he threw the ball too high over Randy Moss’ head in the back of the end zone, and then on the next play he threw low to a crossing Vernon Davis in front of the goal line. Both passes fell incomplete.
Kaepernick subbed in for Smith on two plays and scored TDs both times. On one play he scrambled out of the pocket to the right and threw a missile on the run against his body to Kendall Hunter’s chest in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown. On the other he took a three step drop and fired a bullet at Moss’ back shoulder, and then Moss did something spectacular.
He put his right hand out like a crossing guard and let the rocket pass hit him in the palm. The ball popped up in the air and he caught it with his right hand as Tarell Brown dragged him to the ground. Touchdown.
Smith later threw a couple of touchdowns against the reserve defense – one to a wide-open Vernon Davis on a seam route and the other to Will Tukuafu (that’s right, the defensive lineman – he’s playing offense and defense now) in the flat.
Jim Harbaugh said Michael Crabtree has the greatest hands he’s ever seen, and he’s right – Crabtree has great hands. But Moss may have the greatest right hand I’ve ever seen. It’s unlikely Crabtree or anyone can catch passes with only the right hand as well as Moss can.