Notes and observations from today’s minicamp practice

Notes and observations from the first day of the 49ers’ three-day minicamp…

• Didn’t take long for LB Manny Lawson or CBs Shawntae Spencer and Nate Clements to get back in the groove. All three moved smoothly into first-team repetitions, pushing Ahmad Brooks, Tarell Brown and Karl Paymah to the second unit. The three prodigal sons looked solid, if not perfect, in their returns.
• Rookie RB Anthony Dixon, limited by a sore hamstring the past couple of weeks, returned to full participation and looked quick for a big man.


• More 2-minute action. This time, the offense started at its 31-yard line with 1:38 on the clock. Alex Smith led both drills, with different offensive teammates around him, and neither drive ended well. After a couple first downs on the initial possession, nickel back Brown made a sweet tiptoe catch at the sideline to intercept and send the first-team offense off the field. The second-team defense ended the threat more quickly, with S Curtis Taylor picking off Smith’s floater that sailed high for TE Joe Jon Finley.
• Over three 11-on-11 team periods and then the culminating 2-minute period, David Carr got zero snaps at QB. Nate Davis got 17. A 49ers spokesman said there was nothing physically wrong with Carr, who threw in 7-on-7 drills.
• The Niners ran their first 1-on-1 blocking drills of the offseason. Without full pads, they were more a test of technique than power or aggression, but I can offer a few observations. Of the two rookies, G Mike Iupati was up and down, while T Anthony Davis looked quite good; that is something of a reversal from many team periods this spring. DT Khalif Mitchell wound up on the ground a lot. The biggest mismatch of the first round was LB Parys Haralson running rings around T Adam Snyder, buy Snyder redeemed himself in the rematch. C Cody Wallace struggled against a variety of rushers.
• WR Kyle Williams got his right hamstring stretched out during a pass-and-catch drill, but returned to make a leaping grab during team period.
• LeRoy Vann didn’t help his chances of making the team when he flubbed a total of four punts during special-teams work. One hit Vann squarely in the facemask.
• Tony Wragge got some first-team work at LG, David Baas at C. When Takeo Spikes took breathers at ILB, rookie Navorro Bowman and Scott McKillop filled in. Bowman knifed into the backfield to pounce on a handoff to Glen Coffee.
• Out of position, and yelled at for it: LB Mike Balogun and WR Jared Perry.
• Pass of the day may have been Smith finding Jason Hill for a deep connection over Paymah.
• Nice plays by TE Vernon Davis (two quick catches vs. S Dashon Goldson after missing three days of OTAs), McKillop (beat Iupati up the middle to “sack” Smith), LB Matt Wilhelm (interception vs. Carr in 7-on-7), Spikes (broke up slant pass from Nate Davis to FB Moran Norris), Brooks (touched Dixon down at line on running play), Davis (rolled away from LB Martail Burnett’s pressure and found WR Bakari Grant at sideline) and Haralson (charged up the gut to hurry Smith’s throw in 2-minute, though it was complete to Dominique Zeigler).
• The 49ers are trying out Marcus Waugh, a fullback from the University of Cincinnati.
• Tomorrow: two practices, one at 10:30 and the other at 3:30 p.m.