Notes and observations from today’s voluntary practice in Santa Clara…
• Finally, the first intra-squad wrestling match of the spring, as OLB Parys Haralson scuffles with, I’m pretty sure, TE Delanie Walker. Other players jumped in before it escalated. Coach Mike Singletary was not the least bit amused. The whole team had to run lines for the transgression.
Afterward, Singletary said: “I look at our team like a family. Maybe some guys have the philosophy, ‘Well, that’s what football’s all about.’ No, that’s not what football is all about to me. I learned football where you go out and play together. You come out here and if you’re going to fight out here, and in the same breath you’re going to say we’re family, you’re going to talk to each other like crap? No, we’re in this together. If you can’t see it that way, then we’ve got to find somebody else. I don’t want that at all because it’s foolishness to me. I’m a firm believer that what you do out here on the field, that’s what you’re going to do in the game. It’s all repetition. That’s not happening.”
• WR Brandon Jones sat out practice with a sprained ankle. He told me in the locker room it was no big deal. With Jones down, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams and LeRoy Vann again split kickoff returns.
• Adam Snyder got second-team repetitions at center. As they did throughout the week, rookie T Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati worked in and out with the first and second teams.
“They’re getting there,” Singletary said of the first-round picks. “They take steps every day, but once again, when we put the pads on, that’s when you really have to evaluate where they are because now it’s coming and its coming fast. At that time, you really have a chance to see where they are.”
• Haralson and Ahmad Brooks continued to get most of the first-team work at OLB, but Travis LaBoy and Diyral Briggs took over during one 7-on-7 session.
• Curtis Taylor stood in for Dashon Goldson at safety during the late stages of practice.
• Nice plays by QB Alex Smith (bullet to Dominique Zeigler to beat Tarell Brown’s good coverage), WR Ted Ginn (came back for the ball to beat Brown at the sideline), Walker and WR Kyle Williams (nice catches right at the flag), TE Nate Byham (sweet catch with LB Takeo Spikes draped all over him), LB Matt Wilhelm (sniffed out a sweep), S Reggie Smith (interception against Alex Smith), plus S Taylor Mays and CB Patrick Stoudamire and Brown and Spikes (pass breakups in or near the end zone).
• All in all, plenty of receptions for Ginn and Michael Crabtree today.
• But the real play of the day came from Goldson, who sized up Shane Andrus’ field-goal attempt, lay flat on his back about 15 yards behind a goal post and caught the ball in his chest without moving anything but his arms.
• The running backs began their practice by running out-and-ups, saw FBs Moran Norris and Brit Miller blatantly drop the first two balls, and promptly switched to intermediate routes.
• LB Scott McKillop finished the final 7-on-7 drill by helping to break up Smith’s pass to Byham at the goal line. But he ended the entire practice by getting knocked on his butt by Norris, right around the same spot. More awkward that vicious.
• On-field guests included the Bishop O’Dowd High football team and the Stanford men’s volleyball team. There are real connections to the latter. Not only do Singletary’s daughters play volleyball, but Dan Garza, one of the 49ers’ team doctors, performs a similar duty for the Stanford men’s team.