Short practice, and a short roster

Notes and observations from this afternoon’s (extremely short) practice…

• On the final day for fans to watch practice, Mike Singletary cut it off after a quick 1 hour, 17 minutes. This thing is definitely getting lighter (dare I say softer?) as it progresses.

• Which is probably a good thing when you look at the Did Not Participate sheet for the afternoon: TE Vernon Davis (knee), DE Ray McDonald (soreness), G/T Adam Snyder (concussion), OLB Brandon Long (knee) and of course the usual WR Kyle Williams (toe), CB Will James (ankle), OLB Ahmad Brooks (kidney) and C Eric Heitmann (fibula). WR Michael Crabtree caught passes from the QBs but did not go against defenders. And here are your veteran courtesies: ILBs Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes, DE Justin Smith, S Michael Lewis, OLB Travis LaBoy and T Barry Sims. That pretty much left Keaton Kristick, Jehuu Caulcrick, the yard-marker guy and a cameraman in the tower to execute drills.

• DE Demetric Evans was off the field again for the third straight practice. No official word, but it seems he has a nagging injury.

• RBs Frank Gore and Brian Westbrook finally got in the formation together, in 7-on-7. The first play was a pass to Gore underneath.

• QB Alex Smith was very accurate today in team period. But I’ll play devil’s advocate and point out that he hit two long scoring passes on which no defender was within 10 yards of the receiver, stumbled in the pocket and fell down untouched on one play, and nearly one-hopped a baby stroller while throwing outs to receivers early in practice.

• Not sure how much of it had to do with injuries/resting, but the defense that took the field for the start of team period was a strange amalgam of first and second units: Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean Francois and Derek Walker on the line, Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson at OLB, NaVorro Bowman and Matt Wilhelm at ILB, Phillip Adams and Karl Paymah at the corners, and Taylor Mays and Reggie Smith at safety. Seemed like Defense 1.5.

• OLB Diyral Briggs continues to make plays. Today he made a leaping interception vs. Smith on a pass over the middle.

• Not a highlight reel for Mays this p.m. He was late getting deep to cover TE Delanie Walker on one of Smith’s TD passes, jumped offside on a blitz attempt and found himself steamrolled by pulling G Chilo Rachal on a pitch right to RB Anthony Dixon.

• Singletary said earlier in the day that WR Bobby Guillory is “struggling a little bit.” So give the kid his due: He made an acrobatic leaping catch at the sideline in a passing drill.

• Talk about a captive audience: Singletary sidled up to Adams while the rookie CB was on the stationary bike and spoke to him animatedly for several minutes.