Training camp report: Harbaugh breaks up fight

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers practiced in shorts and shells Tuesday evening in preparation for Friday night’s preseason game against the Chiefs. Here’s what stood out to me during the evening practice. THE GOOD 1. MarQueis Gray – He made two jaw-dropping catches during 11-on-11 team drills. First, he ran a seam route down the middle of the field. Tolzien threw it up for Gray. Gray jumped, twisted and caught…

August 13, 2013

Training camp report: Kendall Hunter returns to sloppy practice

SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s what stood out to me at Saturday afternoon’s padded practice at Candlestick Park. THE GOOD 1. Kendall Hunter – He returned to practice for the first time since he tore his Achilles’ tendon last November. He didn’t participate much, but he got his feet wet. 2. Jonathan Goodwin – He returned to practice after missing the past two week and immediately took over his spot as…

August 10, 2013

Training camp report: Culliver injures left knee, Vernon Davis catches a TD playing WR

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Thursday’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Vernon Davis – He lined up everywhere – tight end, in the backfield and out wide. In a red-zone drill, Davis lined up at split end across from Tarell Brown. Davis beat Brown on an inside move and caught a touchdown pass from Colt McCoy. 2. Nnamdi Asomugha – He was the second-team right…

August 1, 2013

Roman on Marlon Moore: “He’s definitely a guy that’s jumped off the screen at us so far.”

SANTA CLARA — Greg Roman spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.   Opening Statement: “Good afternoon or is it morning? It’s day six, another opportunity for us to get better. We just had a good little P.A.A.C.T. practice, practicing our alignment, assignment, communication and technique. Going to head into some meetings and then have a great practice today. Any questions?”   Yesterday, LB Patrick Willis…

July 31, 2013

Training camp report: Kaepernick can’t miss, Jenkins leaves practice early with apparent leg injury

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Tuesday morning’s padded practice. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick – All of his passes have been on the money this training camp, especially the deep ones. This morning, Kaepernick was on fire in 11-on-11 drills against the first-team defense. First, he hit Anquan Boldin on a post route for a 20-yard gain. Next, Kaepernick threaded the needle between two defenders…

July 30, 2013

Harbaugh on Vernon Davis: “I’ve seen a lot of improvement in his route running. He looks leaner, too.”

SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke to Bay Area reporters in the 49ers’ media tent Sunday morning. Here’s what he said about Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick, Marlon Moore, Quinton Patton and Lawrence Okoye . Q: How has Vernon Davis looked in training camp? HARBAUGH: Good. He’s looked really good. Q: When he was drafted in 2006, he was very muscle-bound. Have you seen an evolution in his physique? HARBAUGH: I’ve…

July 28, 2013

Training camp report: Ahmad Brooks commits encroachment, Colin Kaepernick finds Vernon Davis

SANTA CLARA – With 20 minutes remaining in practice, Jim Harbaugh set up a fourth down drill: Fourth and five from the opponent’s 20-yard line, the edge of the red zone. The offense had one chance to make a first down or a touchdown. The first-team offense faced the first-team defense and right away, Ahmad Brooks jumped offside like he did in the Super Bowl. The 49ers replayed the down…

July 26, 2013

49ers facing a summer of questions

This is my Monday column on the top-five questions the 49ers face this summer. Even though the 49ers are among the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl, like any other team, they confront certain issues. Two of their best players – Justin Smith and Frank Gore – are in their 30s and declining. The 49ers’ offensive MVP last season – Michael Crabtree – tore his Achilles tendon in OTAs….

July 22, 2013

49ers place Manningham, Hunter, Williams and Fleming on the PUP list

The 49ers just announced they’ve placed Mario Manningham, Kendall Hunter, Kyle Williams and Darius Flemming on the Phyisically Unable to Perform list, and Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Luke Marquardt and Marcus Lattimore on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. Manningham potentially could miss all of training camp and start the regular season on the PUP list, meaning he would miss the first six games. The 49ers potentially could activate Williams and Hunter…

July 20, 2013

49ers playing-time predictions: offensive skill players

Predict how many snaps each of the 49ers’ offensive skill players will play during the upcoming regular season, and explain your predictions. Keep in mind, the 49ers’ offense played 1,032 snaps last regular season. Here are my predictions. 1. Vernon Davis – 1,000 snaps. He’ll play every single snap he’s physically able to play. 2. Anquan Boldin – 900 snaps. With Crabtree out, the 49ers need both Boldin and Davis…

June 21, 2013

Harbaugh praises lots of players, including Kaepernick, McDonald and Patton.

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said after practice Thursday afternoon. Q: You ended practice early. Why? HARBAUGH: I really liked the practice today and the entire offseason. It was a great effort by our team. I like our team. I like where we’re at right now. It was a good camp. Q: It seemed like Colin Kaepernick and the first team offense really ended practice with a flourish….

June 13, 2013

49ers’ mini-camp: Day 3 – Kaepernick’s best practice of the offseason

SANTA CLARA – Here is what stood out to me at Day 3 of the 49ers’ mini-camp. If you have questions about anything else that happened at practice, ask me in the comment section. THE GOOD 1. Colin Kaepernick – He hadn’t done anything spectacular this offseason until this afternoon. He’d been mostly dinking and dunking. Colt McCoy had been more aggressive throwing downfield. Alex Smith had been more aggressive…

June 13, 2013

Jenkins a sight not to be seen

Here is my Wednesday column on A.J. Jenkins. SANTA CLARA – Apparently, A.J. Jenkins is two different people. When there are no fans or media watching him, when Jenkins is all alone with his teammates and his coaches, the former first-round pick is a fantastic receiver. That’s what Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman said Tuesday. They said Jenkins had his best practices last Wednesday and Thursday, two practices which were…

June 12, 2013

49ers’ mini-camp: Day 1 – The good and the not-so-good

SANTA CLARA – Here is what stood out to me at the 49ers’ Tuesday mini-camp. THE GOOD 1. Anquan Boldin – He was every quarterback’s favorite target, as usual. Five-of the-first-nine plays during 7-on-7 drills were passes to Boldin. He finished competitive team drills with seven catches and two touchdowns. He lined up at flanker and split end, but before the snap he usually went in motion and ended up…

June 11, 2013

Roman and Harbaugh say last week was Jenkins’ best week of football as a 49er

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh said about A.J. Jenkins Tuesday afternoon. Q: With Michael Crabtree out, have any of the young wide receivers stepped up in your eyes? ROMAN: Yeah, I think they’re stepping up and it’s a process. I think they’re working extremely hard. A.J., I thought the last two days of last week had the best days he’s had since I’ve been here….

June 11, 2013

49ers OTAs: Vernon Davis makes the catch of the day

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me from Tuesday afternoon’s OTA session. Keep in mind that most of this session took place about 75 yards away from reporters, so I can’t give you the same amount of detail I normally would. THE GOOD 1. Vernon Davis. He made the best catch of the day. During 7-on-7 drills, he played a few snaps with the second-team offense. On one…

June 4, 2013

Boldin’s good work adds to Davis puzzle

Here is my Thursday column on the 49ers’ offense, sans Michael Crabtree. SANTA CLARA –Without Michael Crabtree, the focal point of the San Francisco 49ers’ passing attack last season, the 49ers need all of their receivers to step up – Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, A.J. Jenkins and anyone else who can run and catch and breathe. At an afternoon OTA session this week, Boldin stepped up. He was unstoppable. He…

May 30, 2013

49ers OTAs: Boldin is sharp, Kaepernick is not

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me from the 49ers’ second open OTA. THE GOOD 1. Anquan Boldin. He lined up in the slot about 90 percent of the time in 7-on-7 drills and 11-on-11 drills, and he caught 10 passes on 11 targets. He was the best offensive player on the field today by far. Every time he ran a route it seemed the quarterback threw it…

May 28, 2013

If Anquan Boldin is the 49ers’ flanker, who will be their split end?

Jim Harbaugh spoke on 95.7 The Game Friday afternoon. Here’s what he said about the 49ers’ wide receivers. Q: Who do you expect to fill the void at wide receiver? HARBAUGH: “We’ll put (A.J.) Jenkins, (Quinton) Patton and Ricardo Lockette at the same position and let them compete and emerge. And the good news is somebody will emerge because they have to. And then the other side – Anquan Boldin,…

May 24, 2013

49ers OTAs: Craig Dahl and Chad Hall stand out, Chris Culliver struggles

SANTA CLARA – Here’s the good and the not-so-good from the 49ers’ Wednesday OTA session. THE GOOD 1. Craig Dahl – He was the starting free safety, and he had the best day of all of the 49ers’ defensive backs. Dahl almost picked off Colin Kaepernick twice. First, Kaepernick tried to fire a pass to Chad Hall in the end zone in a 7-on-7 drill. Hall was running straight down…

May 22, 2013