SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at the 49ers’ Thursday afternoon pad-less training camp practice.
1. Kyle Williams – He looked as explosive and fast as he did last offseason. In 7-on-7 drills, Williams blew past Marcus Cooper on a deep route and easily caught a 40-yard toss from B.J. Daniels.
2. Anquan Boldin – He snatched a sure interception away from Tarell Brown on a short pass from Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick stared down Boldin on the left side of the field, so Brown broke early on the pass. He had better positioning to make the catch than Boldin, but Boldin grabbed the ball out of Brown’s hands. Later, Boldin caught a deep pass after beating Tramaine Brock on a Go route.
3. Vernon Davis – He caught four passes downfield from Kaepernick and dropped none. Kaepernick targeted Davis more than any other receiver today, an encouraging sign.
4. Chris Culliver – He was the only cornerback who didn’t give up a catch today. On one play, Culliver lined up across from Boldin, the flanker. Kaepernick dropped back and rifled a back-shoulder pass to Boldin, but Culliver adjusted to the ball and knocked it away. I’ve never seen Culliver adjust so well to a ball when it’s in the air.
5. Eric Reid – He was not the starting free safety – that was Craig Dahl – but Reid rotated into that spot with the first team defense and when he was on the field, he looked terrific. Here’s an example. On one play, A.J. Jenkins lined up at flanker across from Nnamdi Asomugha. A.J. Jenkins ran a short drag route and Asomugha did not follow him. Instead, Jenkins became Reid’s responsibility. Reid recognized the route right away and darted at Jenkins. Jenkins dropped the pass. It seemed like he heard Reid’s footsteps.
1. Colin Kaepernick – He’s had a good offseason, but he was not sharp today. He fumbled two snaps – one from under center and the other from the Pistol. When he passed the ball, he stared down receivers and forced passes into tight windows. Aldon Smith and Tarell Brown both dropped passes from Kaepernick.
2. Carlos Rogers – He played soft coverage and got beaten on back-to-back plays from the slot by Chad Hall and Marlon Moore. Perrish Cox played better and more aggressively than Rogers in the slot, and Nnamdi Asomugha, Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver played better than Rogers outside.
3. Frank Gore – He dropped a short pass in the flat from Scott Tolzien. The ball bounced off Gore’s hands and landed in Patrick Willis’. On the other hand, LaMichael James made a few nice catches on swing passes near the line of scrimmage. Kaepernick fired those short ones but James caught them anyway.