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.


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 the middle of the field, Dahl read Kaepernick’s eyes and undercut the pass. Dahl had it in his hands but he bobbled it and it fell to the ground. Later, in an 11-on-11 drill, Kaepernick tried to hit Vernon Davis downfield, but Dahl read the play all the way and easily knocked the pass away. Again, he had the ball in his hands but he couldn’t hold onto it.

2. Chad Hall – He was targeted five times, more than any other offensive player (Vernon Davis had four targets, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette had three targets each and A.J. Jenkins had two targets). Hall made the only touchdown catch of the day – a 20-yard catch in the back-right corner of the end zone. McCoy threw the pass, and Hall beat Chris Culliver on the play.

3. Lawrence Okoye – He played Justin Smith’s position in 11-on-11 drills. That’s right defensive end, or the “under tackle,” to be more accurate. Okoye filled his gap well in run defense, and toward the end of practice he stuck his hand up and swatted away one of Kaepernick’s passes at the line of scrimmage.

4. Vance McDonald – He had a quiet practice – he didn’t get targeted until almost the very end of the afternoon, when he ran a deep route over the middle and Scott Tolzien threw it up high where only McDonald could catch it. McDonald reached up and easily plucked it out of the air with his long arms and big hands. He makes tough catches look routine.

5. Andy Lee – During the special teams portion of practice, Lee was on fire. He was blasting punts through the wind and consistently landing the punts next to the sideline.


1. Chris Culliver – He gave up the only TD of the day – a 20-yard catch to Chad Hall. Hall ran straight to the back corner of the end zone and McCoy threw it up for him. Culliver had good coverage, but he couldn’t locate the ball when it was in the air, so he never made a play to knock the pass away. Hall easily made the TD catch. Culliver struggled locating deep passes last season, too. He needs to improve this part of his game if he wants to take Carlos Rogers’ starting job.


Anquan Boldin, Tarell Brown, Darcel McBath, NaVorro Bowman, Jonathan Goodwin, Joe Staley, Mario Manningham.


Mike Iupati, Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Nick Moody, Luke Marquardt.


Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Kyle Williams.


1. Goodwin was absent, so Daniel Kilgore was the starting center. Adam Snyder filled in for Mike Iupati at starting left guard, and Kenny Wiggins filled in for Joe Staley at starting left tackle. Joe Looney was the second-string right guard.

2. Carlos Rogers was the starting left cornerback, and Nnamdi Asomugha filled in for Tarell Brown at starting right cornerback. The DBs who covered the slot were Rogers, Perrish Cox and Michael Thomas.

3. A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette each got reps at both flanker and split end, but none of them got reps in the slot. Chad Hall and Chuck Jacobs were the slot receivers.

4. LaMichael James and Chad Hall were the punt returners, and both guys did a good job fighting the wind and catching the ball.

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