49ers training camp report: Day 4

SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights from the 49ers’ fourth practice and first padded practice of training camp.


1. OLB Aldon Smith. Abused starting left tackle Joe Staley all afternoon. During one-on-one pass-rushing drills, Smith faked to the outside, came back inside and Staley never touched him. Later during team drills, Smith beat Staley around the edge and tagged Colin Kaepernick for the sack.

2. OLB Eli Harold. By my count, Harold recorded two sacks during one on ones (first against Trent Brown, then against Andrew Tiller), and two sacks and two pressures during team drills. Harold is one of the fiercest competitors on the field every day.

3. DL Arik Armstead. Beat starting center Joe Looney once and starting right guard Marcus Martin twice during one on ones. Pushed Martin back about 10 yards the first time facing him, and probably could have pushed him back another 10 yards, but the coach blew his whistle to end the play.

4. FS Eric Reid. Blitzed frequently, which I’ve never seen him do. Each time he blitzed the Niners failed to block him, and the quarterback had to tuck the ball and scramble. Reid might be a secret weapon as a blitzer next season.

5. WR Dres Anderson. Made a beautiful catch over the middle on a pass Blaine Gabbert threw behind him. A few minutes later Gabbert threw Anderson a deep pass, Anderson jumped over cornerback Kenneth Acker, caught the ball and tapped both feet in bounds.


1. The Offensive Line. By my count, they gave up nine sacks during team drills. Nine. And they were even worse at run blocking. Each time a running back received a handoff, whether he ran right or left he seemed to get tagged at or behind the line of scrimmage.

2. QB Colin Kaepernick. Has thrown an interception three days in a row and a pick-six two days in a row. Today he telegraphed a short pass to Quinton Patton who was running a short smoke route. Cornerback Shareece Wright read Kaepernick’s eyes, jumped the pass, picked it off and high-stepped into the end zone.

This article has 120 Comments

  1. Defense looks good but no way no how am I giving them credit for all the offensive struggles only some! Kap is still suspect and all the o lineman not named Staley and boone will struggle against all NFL d lineman not Just 49ers d lineman in practice

    1. What do you think, Scooter? Too much emphasis by Baalke on DL players and not enough on OL players.

        1. What’s he done in FA? Brought in DD for the defense and Pears for the offense. The way TC is going for the OL, I wonder if they’ll consider bringing in Mathis.

        2. He also used a #1 pick on AJ jenkins, A # 2 on LaMichael James in the same draft, drafted WR ronald Johnson, Patton , and elliot. That’s a lot of emphasis too. Great E-M-P-A-S-I-Z-E-R-S, YEAH…However, I’m more on the production side..Show me production…….As of yet the Offensive line has shown me nothing, nor have the aforementioned draft picks…And M-A-K-E NO M-I-S-T-A-K-E, an offensive line takes years to develop cohesion…Lots of stunts, blitzes, 9 men in the boxes will be a reaccurent theme, lasting as long as it takes Baalke to blame everyone but himself, and use Kap as the fall guy similar to the use of Harbaugh’s exit.

          1. Yep. Like the Seahawks who lost their line due to injuries so they had to fill in with FAs off the street, and went to the SB.

      1. I think the young guys need to grow up in a hurry.

        Having Anthony Davis retire after the draft was a tough blow. If he was out there this may be less of a story.

        1. I’m gonna try to stay positive by telling myself that the OL is facing the best DL in the division and perhaps the NFL.

      2. No. I do not beg to differ, i vehemently disagree. The Niner defense needed those first 3 picks, and the Niners were smart to pass on WRs because they picked up White who was undrafted and the O line pool was weak this draft.
        I am ecstatic about the last draft and Harold will prove to be the steal of the draft.He is first round talent chosen in the third round.
        AA has answered lots of questions and confirmed assessments. Tart is needed if Ward cant play.

    2. Oh, but Anthony might be back..?……or not. But maybe, but not for sure. Depends on how he feels. So…………

  2. Apparently Staley wasn’t quite as bad as Grant implies:

    Joe Fann @Joe_Fann
    Joe Staley and Alex Boone beat Aldon and Dial two times in a row in 2v2 blocking. Aldon had previously beaten Staley in 1v1. #49ers

  3. At this rate the only thing getting to the LOS faster is going to accomplish is give the D less time to rest…

  4. Okay so that’s three days in a row that Kaep has made the not so good. Should we be surprised that Kaep sucks like he did last year, he also sucked in training camp, or that Grant has it out for him?

    Hey it’s a new year. Clean slate for everyone. I hope to god Kaep can at least be consistently slight above average this year. I think that’s his ceiling.

    1. I think its a combination of Grant having it out for him, it being day 3 of TC, new playbook, and O-line not gelling.

      Not making excuses for the guy, but not time to panic just yet.

      1. Might agree with you but all the best writers except 49ers.com are reporting the same about Kaepernick

          1. The other beat writers don’t leave out positive things CK does. I’m not grant always does this, but it happens to an unprofessional degree.

  5. Hey Grant it would be nice if you could include completion stats for all the QBs. I realize Kap has thrown some picks but it would be nice how he looked overall. Maybe some positives (if any) in his game.

    Do the o-line trouble seem more of a miscommunication, missed assignments, or just outright getting beat? How’s Trent Brown looking at RT?

    1. It’s not just Grant Leo. A good number of the reports that I have seen use the same word to describe Kaep whether the OL holds or doesn’t: inconsistent.

      1. I’ve been reading the Matts, a little bit of Lynch, Branch and Inman. Who have you been reading?

        1. Ex G/Mr Opt……You’ve named 5 writers…if you read 10, you’ve got twice as many chances to get a complimentary one…take the perrcentage

        2. Yours plus Scout.com, Niners Digest, Yardbarker, Bleacher Report, Espn.com, NFL.com, Examiner…shall I go on? My point is that I read various articles because it will always bring a different point of view. And each one has indicated that Kaep had been up and down regardless of when the line in front of him holds or not.

        3. I believe the point Mr. Optimist is making, is that no other beat writer is slagging Kap the way Grant is, and he’s exactly right. The others will mention the pick and put it into context, such as how yesterdays came on an all out blitz. None go to great lengths trying to disparage the player the way Grant does. So far we have Kap doing everything from causing his own bat downs by looking in the direction he’s throwing (I can’t even begin to explain how silly this comment is), to yesterday staring down a receiver on a pick without mentioning it came on a blitz which didn’t give him time to look for anybody.

          That’s why it’s good to have multiple people we can read accounts from.

          1. I believe the point Mr. Optimist is making, is that no other beat writer is slagging Kap the way Grant is, and he’s exactly right.

            That’s nothing more than a writer’s trick of posting something negative to encite the masses, and it obviously works.

  6. Hey Grant what scouting and evaluation did baalke come up with that told him Eric pears was a really good offensive lineman? Pff had him as one of the worst lineman in the entire league? Pff might be the only group that scouts objectively by only what they see not what they want to see

        1. Super bowl wanting owners would pay the money. After TC his stock will go down. Hopefully no o-linemen will for contenders who need a pro bowl O-lineman. They NEED to sign him. Or bad kap will be on the field this season. It’s no secret he had his worst day and so did the O line

      1. Yeah, on reflection, the mix and match of players on the OL seriously inhibits cohesion. It doesn’t so much on the DL to be moving around.

  7. The O-line is suppose to struggle. We knew this from day one. New guys, new scheme, new cadence.
    Kaepernick on the other hand, that’s a big concern!

    1. Not following you PT. I would expect any QB to struggle if the OL is porous. Here’s what Maiocco had to say:

      “The right side of the 49ers’ offensive line struggled immensely, and quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and Dylan Thompson could rarely get their feet set in the pocket and were constantly on the run.”

      1. From reading the Bay Area writers reports, CK is struggling with the touch passes in tight windows. Does he need better protection? Who wouldn’t? The point is you never ever get enough protection and most times the right amount of touch in a tight window requires absolute precision and accuracy. Same guy, same problem. That’s a concern.

        1. This is who Kaep is man. He’s never going to be a pocket QB. Going to be a long season!

          1. Im not ready to say CK is done, hit his ceiling and can’t be better. I’ll give him til week 5 after the Packers game to say he is not a legit NFL QB.

            1. Or you will be dished up a big helping of crow and have to eat your words when they are stomping the opposition. Posters will remind you of all your doubts.

    2. I want to see definite improvement in Kap’ game as well, but is he supposed to block for himself?
      Even a quick trigger pocket passer like Marino would eventually falter if his O-line failed to hold up.

      What I’m disappointed in hearing is Kap’ penchant for still telegraphing his passes. Even a strong O-line can’t help a QB’ with bad habits.
      I’m a CK7 fan, but if we lose games because Kap can’t conquer his telegraphing passes issue, I’ll be very upset and start looking at college QB draft prospects for 2016.
      Just being brutally honest folks.

  8. From Maiocco:

    “Compounding the issues for the offense were the number of dropped passes on those occasions when the quarterbacks were able to deliver passes. Mario Hull, DiAndre Campbell, Derek Carrier, Quinton Patton, Dres Anderson and DeAndrew White all failed to hold onto catchable throws.”

  9. Its early in camp. Expect the O-line to be shaky. What I’m most curious about is how individual O-linemen look.

    Do players like Martin, Pears, Looney look as physically over matched as it sounds, or merely out quicked because they’re thinking too much?

  10. Surprised (but not surprised) is the amount of blitzing. I expect Mangini to blitz alot, but a little surprised they’re throwing the kitchen sink at the O-line so soon.

    I suppose that’s the whole idea. Teams will be attacking the middle-right side, so get them used to it early. As ugly as it sounds, its great preparation for the season.

    1. Yes, it reminds me of our first preseason game in 2011when we played New Orleans and their blitzers had their way with our olinemen. Of course that was the year we later beat the Saints in the playoffs. So this kind of thing is common at the beginning. Maybe they’ll decide to put Boone back on the right. You know the coaches will counter by mixing them up until they have the best combination. Too early to worry about that. I’m more concerned about Kaepernick. Seems to still be acting like a gunslinger.

      1. It was ungentlemanly to blitz so much in a preseason game, but then they got popped for bountygate.

  11. Im not worried. D can tee off on a pass rush, so they have the advantage. When they start to run the ball, the tables will be turned and the O line will be hitting.

    1. When they start to run the ball, the tables will be turned and the O line will be hitting.

      Not buying it. The current players on the OL are supposed to be decent pass blockers and they’re getting smacked around in that category.

      1. Well, the Niners did lose 2 first round picks in Iupati and Davis, so that was a loss in talent. I just think that they are shuffling the line up to give experience and variability, and the coaches need to assess the film. Then once the line is set, the O line will gel and become a cohesive unit.
        Also, the D is legit.

        1. Well, the Niners did lose 2 first round picks in Iupati and Davis, so that was a loss in talent.

          Both of them were classifieds more as being better at run blocking than pass blocking, so I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

              1. The Niners have lost 3 starters and you do not think that would affect the pass protection?

              2. The three new O linemen don’t even get to play a preseason game before you freak out?

                Come on, Mid, it’s way early. I would love for the O line to look better, but give them a chance.

              3. Er…no Cubus. I have been questioning the strength of the OL (especially the right side) all offseason. Staley isn’t getting younger, Boone’s motivation is in question, Kilgore is injury-prone, Martin has been disappointing so far, and Pears is…well, Pears. I have been of the belief that the talent within the WR and RB corps plus at QB would be enough to negate that weakness. I’m still hoping for that to be the case, but I don’t know.

              4. Mid,

                Just because you’ve been doubting the 49ers O line for months, doesn’t mean you can make a judgment after less than one week of training camp. The O line may end up being a problem all season, but there’s just no way to know that this early in TC.

                That’s my point.

                BTW, this is Cubus, not Mr. Optimist. I’ve just stolen Mr. Optimist’s avatar and screen name.

              5. Mid,

                That came out wrong. Obviously, you’re free to do whatever you want. I was trying to say, IMO, you can’t know how the line is going to look down the road. For instance, as many have noted, the O line didn’t look very good after the NO Saints PS game in 2011.

              6. Hey. How did I get involved in this? I did not steal Mr. Optimist’s screen name and avatar.

              7. It’s not so much as a judgment rather than fact Cubus. The OL just hasn’t looked good.
                Now it may be because they’re facing one of the best defenses in the league and needing to gel as well, but what does that mean when they facing the defenses in the NFC West (arguably the best defensive division in football right now) or the rest of the teams on their schedule? It is an area of concern no matter how you look at it, and even more so given that the team wants a quicker paced offense.

              8. Your point on the 2011 OL performance is accurate. However, the 2011 OL had four returning starters whereas this one currently has only two.

              9. Cubus,

                Ha! Sorry, I wrongly assumed that Mid would get my joke at the end of the post above, after he mixed up our red avatars.

                Although, that’s not a bad move. Float an idea, let everyone think it’s Cubus posting, and only take credit if the post gets a good response. Otherwise, let Cubus take the heat for any half baked ideas I might come up with.

              10. Mid,

                The context of the O line not looking good matters. I don’t think it’s surprising that the O line is off to a bad start giving the circumstances. Three new starters, Boone in a different spot, shift to a zone blocking scheme in the running game, all on top of the fact that offenses are historically behind defenses early in TC.

                It may be that the o line is a problem all year, but, IMO, they should get a reasonable chance to get it together.

    1. Good initial reports on AA. If he’s good this summer I may have to research some Crow recipes for the end of the season. I was a tad disappointed on DD#1; suspected a reach due to expected learning curve.

      1. Got ya covered Brotha, already prepared and in the freezer ready to ship out to your door! ; > )

  12. Give it a rest! It was third practice and first with pads. Every QB struggles early in camp, as do most offenses in general. Our issue will not be Kaepernick. He was good enough to get us to a SB and three championships once before. Somehow people forget that. The one year we didn’t, our OL sucked andcwe went 8-8…that is the only concern on this team. If our OL is good, we absolutely make playoffs. Otherwise, 8-8, 9-7…pretty much he story for any team is fb…OL is key.

  13. The O’line is most concerning to me but really only for certain players.
    Martin has repeatedly been walked backwards according to multiple reports. I expect guards and centers to be able to anchor, if they can’t give ground grudgingly the qb will have no pocket to step up into. That will wreck a qb’s accuracy.

    1. Yes. Although I read he improved later. Is our D that good…? Or…..? #Concerned.
      Although I did just mention that the swap-around TC approach is challenging to cohesion on the OL. Still early, but…………

    1. Hate to say it, but I can see the team having that type of a record.
      One question though: why on earth would Boone be playing against the Chargers in a game meant to see who sticks to the 53 man roster or practice squad?

    2. “Bengals’ running back Jeremy Hill will wear down a weary Niners defense.”

      Even with all the depth at D-line and OLB?

      1. Yeah I noticed how Grant thinks Hill can wear down our D but but the much more talented AP will get stuffed by the same D in week one. The difference being “weariness”?

  14. From what I read about the interception by Wright by other writers, it appears that Grant once again leaves out detail to try to imply that Kaep was staring down the receiver and Wright read his eyes. It was an all out blitz and Kaep had not time to stare down anyone since they d was in his face right away. He threw to Patton in the flat of his back foot Wright jumped the play and got the interception. Others’ who saw the play stated that while it was not a good in game play it was just Kaep giving Patton an opportunity to make a play in practice. He just went to the closest player available and threw the ball. Bad choice on his part but reading the eyes would not be a factor because of the need to get rid of the ball. He didn’t even have time to get set.

    An interception is an interception, but you Grant by your constant prevarications ( omission of details) are trying to distort reality for some agenda you have. You don’t seem to do the same thing on your BR articles. Probably because you want to promote an objective image in that venue. Your distortions of fact would not fly on that level. Some of us still remember your attempt to make connections between reading QB’s eyes and batting down pass at the line of scrimmage by lineman. You were called out by multiple posters on that one, so now you are in damage control mode and will not give it a break until you can find something to justify your point about defenders reading Kaeps eyes. Hopefully some defender will actually read his eyes soon so you can save face and give this crusade a break.

    This is a reason I always read other available accounts before I come to this site. As I stated before You just can not be trusted to present an objective perspective in respect to certain issues. Unfortunately for most posters they are not able to view the practices themselves so they have to rely on your spinning as their source for what happened.

  15. Defense is always ahead of the offense in the beginning of camp. Not saying I’m confident. We all know there will be issues.

    The thing to look for in this preseason is the improvement of CK regardless of line play. And all these injure red draft picks stepping up.

  16. This season is gonna SUCK. For one our oline was suspect after anthony Davis left. Instead of putting Boone (a natural right tackle by the way) at right tackle, they put him at left guard. Makes no damn sense whatsoever. So our oline is strong on the left side for kaps blindside. I get it. But the center and while right side is open to this crap. So instead of book ending the line and giving help to the interior, we load up one side so the rest of the nfl can have a field day with the right side. Coaching at its finest. Tomsula is a deer in headlights. And don’t give me this we haven’t seen what he can so s&@t either. He went 6-4 in nfl Europe. Nuff said. 6-10 tops. But I say 3-13 or 4-12.

    1. I wonder if the coaches are keeping the Boone at RT in their back pocket and playing to their strengths while testing the RT situation they currently have.

      I’m sure they will slide a back over to assist as needed. The point being, as you stated, be strong on one side and through the middle. The rest will work itself out. Otherwise bump Boone out. It is his contract year I believe. So they need to ensure a legit RT is on the team now.

    2. No. Mike Singletary was the deer in the headlights. Coach Tomsula is undefeated as the HC of the SF49ers and dont you forget that. He had that team fired up, energized, excited, focused and well prepared. I saw no delay of game penalties or wasted time outs. There were no self inflicted wounds and they stomped the Cards 38-7.
      I am sorry you cannot see the logic of trying different line ups, but it is elementary to me.TC is a training period. Do not expect the team to be ready for the first game against the Vikes before they have played a single preseason game.
      Sounds like you are a fair weather bandwagon fan. Become a Raider fan- that 3-13 prediction is spot on for them.

      1. Coach Tomsula is undefeated as the HC of the SF49ers and dont you forget that. He had that team fired up, energized, excited, focused and well prepared.

        One game against a weak Cardinals team isn’t exactly something to brag about.

        1. An NFL winning percentage of 100% is not something to ignore and deride. It is a tangible feat to factor in when discussing the coaching prowess of Coach Tomsula. Maybe the posters should watch that game again before making snide derogatory criticisms.

          1. An NFL winning percentage of 100% is not something to ignore and deride.

            No it shouldn’t be, but the context of the win needs to be taken into consideration as well, and the reality is that it was a meaningless game against a bad opponent.

      2. Seb, way to beeotch-slap that troll! Good job, thanks, you saved me from having to do it!

        1. Oh, sorry. were you referring to Niner truther? OK, then I meant every word I said.
          However, I promised to be good, so i will refrain from engaging in attack mode.

      3. Yeah he’s undefeated for the last game of the season against a cardinal team who was worse than what the niners were. That’s cute. You blind faithfuls can be delusional all you want. The fact is kap is gonna get hurt cause he allows the coordinator to let him run rampant and puts together an oline that ain’t worth sh!t. Yeah let’s try out different combinations of oline then by the third preseason game she they realize it does t work then we’ll go back to the plan. Makes perfect sense. Don’t worry then it all goes the way I said it would I’ll come back and let you hear about it. We will see how long this go tomsula movement lasts when he goes 4-12. Have fun with that.

        1. Yep. JH wanted to protect Kaep so he forced him to be only a pocket passer. Too bad he was sacked 52 times because the defense knew what play was called just by looking at the formation, and they ignored the run and teed off on rushing the passer. forcing Kaep to be only a pocket passer was like putting an Abrams tank in a pit.
          Coach Tomsula is too smart to do that, and he will accentuate his strengths and disguise his weaknesses. The offense will improve just by the fact that Roman is long gone, and once the O line is set, they will be unstoppable.
          Again, I invite you to follow the Raiders. They have so many problems, you will be able to criticize them to your hearts content non stop all season.

          1. Makes perfect sense? Try writing proper English. It is hard to decipher your gibberish. Resorting to profanity just labels you as a mental lightweight.

          2. Really? He’s too smart for that? But didn’t geep chryst state that he will run kap more? I’m pretty sure he did and even your poster boy 6-4 nfl Europe 1-0 in the nfl on the last game of the season savior tomsula reinforced that. So instead of having him pass they want to utilize his “athletic ability” which will consequently get him blasted. Again great logic. Put kap in more danger by having him run more. That’s superb. Not in anyway stupid.

            1. They will not use Kaep as the RB. Kaep will put the ball in the hands of his playmakers. They will do more controlled rollouts and let Kaep use his speed to avoid the pass rushers. They will let him use his legs to buy time and let the Niner receivers become wide open because the defenders will freak out when they see him running in open space.
              If Kaep does run, they will tell him to slide once he attains a first down so he will not be subjected to unnecessary hits. hopefully, they will use his mobility to avoid sacks and become more unpredictable.
              They will never use Kaep like RGIII, because they saw what happened to him.

  17. If I could give the coaches a tip, I would stop pitting the number 1 defense against the number 1 offense. I would pit the number 3 defense against the number 1 offense. Allow the QBs to be able to at least set their feet. 9 sacks? D sounds good, but offense needs to start getting timing and rhythm down.

  18. The offense is always WEEKS behind the defense during preseason. That’s common knowledge going back decades so why is everyone getting so uptight?

  19. OT I would like to make a suggestion for OC Chryst. He should devise a gameplan that is relatively simple. He should formulate a series of 3 down plans. These plans will usually start with a first down run, either left or right. Second down should be a RO. Depending on how many yards are needed for the first down, a third and short play will be designated ahead of time, or third and long should be a pass, or swing pass to the RB.
    I would name them with letters. Plan A would be pretty standard. Plan B could be used if the first down is achieved. Plan C could be called if the defense is stacking the box. Plan D could be called if they show blitz. Plan E could be for in the red zone. Et cetera.
    The coaches should devise these various plans so the Niners can sprint to the line and get off plays quickly. They should build in variables contingent on down and distance, and change up the plans so they will be unpredictable to the defense.
    On the goal line, they should call Plan 49. Kaep should bark out FORTY to initiate the play, and when the ball enters the end zone, the Niners should all yell NINERS.

  20. Any of these guys worth a look below? Baalke doesn’t seem to do TC free agent deals. He seems to trade players for picks. We need some time for the line to get a fair shake and work out the new protections and offense. Thomas and Martin are very young and need some time to develop. Any of you know about the players listed here and their abilities?

    Offensive Guards

    1. Evan Mathis
    2. Rob Sims
    3. Charlie Johnson
    4. Daryn Colledge retired
    5. Gabe Carimi

    Offensive Tackles

    1. Jake Long
    2. Gosder Cherilus
    3. Anthony Collins
    4. Sam Baker


    1. Chris Myers
    2. Brian de la Puente
    3. Roberto Garza
    4. Dominic Raiola
    5. Scott Wells

  21. Heard there were some dropped passes today. Another problem from last season.
    So by day 4 they are still having issues with
    1.. An icosistent qb
    2… A Swiss cheese slice of an o-line
    3… Dropped passes…
    Welp at least they’re in the huddle quicker.

  22. Yeayerday it was Q. Dial I was wondering why the press, today it is Q. Patten…when will we ever get a real NFL player in the conversation? until they play shut up please

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