Day 9: The good and the not so good from training camp

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo runs a play during NFL football practice at the team’s headquarters Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SANTA CLARA – Here’s who stood out during the seventh padded practice of training camp.

THE GOOD

1. RT Mike McGlinchey. Didn’t give up a sack during one-on-one pass-rush drills for the first time during training camp. Blocked Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair.

2. DT Solomon Thomas. Recorded four sacks during one on ones. Beat “starting” right guard Mike Person twice and backup left guard Najee Toran twice. Also beat McGlinchey once in an outside-zone run play to the offense’s right during team drills and tagged running back Jerick McKinnon for a four-yard loss. By far Thomas’ best day of training camp since joining the team last year.

3. DT DeForest Buckner. Played right defensive end during one on ones and beat all-time great 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley – first around the outside, then to the inside. Made Staley whiff the second time.

4. DT Jullian Taylor. Beat starting left guard Laken Tomlinson with an inside rip move during one on ones. Tomlinson will earn $6.6 million from the 49ers this season. Taylor, a rookie seventh-round draft pick, will earn $480,000, and that’s if he makes the team. He almost certainly will.

5. WR Pierre Garcon. Had his best day of training camp. Beat cornerback Tyvis Powell, who started in place of the injured Richard Sherman, with a slant route for a 30-yard gain. Also beat starting cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon with a dig route for a 15-yard gain.

6. RB Joe Williams. Ran an inside zone run to the right, quickly spotted a cutback lane and sprinted 30 yards through the defense until a safety tagged him near the left sideline. Williams is a natural runner who has the best vision of the running backs on the 49ers. He should make the roster as the fourth running back.

7. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Completed 12 of 16 passes. Completed throws to nine different players. Threw a touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne on the final play of practice for the first-team offense. Threw zero interceptions.

THE NOT SO GOOD

1. CB K’Waun Williams. Sprained his ankle after tagging Aaron Burbrige for a one-yard loss on a wide-receiver screen. Hobbled off the field, but not all the way to the team’s facility. A trainer had to take him there on a cart. May have suffered a high-ankle sprain. To be determined.

2. OG Joshua Garnett. Missed another practice with a left-knee injury he suffered last Saturday. The 49ers still haven’t said what the injury is. Garnett had surgery on his left knee last year and missed the entire season. The 49ers will give Garnett this week off and reassess him the following week. He needed a strong training camp to make this team. Instead, he missed almost the entire thing.

3. C Weston Richburg. Gave up yet another sack to run-stuffing-specialist nose tackle Earl Mitchell during one on ones. Mitchell has beaten Richburg every day they’ve faced each other during one on ones.

4. OT Mike McGlinchey. Gave up two sacks during a two-on-two pass-rush drill midway through practice. The defensive players rushed in tandem, often looping around each other and switching positions after the snap. McGlinchey lined up next to RG Mike Person and faced Marsh and Buckner. First, Marsh rushed straight at McGlinchey and beat him with a bull rush. On the next rep, Buckner looped to the outside and McGlinchey never touched him.

5. OT Garry Gilliam. Played left tackle with the second-team offense for the first time during training camp. Gave up two sacks to Eli Harold during one on ones. Also let Marsh blow by him and tag Matt Breida in the backfield for a two-yard loss during team drills. Committed a false-start penalty on the next play.

This article has 87 Comments

    1. Grant mentioned him in his periscope. KS was surprised to see him at practice. Since CJB went to the HOF for his grandfather’s induction, they expected him back later.

  1. Thanks Grant,
    Either Solomon Thomas is ready for a breakout season or the Oline is mediocre.
    I’d be willing to bet on the latter.

    Seems like the Dline may consist of Buck, Mitch, Thomas and Taylor. Armstead cannot be counted on anymore. And, we may have another contributor next year in K. Street that could strengthen our Dline for the next 5+ seasons.
    We are one pass rusher away from the defense making some serious noise.

      1. Shoup,
        That’s unfortunate. Even worse is that we are hoping for a big contribution from Garnett and Cooper who are on the mend. Cooper is a band-aid and Garnett is becoming Armstead 2.0.

        The Org invested big on McKinnon but only remains hopeful at the Guard position. We went (draft) with DB, Dline and WR but failed to give serious attention at Guard.
        That needs to be remedied asap for Shanahan’ O-machine to work.

      2. A “perfectly mediocre” O line with Jimmy G behind it (and with the skill players they currently have) is perfectly capable of being part of a championship offense if the line can stay healthy and play as an unit throughout the season.

        1. Cooper participated in 11’s with the 2nd team offense on Sunday. I’d anticipate seeing him with the one’s within the week….

          1. That would be good news. As Captain Obvious would remark, the earlier the line-up gets settled, the faster they will get on the same page. The way things have gone, I won’t be surprised to see Garnett get released with an injury settlement by end of preseason.

          2. Cooper is still too much of a mystery. Even if he’s healthy enough to play, we don’t know at what level. Same goes for Garnett.

            I’m not sold on Tomlinson and Mt. McGlinchey is a rookie. If Staley finishes the season as our best Olineman we will need to draft a top 5 Olineman (maybe a few) next year.
            Next years 1st tier draft needs:
            Edge (can make our D scary)
            Guard (no explanation needed)
            LB (will Malcolm comeback and can Foster stay out of the tent)
            2 tier:
            Accessory players (strengthen bench).
            Hey, it’s never to soon to look ahead ;-)

              1. Yup.
                But they may have covered their needs at WR, T, LB and DB this season.

                I said at the Lynch, Shanahan signings that the team was 3-4 years away from becoming serious contenders and they seem to be on schedule.

    1. Garap might b in a little bit of trouble if they don’t get better. The d line won’t b set for the next 5 years as most have contracts coming up in the next 2… be lucky to sign just 2 of them…

      1. C tek,
        Yeah, I said “we may have” which in no way guarantees anything.

        J.Taylor, K.Street and possibly a Pass-Rusher (in next year’s draft) can become the building blocks for the future.
        It sounds like Solly and Buck (both young) are ready to enter pro-bowl conversation with breakout seasons.
        This gives me reason to believe our Dline could be seriously strong for 5+ years.
        Contracts, hold-outs and other money issues are part of the game and will faced when the time comes.

    2. I’m hoping we find another 3 technique and soon because I believe Defo’s best position is big end. Deforest Buckner favors Calais Camble and would excel as a big end

  2. Biggest needs:

    Guard x2
    Cornerback x1 or 2
    OT x1
    Edge rush x1

    My biggest regret for the offseason is the lack of upgrade at the guard position.

    I hope it doesn’t get our 100 million dollar man killed

    1. Yeah me too
      Should have kept Brown and traded up for Nelson.
      Not sure if they tried that but it’s weird to trade away a talent like Brown and draft how they did.
      It’s suspect to me that in the Jimmy trade that there was some kind of “verbal” on Brown agreed too.
      Well never know…

      1. They should have kept Brown this year. It’s not like we got much for him – moved up 40 spots. We got T. Moore. C’mon, having him as insurance is probably more important than T. Moore (we’ll see). Could have put McGlinchey at OG for year 1.

        Brown is likely going to start at LT for Pats. If he stays healthy, he could make Pro Bowl this year. Lots of media attention.

  3. Random thought.
    While the many are saying that last year the team was just looking for anybody that could play due to the lack of talent, how much has the team actually improved talent wise?
    I am not trying to be a negative nancy here but it seems this team’s talent hinges on a few a few players being able to provide an upgrade… but as its very debatable as to how much of an upgrade they can provide.
    DB – Ahkello should improve with more time in the system but do we even know if Sherman can still play and if so, to what level can he do so? I still like the signing given the contract and his ability to coach, but it seems more should have been done to shore up this area if in fact he can no longer go. – Slight improvement
    Edge Rusher – Our best edge rusher last year is sitting at home and he would still easily be the best edge rusher on this team. – slight regression
    Interior Dline – The same players will be playing here so I would say we are holding steady
    Linebackers – The combination of Warner and Foster should provide a nice bump so I would say their is significant improvement.
    OL – Richburg should provide an improvement over Kilgore but how much of one? While some would say he is borderline probowler, others would point out he was shelved last season due to an injury that he said he was fully recovered from, in favor of a rookie replacement. McGlinchey was brought in to replace Brown who was better in pass protection but terrible in the run game. In terms of this season alone I would suspect he is a slight downgrade from Brown but he should be better longterm or by seasons end. Guard wise, well, Tomlinson is still our best guard so no improvement there. – Overall another slight improvement.

    RB – Mckinnon should help in the passing game yes, but as a runner he isn’t the threat many want to believe. Carlos Hyde averaged slightly more yards in spite of seeing 8 man fronts on around 38% of his snaps compared to McKinnon’s 22%. Keep in mind Minnestota had a better Oline last year and also runs a zone blocking scheme. He should provide a massive upgrade in terms of being a receiver out of the backfield however. – upgrade but not as significant as we would want to believe.
    WR – Pettis appears like he could be a good player and Goodwin emerged as solid go to go option last year. If everyone stays healthy this could be a very solid group. I will not say this is a huge upgrade however because the guys the 49ers are relying (with the exception of Pettis who will be the #3 receiver) were on the team last year. However this looks to be a very solid group of receivers – Slight upgrade talent wise, but the outlook looks much better after Goodwin’s emergence.
    QB – We replaced Hoyer with Jimmy Garoppolo who looked amazing down the stretch. That is a HUGE upgrade.

    Keep in mind I was only looking at the position groups as they went into the season last year vs this year and how significantly they were upgraded talent wise. While some might say I took a negative outlook, I would point out that I have them slightly improving at every position outside of pass rush. Taken as a whole that is fairly significant after writing this diatribe it actually lifted my spirits as to the teams season outlook.

    1. DB – Sherm > Johnson , Ahkello even better , better depth than last year as well .
      Edge – Again they have better depth than this time last year , also on the Dumervil thing I don’t think we need him , they’ll get those 6 sacks elsewhere . Read the fourth & nine piece on the DL .
      Interior – Buckner even better , so is Solly clearly , compared to last year have much better depth with the likes of Day and Taylor.
      ILB- Like you said.
      OL – 10000000% Upgrade on Kilgore who never ever has played anywhere near the level of Richburg who in 2016 was rated the #2 C , has been one of the best pass protectors in the league . McGlinchy obviously isnt as good as Brown pass protecting but already is a better run blocker + he’s actually motivated and won’t come into camp at 400lbs , will struggle as all rookie OL do but will find his feet . RG still an issue but think to beginning of camp last year where only our LT was of a good quality player .
      RB – Again a definite improvement , McKinnon much more suited to this scheme and a much better playmaker , Breida even better and Joe finally working hard .
      WR – Again everyone should be better (Maybe not Pierre) and we have added Pettis/James which should improve the depth compared to last year .
      QB – We don’t need to add more .

      1. Richburg who in 2016 was rated the #2 C
        Do you have a source on this? He wasn’t a pro bowler or an all-pro and PFF didn’t have him graded as a top 5 center.
        One thing that might surprise you is that once Jimmy G. became the qb, Kilgore didn’t give up a single sack and only allowed 2 pressures in 5 games, grading out as a top 10 center in that period. This is interesting considering he was the highest graded olineman on the team in 2016 per PFF (If anyone can understand their grading system :/) And that’s why the 49ers initially resigned him.
        So the question becomes will he alone create a huge improvement on the oline if their is a slight dropoff at Tackle and the guards are the same?

        1. It was PFF who had him rated #2 .

          The C is more important to Shanahan than the G , Richburg alone we will see an improvement , you gotta remember it was Zane Beadles who played RT in the 5 games Jimmy played so again thats a hugggeeee improvement .

          Also I knew about that Kilgore thing but he was never more than a below average C on his own , Richburg is a top 10 C , having Jimmy will only make it better .

            1. Sorry it was 2015 with a 87.2 grade , in 2016 with a ligament injury he was 16th with a 82 grade which is still higher than anything Kilgore had (66 last year) .

          1. “Takes away our objectivity”

            No matter how they try to spin it the grades aren’t completely objective either.

              1. Watch the games.

                Look at their grades for the 49ers o-line from last year, especially the first 11 weeks compared to the last 5. Did the line suddenly improve? No. They were pretty much the same as they’d been all year but then they had a QB who got the ball out on time instead of holding onto it and suddenly their pass protection grades jump. Coincidence? No.

                The guys doing the grades are doing multiple games and no matter how hard they try, there’s no way that they are all looking at it through the same lense.

                PFF offers a good service, their advanced stats are very good, but trying to use the grades as gospel doesn’t really prove anything.

              2. I agree with a lot of what you said. Still, I think PFF grades can provide a general starting point for comparisons. If a guy grades well for 5 years and then becomes a free agent, it seems likely he will continue to play well (assuming no injuries or “advanced” age for football).

              3. O-line is the hardest position group to evaluate/grade…
                Does PFF apply the same level of film study at C, G, and T on every snap in every game as that team’s O-line coaching staff does? No.
                So… in the upcoming preseason games, we’ll all need to see:
                — how IZ and OZ run production goes, especially on the right side…
                — how effective play action snaps are…
                — if the run game can provide any 3rd dn conversions…
                — if Jimmy still has to operate in pass protect time limits under 3 secs…

              4. TJF
                “O-line is the hardest position group to evaluate/grade…”

                Couldn’t agree more and Center might be the hardest of group to grade…
                – 1st? Did they make the right line call in that situation? Not sure how they can objectively tell this.
                – 2nd if both guards are getting beat, did he help the best one possible?
                – If he passes off a pass rusher, and the defender gets through did the center wait long enough, or did the guard not step down enough to maintain gap integrity?
                There are a ton of variables when studying line play and the center position has more than most.

              5. And there’s no way for anyone other than the coaches to know what the responsibilities of each player were on any given play.

                The old Jim Mora line is really applicable here.

            1. Shanny spoke to this, perhaps during OTAs; can’t recall exactly. What I took away from his view of PFF and others’ ratings is that they don’t know the play call, nor the team’s protocol variations according to alignments faced, nor how assigignments can change in weekly game plans to make or avoid mismatches. Finally there are the pre-snap line calls by the Center/QB. PFF is privy to none of that, so their grades aren’t based on all the data. Archeological excavation with a front end loader.

        1. PFF is fun to use when doing player comparisons and such, but as has been pointed out they are certainly far from being the final word. Watching the games to develop an opinion? That’s crazy talk ;)

        1. Not so obvious. Robinson went into last year with some hype based on flashes of good play the year before. That’s the same with Witherspoon. Robinson had 1 Int and 8 PDs in only 6 games in 2016. Witherspoon had 2 Int’s and 7PD’s in 12 games in 2017. Both have been talking a lot about being a solid CB1 in the upper tier in the NFL. Robinson was a total washout. Very curious to see how Witherspoon handles his 2nd year.

      1. I doubt it. Witherspoon had a good College career so he was a known commodity. Robinson was a shot in the dark who had played parts of two College seasons. Just another in a long line of questionable picks by Baalke.

    2. Diatribe? More like a dissertation. While lengthy, I agree with your assessments, and can relate to the cathartic aspect of getting things off your chest. Hope springs eternal, and most posters have had their spirits uplifted by the positive outlook and potential of this team. O line concerns may be tempered by seeing them perform in the preseason games.
      .
      I agree, this team has upgraded, and purging the stench of Baalke is a sound course of action.
      .
      While I agree that Richberg is a small upgrade, maybe it would have been better to keep Kilgore, and moved him to RG. Still, Cooper, who played well for Dallas, was available because of his injury, and I hope they do not rush him back too soon.

      1. While I agree that Richberg is a small upgrade, maybe it would have been better to keep Kilgore, and moved him to RG.

        Couldn’t be more wrong

      2. “While I agree that Richberg is a small upgrade, maybe it would have been better to keep Kilgore, and moved him to RG.”
        According to an article I read on one of the dolphins websites. That is precisely what the niners had in mind. However, when they proposed this to Kilgore, he requested to be traded.

      3. I believe they asked Daniel Kilgore to move to guard and he refused and so the trade was made with the Miami Dolphins.

  4. The Official Grant Cohn Offensive Line Good/Not So Good Tracker

    Offensive Line
    Day 1: Good -0 // Not So Good – 0
    Day 2: Good -0 // Not So Good – 1
    Day 3: Good -1 // Not So Good – 2
    Day 4: Good -1 // Not So Good – 1
    Day 5: Good -0 // Not So Good – 5
    Day 6: Good -0 // Not So Good – 3
    Day 7: Good -0 // Not So Good – 3
    Day 8: Good -0 // Not So Good – 3
    Day 9: Good -1 // Not So Good – 4

    Total: Good -3 // Not So Good – 22

    So Mike McGlinchy has an unusual day. He’s now the only offensive lineman other than Laken Tomlinson to get into the “Good” column but he does it on a day when he’s also listed in the Not So Good column. Sounds like Rookie inconsistency. Also sounds like the interior of the 49ers o-line has the look and feel of Swiss Cheese.

  5. So did Nick Mullens get the 3rd string QB posistion, that’s boy there him, and really whole Southern Miss Golden Eagles team prayed for me while I was in a coma back in August 2016 Go southern miss players in the NFL To The Top!

  6. With the recent trade of Corey Coleman to the Bills for virtually nothing, the Browns continue on to new lows:

    “From 2011, when the NFL adopted a new rookie salary structure that meant every first-round pick got a four-year contract with a fifth-year option, not a single Browns first-round pick has made it to the fifth-year option season. The Browns’ nine draft picks from 2011 through 2016 lasted an average of 2.3 seasons in Cleveland.”

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/08/06/nine-straight-browns-first-round-picks-gone-before-playing-out-rookie-deals/

    1. There’s incompetence, and then there are the Browns. However, I think John Dorsey will restore some semblance of competence to the franchise if Jimmy H lets him….

      1. Yeah, Dorsey gets a pass for now since he’s probably shaking things up to meet his vision. Also, based on his prior history, it makes sense that he will restore some semblance.

    1. Maybe folks are skeptical about Jimmy G’s quick release :) Even Jim Harbaugh did not trust that lightning quick release of Jimmy G back in 2014:
      http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000330645/article/jimmy-garoppolo-has-private-workout-with-49ers-jim-harbaugh
      ” Harbaugh later gave some of his thoughts on Garoppolo’s workout to Yahoo.com: “Quick release, yes, but sometimes too quick. You want to see him go through whole motion.” ”
      Like that of Kap…?

    1. Yep, the last one we had was Newberry. I’m confident Richburg can stay healthy though, since he set the record with 50 consecutive starts at Colorado….

      1. Newberry was tough as nails they don’t make the likes of him anymore. I think Richburg is going to be just fine.

  7. Cubus,
    The college Garnett and the pro Garnett have been at odds with each other for some time now.
    I believe Garnett is hinging on a thread which means he may not make the team.
    We should stay away from Stanford Olinemen.
    Kwame Harris did nothing to help us and neither did FA Jonathan Martin.
    Stanford Olinemen and the 49ers are oil and water.

    1. I think Garnett gets cut as soon as he is healthy. It’s just not a good fit and injuries have derailed any chance he had of making the team.

      Lets bring in someone that’s going to get cut from another team that’s healthy and let him compete for a job.

      1. Yeah, I’m just thinking of ways they can get somethng/anything for Garnett. Remember a number of years back, I think Baalke did a straight up trade with the Cardinals, IIRC. Both guys had not lived up to expectations, but I can’t remember who they were. I think both washed out, but, hey, it least it was another shot to try and develop someone.

      2. I agree, Prime. I don’t believe Garnett and the Niners was ever meant to be. Wrong scheme, etc. And if we get anything for him, I’ll bet it’s conditional in some manner.

  8. I remember someone saying Garoppolo should stay after practice to get more work in, because that’s what Brady would do. Turns out…

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2018/8/6/17654764/49ers-training-camp-news-jimmy-garoppolo-staying-late-quarterback

    “It’s been pretty well known that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has put in some hours after practice with the offense to get things in sync. While it’s not a requirement, it’s certainly crucial in putting in extra time to get everything together. Well, that’s apparently not a rare occurrence, Garoppolo is putting those hours in every day.”

  9. Outstanding news on the CB K’Waun Williams injury front. Sounds like it isn’t the dreaded high ankle sprain some originally feared. In fact, it sounds like he’ll likely be full go by the 3rd preseason game. Step on up DJ Reed!

    It’s not uncommon to hear veterans praise rookies, but rarely does a veteran shower a rookie with this kind of praise: “He’s (rookie WR Dante Pettis) a great young man transitioning from college to the professional level now,” Goodwin said. “His skills have been unmatched this offseason. He’s definitely grown as a receiver since he’s been here, grown as a player, and a person. I know he’ll bring a lot of great vibes and a lot of great plays to this team.”

    Goodwin continued: “I just look forward to him this year because I just see what he does on the field and it’s not like anything that’s been in this organization before, I don’t think. The way he moves, the way he carries himself.”

    Wow! I’ll tell you one thing veteran players don’t respond well to …. rookie’s playing soft, shying away from contact! If Dante Pettis has been unwilling to expose himself and sacrifice his body to make contested catches, in traffic, as Grant has suggested, I highly, highly doubt Marquise Goodwin would be showering him with this kind of praise, at this stage of the game! All indications from everyone I have spoken to, and everything I have read, is that Dante Pettis has been nothing short of a revelation, 2 weeks into training camp. It took him a couple of days to get going, but once he laced his cleats up for the third day of camp, he’s been putting on a dazzling display of precise route running, speed and suddenness, along with an elite ability to use every fiber in his body to juke, wiggle, and spin opposing DB’s around in circles (literally), while creating separation with every crisp step. This kid has been nearly uncoverable and, although he’s not facing press coverage from the DB’s, the suddenness and crispness of his release and first step(s), along with his uncannily wide reaching side step, tell me he’s probably not going to have problems beating press coverage. What a fantastic compliment to Garcon, Goodwin, and Taylor! If Kittle and Celek can stay healthy (I do have questions about TE depth), Jimmy has more than enough weapons to do what he does, and find an open receiver somewhere on the gridiron just about any time he needs to.

  10. 49,
    Hopefully the actions speak louder than the hype re Pettis.

    When the Org drafted Pettis, I thought their mindset was to get better in the Return game. But if Pettis can establish himself as a WR, Shanahan will not take a chance on having 11 defensive players streaking down the field to unload on him in the Return game.
    Perhaps Richie will settle in as the Returner.

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