Deebo Samuel’s big day; Observations from day 14 at 49ers training camp

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel before an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

On Monday, the 49ers held their final practice before heading out to Minnesota for joint practices with the Vikings on Wednesday and Thursday.

The team trimmed its roster down to 85 this morning, releasing Darqueze Dennard, KeeSean Johnson, Josh Hokit, and Tomasi Laulile.

Here is what stood out from the 49ers fourteenth practice during training camp in Santa Clara.

Trey Lance

After having a rough outing yesterday, Lance bounced back by completing 11 of 14 attempts.

Lance has struggled to hit the deep out route during training camp. He fixed that today, opening the first team session by ripping a deep out to Deebo Samuel along the right sideline. 

There were several other big plays from Lance early on. The second-year quarterback did an excellent job of sliding to his left after a play fake to buy time before firing over the middle to Deebo Samuel for a completion. A few plays later, with the defense sending a blitz, Lance stood in the pocket and delivered a strike to Brandon Aiyuk over the middle between the cornerback and safety. 

Lance had a pair of nice throws down the seam for big gains. The first to Kyle Juszczyk up the right side, and later he found George Kittle up the left side to move the sticks. 

The only issue for Lance today came during a move-the-ball period late in practice. Both possessions for the starting offense went three and out, and Lance’s only two completions were a screen to Jeff Wilson Jr for negative yardage and a tunnel screen to Deebo Samuel on 3rd and 20 that came up well short of the line to gain.

Deebo Samuel

Samuel’s camp got off to a slow start, not to be unexpected, considering he’d missed all of the offseason and the beginning of training camp while in a contract dispute. 

It appears the rust has come off. Today Samuel caught five of the six passes that came his way, including a terrific one-handed catch on a quick out that had been thrown behind him by Trey Lance. The lone incompletion to Samuel came when Lance overthrew him on a go route down the right sideline. Even on that play, Samuel was open as he had a couple of steps on Deommodore Lenior.

Samuel’s day wasn’t limited to catching passes. He was lined up in the 49ers backfield for the second day in a row. Samuel took an option pitch from Lance for a sizeable gain around the right side.

Zone Read

The 49ers rushing attack has featured several zone-read variations over the last two days. With Trey Lance in the backfield, this will be a problem for opposing defenses. On one play today, Jeff Wilson Jr burst through the middle for a big run while most of the 49ers defense chased Trey Lance and Deebo Samuel to the outside.

Jauan Jennings

Jennings continues to struggle with consistency. Facing a blitz, Lance stood in and delivered a strike to Jennings on a quick slant over the left side, but the third-year wideout could not hang on to the well-placed throw.

Justin Skule

The backup tackle’s pass blocking has received many negative reviews during training camp. Skule performed better today, defeating Samson Ebukam during a one-on-one period. 

Mike McGlinchey

McGlinchey irritated his knee during Friday night’s game against the Packers. He will not be practicing this week, and the team will try to get him back on the field next week. 

Kyle Juszczyk

The 49ers fullback has been targeted only a handful of times in training camp. Today he got open deep down the right seam, and Trey Lance stuck it on him for a long gain. 

Ross Dwelley

We may see a change in the tight end’s role. Dwelley worked from the backfield for a few snaps early in practice. 

Earlier in the day, San Francisco waived backup fullback Josh Hokit. With Kyle Juszczyk unlikely to play on Sunday against Minnesota, keep an eye out for Dwelley to be lined up in the backfield. 

Azeez Al-Shaair

The linebacker read a screen to the right from Trey Lance to Jeff Wilson perfectly, hitting the running back as soon as the ball arrived to drop him for a loss of five. 

Fred Warner

Warner was not fooled the second time he saw the 49ers offense run the zone read. The All-Pro linebacker read the play correctly and chased Trey Lance down for no gain on a run around the left side.

Hassan Ridgeway

The veteran defensive tackle missed time early in camp due to injuries. Today he worked with the first group and dropped Trey Sermon for no gain. 

Samuel Womack

With the release of Darqueze Dennard earlier in the day, Womack stepped into the starting nickleback position. The fifth-round draft pick has been impressive throughout the offseason. In addition to playing in the slot, Womack took snaps on the boundary today for the first time during team drills in training camp.

Jimmie Ward

Ward suffered a hamstring injury during Sunday’s practice. According to Kyle Shanahan, the damage is severe enough that Ward’s availability for week one is in question. 

The injury to Ward is only the latest soft tissue injury to strike the 49er secondary. Starting cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward are also out.

Deommodore Lenoir and Ken Crawley

With Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley both sidelined, it has been musical chairs at outside cornerback with the first defensive unit. 

Veteran Ken Crawley has played with the starters in both practices this week. Crawley has started 25 games over six seasons in the NFL. With the Saints last year, Crawley appeared in six games and finished with three tackles.

Yesterday saw rookie Tariq Castro-Fields line up opposite Crawley. Today was Deommodore Lenoir’s turn to get reps with the starters. 

It seems as though the coaching staff has lost faith in 2021 third-round draft pick Ambry Thomas.

This article has 20 Comments

  1. Good job on reporting! Correct in assuming “no pads” still? Niners should have a “Dennard” award for the veteran that showed unbelievable unselfishness in coaching-up a younger player. To hear reporters talk, it sounds like he was big factor in Womack’s development. Womack is story of the year so far: from college walk-on to NFL rookie starter doesn’t happen often.

  2. Unless Dwelley has improved greatly at FB since the 2020 season it will end up being a huge mistake cutting Hokit. They should have kept him around on the P.S. Dwelley was terrible in 20 when he had to step in for a banged up Juice. Hokit likely won’t get picked up as so few teams use a FB anymore , so maybe he will be sitting home waiting for a call. I will be watching Dwelley closely this week to see if he has as many whiffs as 2020.

  3. Thanks for the piece, Jack.
    “The second-year quarterback did an excellent job of sliding to his left after a play fake to buy time before firing over the middle to Deebo Samuel for a completion.”

    It had to be refreshing to see Lance’ athleticism on this play. Going (left) away from his throwing arm and making a throw with some heat on it, has me excited for the coming season.
    There will be some highs and lows along with bumps and bruises in Trey’ development no doubt, but once he “gets it” it will be fun to see.
    Jack, how do you feel about Lance going forward?

    1. Lance is coming along nicely. There will be some good and bad, but he brings some things to the table they haven’t had before.

        1. Unfortunately, I am not going to be attending those. All travel expenses come out of my own pocket and I’m not in a financial position to make that happen right now.

  4. Jack,
    Do you think there is any chance, once Brunskill returns that they start working him out at Tackle. He did a really good job stepping in there in 2019. I believe he would be a solid swing Tackle.

    1. I think they will use Brunskill in a “6th man” type role as the first man off the bench across the line.

  5. Is McGlinchey’s knee injury on the same leg as the Quad injury or the other leg? Very curious if any of the PFF type guys graded our O-line. From what I saw there was some good and some bad. Way too much pressure on Lance considering guys slated to start were going against backups and PS squad guys from the Packers.

      1. Yikes. That’s a little concerning. Quad injuries are really tough. Brings all kinds of other injuries into play. Hope McGlinchey can go week 1.

  6. Not sure McGlinchey can hold up for a full season. Or even for the first week. OL is still a real concern. Same with safety.

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