Colin Kaepernick throws touchdown passes, Anquan Boldin throws punches at Darryl Morris

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Friday’s padded practice.


1. Colin Kaepernick. Completed 14 of the 19 passes he attempted during team drills. He threw three touchdown passes – one to Quinton Patton, one to Vernon Davis and one to Chuck Jacobs. This may have been Kaepernick’s best practice of camp.

2. Vernon Davis. Made five catches during team drills. One was a five-yard touchdown catch in a goal-line drill. He outran Eric Reid to the back-left corner of the end zone. Kaepernick rolled to his left and flicked the ball Davis for an easy score. This definitely was Davis’ best practice of camp.

3. Quinton Patton. Also made five catches during team drills. Two were touchdown catches. One of his TD catches came on fourth-and-goal from the 10 yard line. Patton beat Perrish Cox to the front-right corner of the end zone. Kaepernick sprinted to his right and hit Patton in stride.

4. Bruce Ellington. Made four catches during team drills. He beat Jimmie Ward twice, and he beat Dontae Johnson once.

5. Chuck Jacobs. Made the catch of the day, the catch of camp so far. Chris Cook was covering him. Jacobs ran straight down the sideline and Kaepernick threw a pass way up high for Jacobs, but Kaepernick under threw it and gave strong safety Antoine Bethea time to run over and play the ball. Jacobs slowed down, jumped over both Cook and Bethea, made the catch, landed on his feet and ran into the end zone untouched.

6. Patrick Willis. Punched a pass out of Quinton Patton’s hands during a red zone drill.

7. Michael Wilhoite. Slapped three passes out of Vance McDonald’s hands during team drills.

8. Chris Borland. Tackled Jewel Hampton after a one-yard gain on third-and-two during a live-hitting, full-team drill.

9. Dontae Johnson. Intercepted McLeod Bethel-Thompson on the last play of practice. Johnson was covering Devon Wylie who ran an outward-breaking route toward the sideline. Johnson jumped the route, dove and picked off the pass. Johnson has not given up a touchdown nor has he gotten beat deep during team drills in training camp.

10. Chris Culliver. Gave up no passes during team drills. Broke up a pass intended for Anquan Boldin in the end zone during 7 on 7s. Kaepernick threw it. Boldin broke to the inside but couldn’t shake Culliver, who reached out and knocked away the pass with his right hand.


1. Anquan Boldin. Caught a five-yard pass over the middle and ran into Darryl Morris, who lowered his shoulder into Boldin. Boldin objected. He threw the ball at Morris and then threw a vicious right cross into Morris’ face mask, snapping back Morris’ neck. Morris threw two punches back at Boldin. Jim Harbaugh and Vernon Davis physically jumped between them and broke up the fight. Harbaugh kicked Boldin out of practice. This time Boldin didn’t object — he walked straight to the locker room while he stared at the ground. Harbaugh ended practice two plays later.

2. Jewel Hampton. Caught a pass in the flat and Chase Thomas hit him for a five-yard loss. Hampton pushed Thomas and punched him in the helmet. Harbaugh did not eject Hampton.

3. Glenn Dorsey. Seemed to hyperextend his elbow during team drills. He walked to the locker room halfway through practice and did not return to the field.

4. Vance McDonald. Dropped four passes during team drills for the second day in a row.

5. Ahmad Brooks. Jumped offside twice.

6. Jimmie Ward. Gave up a five-yard touchdown catch to Derek Carrier during a goal-line drill. Josh Johnson faked a handoff, Ward bit on the fake and couldn’t catch up to Carrier in the end zone.

7. Stevie Johnson. Caught one pass the entire practice, but his left foot landed on the sideline so the catch didn’t count. Johnson also dropped a pass during one-on-one drills.

This article has 59 Comments

  1. Im really excited about Ellington and Patton…would be nice to have some good homegrown recievers for once..Meanwhile Crabtree is faking his way out of t.c. again.

    1. Crabtree is all for precautionary reasons. He has been injury prone in training camp and its best we put this “hamstring injury” as a reason to keep him healthy against the Ravens for 4 days of practice.

  2. Hope Glenn Dorsey’s OK. Another blog said Dorsey returned in sweats.

    Its Glenn’s birthday. I hope his birthday is big and his owie is small and temporary.

    1. Played well. Starting left cornerback on second team base d, and starting nickel on the second team.

  3. Thanks Grant.
    Couple of bad patterns taking shape:
    VMac’ continued drops, and ABrooks offsides. VMac is being looked at as a bigger contributor this season so this is a little disappointing.

    ABrooks is a veteran that should have better discipline by now so this will not go over well with his coaches.

    On the flipside:
    Carrier is making a name for himself in camp and could be a pleasant surprise for us down he road.

    Borland is a natural who plays with a combination of passion and discipline which will no doubt be noted especially in the wake of Ahmad’ lack of discipline.

    Anquan’ actions were surprising to me. He plays a physical style and evidently his emotions got the best of him today.
    It will be interesting how his relationship with Harbaugh manifest’s itself going forward knowing that Harbaugh didn’t throw out Hampton for basically committing the same incident.

    1. AES – Yes… VMac is dropping passes. In that Carolina game last year I attributed it in part to the defender doing a good job. All these drops in camp have me worried.

      Stevie Johnson too. He has a history of occasional clankers. There is a youtube where he flat dropped a Bills game winner.

      1. B2W,
        That is worrisome even if its only practice.
        A drop or an offsides taking place occasionally is not greatly disturbing, but when it starts to become a “pattern” it can hurt the team especially in crucial moments.
        These guys need to correct the issues now – before it translate to a game.

        1. Guys drops happen routinely in practice, especially training camp practices.
          I know it’s summer and news is slow but let’s not exaggerate things that are all part of football teams preparation that happens 2 months from now.

          1. Prime,
            I hear ya, its only practice, but VMac has had too many drops where it has to at the very least cause some concern.

            If VMac was drafted solely for blocking the drops would likely not be an issue, but VMac was drafted because he was viewed as an athletic player whose strength was catching the intermediate pass.

            Practice or not, 4 dropped passes in one day is not encouraging. I’ve been saying since two months ago that I felt that VMac would have an impact type year in 2014.
            I still want to believe that, but VMac isn’t cooperating.

            Ahm. Brooks is a different story. He should be a more disciplined player at this stage in his career.
            At any rate, it is practice and hopefully they can iron out these issues before real game time.

          2. Prime,

            Two months? Don’t even say that! I’ve been counting the weeks and days until the NFL opener for months, and right now we’re at 33 days. lol don’t be backing us up another month!

  4. Wow I’m really excited to see Kaepernick in live action. It really seems like he’s improved in the areas where he struggled the most.

    Grant – I asked this earlier, but in your observations do you see Kaep reading the entire field a lot more than last year?

  5. The vance mac drops are a concern. I would not be shocked if ellington beat out stevie johnson for slot receiver – not that the niners use 3 wr formations all that often.

  6. Grant, have you/Press Democrat considered switching the comment infrastructure to something like Discus? My issue with this format is that it is sometimes hard to tell who is responding to whom? Plus having to login every time is lame.

  7. The problem with V Mac’s drops is that it reflects a problem he has had through out college as well. I don’t think you can fix bad hands. It’s not like V Mac has changed positions and has just become a receiver. He has had his entire college career to fix that problem. This is another example of the front office and staff thinking they can fix some red flag issue that a player shows in college. Some things are just unfixable. When it comes to receivers I just don’t trust their judgement. The question now is when does a players positives no longer justify or compensate tolerating their negatives.

    1. Davis used to have terrible hands. He practiced with the jugs gun until he had acceptable hands, although he body catches….a lot.
      Grant, do you see VMac spending time catching the ball after practice?

      1. VD was allowed more patience because of his draft status and the fact that the team was short on talent.

        With VD now locked on the position, VMac is more of a luxury than a necessity. If VMac can’t correct his drops he could be on tenuous ground because his inline blocking is still a work in progress.

        If Derek Carrier continues to outshine VMac throughout TC and has a strong pre-season, VMac will start to hear the footsteps of DC quickly closing he gap.

    2. The continuing obsession with Vance McDonald cracks me up. It’s the second week of camp and people are already suggesting that his place on the roster is in jeopardy.


      If Derek Carrier continues to outshine VMac throughout TC …

      “Outshine”? Really? That’s news to me. Any basis for that claim?


      This is another example of the front office and staff thinking they can fix some red flag issue that a player shows in college. Some things are just unfixable.

      With all that superior football knowledge, I am shocked (shocked, I tell you) that you aren’t employed by an NFL team. How is that possible?

      When it comes to receivers I just don’t trust their judgement.

      Baalke and Harbaugh must lie awake at night worrying about that.

      1. Claude
        vvvv Scooter’s comment below strikes the right balance I think for the reasons he states. Will GRo call shot plays for him if he isn’t reliable at making the play? Ted Ginn could beat coverage deep but didn’t catch enough balls to scare anybody very much.

      2. CB,
        If you’re going to use the word “obsession” when quoting me regarding VMac, at least throw in Ahmad Brooks in the same context because I’m concerned about his frequent offsides as well. My concern has not been solely aimed at VM.

        4 drops in one practice on the heels of drops over the last week of practice does give me pause. VMac has had his moments in TC, but the drops have made for an inconsistent camp so far.
        And if the team shipped off their 1srt rd WR last year for lack of production what makes VMac so secure if he continues to drop passes and another TE begins to show strong improvement?

        VMac may not lose his job during TC (I don’t see that happening) or even during the season, but if the drops continue his hold on the job will grow weaker.
        That’s not obsessing, that’s football. It’s about producing on consistent level.

        1. Give the kid a break. It’s training camp. All last season he was forced to block. Now he is developing another aspect of his game.
          It’s only a concern when these drops occur on a game. No need to worry. Not yet at least.

        2. AES:

          Sorry, my use of “obsession” was meant more broadly to refer to the continual glass-is-half-empty focus on McDonald’s alleged shortcomings by numerous commenters. I quoted your statement about Carrier outshining McDonald because I hadn’t read anything from anyone that would suggest such a thing had been occurring.

          I agree that McDonald’s drops are a concern, but some people have gone overboard with their characterizations of the issue. Having a bad day or two in camp isn’t the end of the world, and it isn’t anything approaching conclusive, especially given that McDonald has been reported multiple times as having very good days.

          And to suggest that he is in danger of losing his spot to Carrier isn’t warranted by anything that’s been reported for either player thus far in camp.

          I object to the comparison of McDonald to Jenkins. Jenkins contributed nothing his first season with the 49ers; he could barely get on the field. Moreover, he didn’t seem to play with much, if any, heart. McDonald’s play last year wasn’t nearly as bad as some have characterized it, especially when you consider that he was learning a new position. Moreover, I don’t think anyone can question his effort. Why don’t we wait to see how he performs his second season in the system and in the position before we spend too much time worrying about him.

          That’s not obsessing, that’s football. It’s about producing on consistent level.

          Really, you’re going to throw a tired coaching cliché at me? Let me try one: Consistency comes with experience. McDonald is in the beginning of his second NFL training camp; inconsistency is expected. Few players are consistent at such an early stage in their careers. Vernon certainly wasn’t.

          1. CB,
            All good bud.
            Just thinking out loud about the fact that VMac needs to correct the ‘pattern’ of drops issue.
            Yes, you’re right about VM being inexperienced and he did show some flashes last season (unlike A.J.) Just a little concerned that the drops don’t translate to the season and cost us at a very critical moment of a game.

            I never said that VMac would lose his spot to Carrier. I said that if he continues to be outshined by Carrier (which is subjective) in TC that he will lose some ground and his hold on the position becomes weaker.
            I say that without hesitation and apology because he is not the #1 TE on the team which I interpret as his position not being completely vetted and secure.

            On the other hand, I give him more leeway than Ahmad Brooks who should not be making the same mistakes at this stage in his career – but why mention him, right?

  8. I agree with the majority on here that V Mac’s ongoing high drop rate in practices is a concern, as it is something that has also translated to the field during games. He’s not a guy that routinely gets open to make up for the dropsies – he has to hang on to just about every ball thrown his way to really make an impact in the passing game for the 49ers.

    Grant, out of Lloyd, Johnson and Patton, who has looked the best to your eyes (I won’t include Ellington as he’s only been in for a couple of practices), and is there much separation between them?

    1. Never was a fan of the VMac and Lattimore picks. Both had fatal flaws that could render them useless. The Tank pick was different because he had so much ridiculous upside.

      Loving this year’s draft, though. Mostly high upside guys without glaring weaknesses.

      I’m still unconvinced that we made good moves with FA and trades. Bethea, Gabbert, Martin, Cook, S. Johnson? Now, I do think SJ can help us if he’s healthy… But I still think ALL of that money could have been combined to either sign one better player OR could have been given to Boone or Crabs.

  9. I don’t understand the drops. He was a WR in college. He should be nails catching and a work in progress blocking.

  10. from your comments about the “good” with Kaepernick, it sounds like he was out of the pocket several times in the red zone for TD passes. was this by design or just his improvisation or break downs in protection which flushed CK from the pocket? are other QBs part of a moving pocket scheme, too?

    1. By design. The TD pass to Patton basically was Sprint Right Option.

      The other QBs are part of a moving pocket scheme. The coaches make Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson and even McLeod Bethel-Thompson throw on the run, and they practice that during individual drills — choosing between three receivers while sprinting out of the pocket. Kind of like what Chip Kelly asks Nick Foles to do.

  11. Scuffles you say? It must be August.
    On a slightly different tack, it occurs to me that if R. Sherman is the poster boy for defensive holding and interference, then Boldin may be perceived by the refs as the poster boy for offensive interference. We’re going to see some laundry in the first 4 weeks of the regular season.

        1. I don’t believe Harbaugh released the “actual” depth chart to the PR Dept. Not his style…..

    1. With the injury absences we’ll get a look at some guys. I’m looking forward to seeing Wylie & Jacobs (auditioning for other teams), as well as Okoye, Lynch, Dial, Carradine, Borland, Ward, and Hyde, and the rookie corners.

  12. Brotha. Do you really think We will get to see lynch in action during Preseason. Did he start practicing yet? I haven’t heard anything about him yet and am quite curious. I’m still unclear as to what the niners invision his role being

    1. Matt
      I dunno how Lynch is coming along, so not sure when we’ll see him. If he doesn’t start getting some reps soon we may not see him on the field for a month or two. I think he’ll be a situational pass rusher and try to grow into a 3-down SLB over a year or two. I don’t know if he’ll learn to drop into coverage very much, mostly the “Elephant” I’d guess.

  13. The depth chart shows Johnson backing up Boldin and Lloyd backing up Crabtree. Those four vets all have seasons with over 1000 yards and the kind of experience necessary for playoff football. The battle for #5 between Patton and Ellington should be very interesting, although I think Chuck Jacobs is a great WR who will not be given a chance, no matter how many great plays he makes in camp. Now that Rice is gone from Seattle I see no chance that the Niners get rid of any of the Big 4. The worst case scenario would be Johnson or Lloyd being released and ending up in Seattle. Actually, Lloyd has been the best looking receiver in camp thus far.

  14. Dorsey out for the year with torn bicep!!! Terrible news. I feel bad for him.

    1. To everyone… with Dorsey and Hunter out for the season (and Ian Williams coming along very slowly), what kind of changes do you anticipate?

      We are deep in D linemen, but none are true 3-4 (4-3 under) blowing ball NTs like Williams and Dorsey. Fangio won’t make radical changes to his scheme, but do you expect more single gap looks?

      1. Quinton Dial is listed as NT. He’s a bit tall, but having a great camp. My hope is he can be a placeholder until Ian returns.

        Wrap Quinton in fluffy pillows for the rest of training camp. Don’t let him get hurt.

      2. I think an under the radar guy to watch could be Mike Purcell. He’s the only lineman left that would fit the that NT profile.

    2. Yeah. I hope they can resign him to a reasonable extension. This looks like a platoon situation. Williams out last year, Dorsey this one

      1. I keep hearing Ian’s re-hab is coming along slowly because its a complicated break. He’s still not confident putting weight on it.

        The ripple effects of the SeaCheap-shots just keeps on rolling.

        1. By “weight” I mean heavy loads while blocking. He’s walking fine.

          NT’s take double teams, which means the load of three 300 lb guys. I once saw a healthy DTs leg break when he was double teamed by Larry Allen and another O-lineman.

    3. Our remaining d-linemen have bodies closer to 3-4 End, 4-3 Tackle, 4-3 Under Tackle. There is loads of talent, but most are tall guys.

      One bright spot… Doresey was NT but often played single gap. 49er D-linemen are required to play multiple positions. I’m expected them to adjust (as well as can be expected) until Ian is ready.

    4. Original report was from Adam Schefter via Matt Maiocco.

      Now Matt Maiocco reports “Source: NT Glenn Dorsey has torn biceps and will continue to be evaluated over the next few days.”

      “It’s undetermined if he’s out for season.”

      Lets hope the best for Glenn.

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