Nick Bosa returns, and other observations from Day 18 of 49ers training camp

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) against the Atlanta Falcons during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

Here is what stood out during the 49ers 18th practice of training camp.

Kyle Shanahan began moving the quarterbacks in and out to simulate what it will be like when Trey Lance comes in for certain plays and packages. This resulted in both quarterbacks taking reps with the first and second units. From the sidelines, the transition appeared to be seamless. 

Quarterback play:

Jimmy Garoppolo: 11-16. Garoppolo was on the money early in practice, hitting on his first five throws before leading George Kittle too far on an out. Of Garoppolo’s three incompletions during the early team session, two of them would have been sacks in a game. More on this later.

Garoppolo was on time throughout practice and had a number of nice throws. His best play of the day came during a move the ball period. On the play, Garoppolo hit Kittle over the middle for a gain of 22 yards. Kittle had plenty of room to run after the catch, but in practice they spot the ball where it is caught.

Trey Lance: 12-17, interception. Lance had a pretty good day himself, hitting on seven of his first nine attempts during the early team session. His last throw of the period would sail over the head of MyCole Pruitt who was running an in breaking route, and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was able to intercept the throw. This was just the latest example of Lance struggling to keep the ball down on throws over the middle.

As he did in the game on Sunday, Lance would rebound from his mistake by completing five of his seven attempts during the late team period. The highlight was a completion to Trent Sherfield on a deep out down the right sideline while on the move.


Nick Bosa:

Bosa took his first live reps during training camp and looked like he hasn’t been away at all. After getting stopped by Trent Williams on his first attempt during one-on-one drills, Bosa would beat Mike McGlinchey around the edge to win his next rep.

Bosa also took eight snaps during team drills, beating Williams for a sack of  Garoppolo on the first passing play that he faced. He looks ready to go.


Dee Ford:

Just like Nick Bosa, Ford made his presence felt during the team drills. Ford would beat Williams for one sack before registering two against McGlinchey. Ford had McGlinchey so concerned that the right tackle would commit a false start trying to get a jump to counter his speed.


Elijah Mitchell:

The rookie returned to practice after missing some time with an abductor strain. He looked good and appeared to take snaps away from JaMycal Hasty.


Daniel Brunskill:

The starting right guard has struggled in pass protection during training camp and today was no different. During one-on-one drills, Brunskill was beat on all four of his reps. The lack of progress by Aaron Banks has caused this to be the weakest position along the offensive line.


Jaquiski Tartt:

Tartt was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list and was a full participant in practice. Shanahan said that there is a chance for Tartt to play on Sunday, depending on how Tartt looks in practices this week. So far so good.


Jalen Hurd:

Hurd returned to practice for the first time since before the Kansas City game and made his presence felt in both the run and pass game. Having played both running back and wide receiver in college, Hurd has a unique skillset that Shanahan would like to take advantage of if Hurd stays healthy.

Jack Hammer is a lifelong 49ers fan who shares insights on the team, and leads discussion on all football and team topics. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackHammer_NFL and subscribe to his YouTube Channel, YouTube.com/c/JackHammer49.

This article has 29 Comments

  1. Great news about Tartt. I have said it before but it deserves repeating. I believe that if they can stay healthy this D will get them to the SB, even if JG starts all year.

    1. I agree OC but I would add this Def and Running game will take us to the superbowl. That running game will be unstoppable with Lance!

    2. Yes, very good news about Hurd. Jack can you expound more on how his presence was felt in practice? Routes? Catches? Blocking? Thanks!

      1. Hurd returning to practice is good news. Hopefully he stays healthy and we finally get to see what he can do.

    3. Is a healthy SF better than a healthy TB?
      I’m not so sure?
      If I ranked them by position group I think TB has the advantage at QB, WR, OL, LB, CB, and dare I say DL.
      SF has the advantage at TE, RB and Safety???
      Even LAR when healthy is pretty close. They are better at QB, CB, and WR.
      SF at TE, OL, LB, S, and RB.
      I’m pushing on the DL.

      1. Niners have the advantage at LB, DL, TE, RB and Safety. Coaching looks to close to call. Ultimately, you have to give the edge to TB, thanks to the most important position on the football field – QB.

        I think these are the 2 best teams in the NFC, so I’m hoping for a TB/SF NFC Championship Game. And if Trey develops on schedule, I like the Niners’ chances against the Bucs in the postseason.

        Speaking of QB, is Kyle really going to use both QB’s on some kind of rotational basis?

        We’ll see exactly what Kyle has in mind but personally, I am not a fan of the idea. If Kyle rotates them by the series, I think it’s an flat out horrible idea. QB’s need to get into a rhythm, and that means consistent reps. This seems like a very good way of stunting Trey’s development, while simultaneously messing with his confidence. I keep saying that A YOUNG QB’s CONFIDENCE CAN BE A FRAGILE THING, AND IT”s ALSO THE MOST IMPORTANT THING when it comes to development! And my thing is …. if Lance is ready enough to take the football when the offense is in the redzone, which much like 3rd down, is where quarterbacks make their money, so to speak, then he’s ready enough to start. I would like to see Lance starting from week one, but if it’s Garoppolo, I’d rather just stick with Garoppolo, rather than some kind of wonky, 2-QB system.

        Kyle is making me nervous! Please don’t screw this young QB up, Kyle. I beg of you … you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Figure out which guy gives you the best chance to win now, and ride him until that changes.

        1. And there is growing buzz in and around NFL circles that the 49ers should start Trey Lance over Jimmy Garoppolo. Jordan Schultz spoke to 2 NFL executives, 2 NFL coaches, and an NFL scout, all of whom believe Lance gives SF the best chance to win.

          Says the scout: “Trey Lance has an absolute cannon. I think Kyle Shanahan’s ability to design plays, combined with Lance’s athletic ability and ridiculous arm strength, would offset Jimmy G’s advantage as a more accurate QB who at this point that understands the offense better.”

          Amen to that! Don’t blow this Kyle!

        2. Our Dline and LB’s are better based on what?
          Their dline has Vita Vea, JPP, and Shaq Barret (both of whom are 3-4 olbs but line up on the edge on passing downs). Bosa is likely the only Dlineman on our roster that would start for them.
          I have yet to find a publication that has SF’s line ranked above TB’s.

          As for Linebacker, Warner is the best but Levante David is very close, Devin White isn’ t far behind. As a combo they are better what SF fields.

  2. congrats on the gig jack!! you are the right man for the job! you have already brought this blog back from the dead…..and it couldn’t be in better hands. unlike Grant, i know your heart bleeds red and gold….and i know you wont stoop to trolling us for clicks with over the top, constant pessimism.
    Hopefully the political climate has simmered enough so that it wont spew over to the comments here, the fighting , name calling and overall unpleasantness……like it has in the past.
    Looking forward to the season and all your thoughtful insight :)

    1. Thank you, j. I’m going to try and keep that stuff to a minimum. Debating is good, and we can do it respectfully.

  3. I am really pulling for Hurd. I hope he is able to bounce back , stay healthy and have a great season. The new bigger receiving corps for the Niners will be a welcome change. Sanu, Jennings, Hurd and Sherfield are all over 6’2″

    1. I agree. I hope Hurd is available most of the season so we can finally see what he can do. I suspect he can do a lot when healthy.

    2. Yah, it sure seems like Kyle has changed his preferred WR type. Sherfield isn’t quite that tall but he’s close to it, and he’s very stout, so close enough.

      I’m not 100% convinced that Hurd is on the opening day roster though. I hope he is, but if not, it’ll be one the the smaller, shiftier return specialists like Richie James or Nsimba Webster.

      Still, as a group they have definitely grown in size and physical stature.

  4. Jack / Scooter
    Not sure if you (pl) would be interested, but if you ever wanted to chat on YouTube or a podcast (even anonymously), I would enjoy listening to your thoughts agreements/ disagreements on some NFL topics.

    It wouldn’t need to be regular just a one off.

    Just something for both of you to mull over.

  5. Excited to hear Bosa is back and made an impact. Excited to hear Ford is back and making an impact. Now wrap both those guys in bubble wrap until the team arrives in Denver. I’m way past the point of being excited about Jalen Hurd actually being able to practice. Hope the guy gets everything he wants in life. Hope he realizes his dream of becoming a great NFL player. If that happens to be on the 49ers then awesome. Otherwise, wake me up after he’s practiced 3 days in a row.

  6. I may be being a bit overly protective of Trey’s psyche. I’ll admit that. But after going through the Alex Smith saga, and watching the 49ers completely destroy him mentally during his early development (5 different OC’s in his first 5 seasons), I’m very sensitive to it with young QB’s.

    The way I see it, you do everything you can to build up a young QB’s confidence. It becomes the #1 priority in his development. And as you build him up from a confidence standpoint, you gradually put more and more on his plate. Watching Kyle empty the backfield vs the Chargers (with Lance at QB) more often than he ran play-action, which Trey is a master at, was very troubling for me. I don’t understand why you would have your 21 year old QB work on his weaknesses in front of 10’s of millions of people (a national audience). Why not start Trey with easier reads and call the types of plays that Trey is most comfortable with? You can work on the other stuff as he naturally progresses, slowly adding new passing concepts onto his plate, while maintaining his confidence. After all, I am pretty sure ShanaLynch didn’t use all of that draft capital on Trey Lance because they thought he’d be the best pure pocket passer right out of the gate. The kid threw less than 300 fricken passes in his entire college career. So why is Kyle starting him off with empty sets, and pure passing concepts, right out of the gate, as a first impression in front of the fans? I found the first 2 preseason games to be a little disheartening in terms of the way Kyle is handling the early portion of his young franchise quarterback’s development.

    1. Shanahan isn’t trying to make you or anyone else believe Lance is good. He’s trying to develop him into a starter.

      1. Jack, I think KS is still trying to make up for the 2017 draft.
        His #3 pick will play this sunday for the Raiders…..
        I think he wants to prove that he’s the QB whisperer but his track record tells you otherwise. KS can make passable QBs look decent, but we still don’t know why he didn’t see what Mahomes brings to a team.
        I think he’s still kicking himself over that one and now wants to proof everyone wrong.
        I agree that KS is trying to make TL a starter, I don’t think it’s in TL’s best interest though.

  7. Jack…I have always appreciated your comments, now I’m liking them more with the possible exception of a more favorable lean toward Trey, over Jimmy G. Trey is our future, no doubt, but this is ‘high school to college’ and I believe that it will be at least halfway through the season before he’s ready to replace Jimmy. ….Be fair….

    1. I believe that I have been fair. I’ve reported what I’ve seen. There’s not much difference between Garoppolo and Lance in the passing game, and I’ve been fortunate to see some of the stuff they have planned for the run game which is what separates them. If these two weren’t close, Shanahan wouldn’t be getting Lance ready to play in games as early as week one.

    1. It’s all good, I didn’t take it that way and I don’t want you or anyone else to think they can’t challenge my takes. That back and forth is what makes this comments section the best among all of the 49ers sites.

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