Observations from day 19 of 49ers training camp

San Francisco 49ers running back Wayne Gallman, bottom, is tackled by Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Nick Niemann during the second half of a preseason NFL football game Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Here is what stood out during the 49ers’ nineteenth practice of training camp.

In the final full practice with local media in attendance, it was the 49ers’ defense that won the day. The run defense was stout all practice long, and while the quarterbacks both hit on a number of throws, most of them were short of the sticks.

Quarterback play:

Jimmy Garoppolo: 13-22, interception. Garoppolo struggled during the early part of practice, hitting on only one of his first five attempts, Emmanuel Moseley making a fantastic play for an interception on the fourth.

The veteran would eventually get it going, completing passes at every level of the field along the way. The best ball from Garoppolo would come with the defense sending a heavy blitz. The offensive line was able to pick it up and Garoppolo lofted a deep throw down the right sideline to Trey Sermon for a nice completion. A little later, Garoppolo would again go deep down the right sideline to Deebo Samuel, and while the receiver needed to slow down a bit, he should have been able to make the catch.

Trey Lance: 13-19. The numbers for Lance make his performance look better than it was. For example, the first two completions were both caught along the line of scrimmage and the net result was zero yards.

On this day, it was Lance who consistently threw the underneath routes. Of his 13 completions, only one of them came on a target beyond 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. On the play, Lance would throw a beautiful strike to tight end Jordan Matthews on a deep post. What made this play impressive was how Lance was able to get the ball out on time and put it right between the numbers. That completion would be the last play of the day.

Emmanuel Moseley:

Moseley continues to play at a high level during training camp. Today he would show off his speed to intercept a Jimmy Garoppolo pass.

Samuel was running a deep over route across the field from right to left and had a step on Moseley. As Garoppolo released the ball, Moseley was able to make up the distance and step in front of Samuel for the interception.

Moseley looks bigger and faster in this training camp and appears ready to have a terrific season if he can stay healthy.

Trey Sermon:

The rookie running back led all of the backs with eight carries on the day to go along with his long pass reception that was mentioned earlier.

Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel noted that he is encouraged by how Sermon has been able to make the necessary adjustments from the coaching staff to counter the increased speed of the game at the NFL level.

George Kittle:

The 2019 All-Pro was able to bring in all four of his targets during team drills and had a number of solid blocks in the running game.

The most impressive catch of the day for Kittle came during a period in which the offense was working on converting second and long. Kittle would find a soft spot in the zone defense and Garoppolo would hit him for a gain of 15 yards and a first down.

Trent Williams:

The left tackle was dominant today during one-on-one pass rush drills, winning all three of his reps by putting the defensive end on the ground. What made this even more impressive than it may sound is that he did it twice to Nick Bosa and the other was while facing Arden Key.

Ambry Thomas:

The rookie cornerback continues to make strides each day. Today Thomas was able to break up a Trey Lance pass to Deebo Samuel. Thomas showed his closing speed on this one, breaking on the curl route to knock the ball away at the last second.

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 12 Comments

  1. Thanks Jack. I appreciate you dude.

    Good for Ambry Thomas. Some people are sure quick to declare rookies as potential busts, before they have even taken a regular season snap. Deommodore Lenoir has been the more impressive of the rookie CB’s, particularly in press coverage, but Lenoir also played football last season, Thomas didn’t. BTW, as of yesterday, Lenoir is already cross-training in the slot, so he seems to be developing at warp speed.

    Ambry Thomas has prototypical size/speed/length, and he’s always around the ball, but he’s just too handsy in his coverage, and he needs to work on his zone coverage, no question about that. Michigan plays a lot of man coverage, so between that, and having not played since 2019, it’s only logical that Ambry needed development, as CB is one of the toughest positions to play as a rookie.

    1. Thanks Jack. Yah, that’s exactly what I’ve heard from others. For me, its really more of a testament to Lenoir being ahead of the curve at this stage, than it is a big knock on Thomas. Obviously I am happy to see it when any CB steps it up, regardless of draft position. Demo Lenoir sounds like a real scrapper, tenacious, without being overly aggressive.

      Question Jack: Do you think Lenoir ends up replacing K’Wuan as the nickel CB, or do you think he has a real future as an outside CB? I know he is a little bit bigger than K’Wuan.

  2. Thanks for the updates, it’s great to hear what goes on when we can’t be there!
    You give great individual progress reports, can you give us your insights on how the groups/team are jelling.
    How does the oline, defense, corners/safety , offense work as a group? Do they cover for each other? Do they move as a group or as individuals on the field?

  3. how nice to read a concise fair evaluation without smarmy remarks and personal bias. please keep up the good work

  4. Curious how Alex Mack has looked in practice. The interior offensive line is the weakest link on this entire team. You could say it’s been the weakest link for a few years now. Last year, they were bad. You could even make an argument that if the 49ers had an o-lineman who could have moved Chris Jones off his spot or used the technique to hold him down from jumping then the 49ers would have won that Superbowl. I feel like the d-line will be so good it may cover up some inexperience in the secondary. There is no help anyone can give the interior o-line other than calling a bunch of roll outs. The 49ers have a playoff caliber roster. They potentially have a Super Bowl roster. They must solve the issues in the interior offensive line. Lastly, I have no idea how Aaron Banks will work out but I was extremely disappointed when I heard about that pick. The guy has zero lateral movement in his pass pro set. It’s disturbing.

    1. Yah, if there is one area to be critical of the ShanaLynch regime, it’s their inability to draft and develop interior OL’s. I was originally optimistic that they were going to get this figured out this year after using a 2nd round pick on a Guard, but then I turned on Aaron Banks’ college game film …. and boy was this a head scratcher for me. Even though Banks comes from a zone blocking system, he doesn’t fit that physical mold. Maybe they were hoping that the benefit of NFL strength and conditioning would make a big difference, and maybe it will, but it seems like a missed opportunity to bolster the interior for this season. I’m not 100% giving up on Banks though, as I do see potential if he can transform his body, but I admit that is a big “IF”.

  5. Jack – I hadn’t been on this site for a long time. I’m pleasantly surprised and happy that you’ve taken over this blog. I’ll be dropping by more regularly now. Keep up the good work.

  6. WRs making cut: Aiyuk, Samuel, Sheffield, Jennings, Sanu and Hurd.

    Cut: James (with injury settlement), Cracraft, Webster.

    Thoughts? Return game may take a hit.

  7. Jack,
    Like Nick, it’s good to come back to the site and read about your observations.
    Your objectivity in analyzing what you see, and ability to not get too invested in arguing what is and isn’t “right” is readily apparent and refreshing.

    BTW, been meaning to ask something. Is “JackHammer” a pseudonym that pays homage to Hacksaw (Jack) Reynolds, or is it a tip of the hat to Frank “Fudge Hammer” Nunley?

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