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Around the NFC West: Ginn makes mark

8/4/2010

David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says Ted Ginn Jr. showed good ability in practice Tuesday, a reminder why the 49ers acquired him. White: "Seventy-four percent of quarterback Alex Smith's pass attempts were for 10 or fewer yards. His 6.3 yards per attempt ranked 24th in the NFL. He simply had no deep help outside of tight end Vernon Davis. It hasn't come from Jason Hill, the 40-yard-dash wonder with 40 catches over three seasons. And it didn't come from Ashley Lelie or Bryant Johnson during their stints with the Niners. Johnson enjoyed mild success, but only as a No. 3-type role player."

Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat profiles 49ers fullback Brit Miller, who is trying to unseat veteran Moran Norris. Overwhelmed as a rookie trying to attain standards set by running backs coach Tom Rathman, Miller says he's more comfortable in his second training camp. Miller: "When you're not used to Rathman, I mean he can do that to you. Because he expects perfection. But now I already know what he's gonna say before he says it. ... And it's a little more comforting coming into camp having an idea what to do, and not guessing, not getting nervous in the huddle, and just going out and playing ball."

Also from Barber: 49ers camp notes, including one about tight end Vernon Davis challenging defensive teammates to "come and get some" after he dispatched linebacker Ahmad Brooks in the nutcracker drill.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says Davis struggled some in pass protection. He was referring to rookie tackle Anthony Davis, not tight end Vernon Davis, who ranks among the better pass protectors on the team.

Also from Maiocco: a new role for quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson. Maiocco: "Quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson is getting his first taste of relaying the plays, via radio, to the quarterbacks. Last season, offensive assistant Jason Michael handled those duties because he and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye worked together previously for three seasons with the New York Jets and Raiders. Raye said he is trying to figure out which system works best. Raye said he will likely decide which assistant will be on the radio hookup with himself and the quarterbacks after the second exhibition game."

More from Maiocco: Glen Coffee laments his 2.7-yard rookie rushing average.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says some of the 49ers' younger players benefit when the team gives veterans practices off. Barrows: "The 49ers also must groom several young players at safety, primarily Reggie Smith, Curtis Taylor and Taylor Mays. Smith has been getting all of Lewis' first-team repetitions the last two practices while Mays and Taylor have composed the second-string group. Taylor and Chris Maragos have made up the third-string safety tandem. Again, Lewis doesn't need the repetitions, so the coaching staff is giving them to younger players."

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says rookie guard Mike Iupati is well-suited for nutcracker drills. Kawakami: "Generally, Iupati wreaked havoc whenever he was out there, except in one pass-block drill, when veteran defensive end Justin Smith got the jump off the outside edge and sent Iupati twisting backward."

Taylor Price of 49ers.com passes along this Ginn-related quote from Raye: "His presence on the field demands that you have to make a decision about how many you want to commit to the run, from a coverage standpoint. We certainly think that he gives us something defensively that you have to figure out when he’s on the field."

Also from Price: Chilo Rachal was treated for dehydration after collapsing at practice.

Note: I'm giving each team its own Around the NFC West post given the volume of material early in camps. More to come.