Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Finishing touches on second day at 49ers
By Mike Sando
Five things I saw on the second of three days at San Francisco 49ers camp:
- Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Alex Smith and all their 49ers teammates wearing red kitchen aprons with their names and jersey numbers in white lettering. It was all part of the "Pasta Bowl V" fundraiser at the Santa Clara Convention Center across the street from 49ers' headquarters. Players sat with and tended to fans during the event, which included an auction. All five 49ers' Super Bowl trophies were on display. Memorabilia included a black-and-white photo of "The Catch" featuring Dwight Clark's signature next to a freehand rendering of the offensive formation, pass route, etc. Coach Jim Harbaugh addressed the crowd briefly and emphasized pushing the tempo in practices and, eventually, "overwhelming" opponents with said tempo.
- Players responding to fans' hollering during practices. Frank Gore, upon hearing someone in the crowd joke about a lady wanting a hug from him, peeled off and hugged her. The crowd loved it.
- Coaches repeatedly adjusting some receivers' splits before the snap. There's much to learn in a short period of time. For some of the younger players, getting lined up properly is a big part of the battle. Rookie Ronald Johnson caught a deep pass moments after a coach ran into the drill to narrow his split.
- Tight end Vernon Davis making an overhead, ghost-to-the-post reception from Alex Smith deep down the right side of the field.
- Ted Ginn Jr. dropping two passes. One pass from Smith bounced off Ginn's hands and into Phillip Davis' grasp for an interception. The drop, on a pass from Colin Kaepernick, came on a simple slant route. Players drop balls in practice periodically. Ginn has dropped a few too many over the past couple days.
The 49ers are back on the practice field at 2:30 p.m. PT Wednesday. I'll be there continuing to gather for the "Camp Confidential" piece scheduled to run later in the week (tentatively set for Thursday). These trips help provide a more accurate feel for teams. The 49ers have been harder to read this offseason given the coaching change and extended lockout. That is changing as camp continues.