Monday, August 13, 2012
Three quick observations from 49ers camp
By Mike Sando
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- What stood out during a day at San Francisco 49ers training camp Monday:
- Randy Moss' personality. Moss and tight end Vernon Davis stayed after practice to catch balls from a mechanical throwing device. They've obviously become fast friends. When one caught passes, the other would shadow him, reaching one arm into the catching area the way a defender might during a live situation. Moss was considerably more playful than I would have anticipated for a 35-year-old entering his 14th season with his fourth team since 2010. The two joked back and forth. Moss also bantered with receiver Michael Crabtree. It's clear Moss has assimilated well with his new team.
- Another personality on the line. Left tackle Joe Staley has long been the most outgoing personality on the 49ers' offensive line. He might have met his match now that Alex Boone is starting at right guard. Boone is quick with a quip. When the team brought him to a lectern overlooking reporters arranged at desks, Boone assumed the role of a teacher addressing students.
Boone, making the transition from tackle to guard, on how much his confidence has grown: "I had a tremendous amount of confidence in myself; I think I'm pretty good looking. But as far as the guard position, I was a little nervous. I'm not going to lie. But every day day I'm out there, I feel a little more comfortable between A.D. (right tackle Anthony Davis) and (center) Jon (Goodwin)."
After practice, Boone and right tackle Anthony Davis walked off together, laughing about something. The mix on the line seems like a healthy one.
Boone is taller than the typical guard. He has to work at staying low enough to prevent stouter defensive tackles from winning the leverage battle. He's been studying Brian Waters tape to learn from a tactician at the position.
- Aldon Smith timetable: Coach Jim Harbaugh indicated Sunday that the team's purest outside pass-rusher might miss about a week after suffering a hip injury in the exhibition opener Friday night. That was my initial understanding, anyway. Others listening thought Harbaugh meant Smith could be out a week, then need additional time to get up to speed. The bottom line, of course, is that the 49ers expect Smith to be ready for the regular-season opener. Hip injuries can be extremely painful. Smith was getting around Monday with the help of a forearm crutch. Missing practice time will set back Smith's efforts to transition from pass-rusher to full-time outside linebacker.
I'll be back at 49ers camp Tuesday, gaining a better feel for the defending NFC West champs while gathering information for a "Camp Confidential" file scheduled later in the week.