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12 Observations from Levi's® Stadium Practice

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Chief among them? The return of Tramaine Brock, who practiced fully on his birthday and made a big play with a pick-six.


The San Francisco 49ers gave their fans one last look behind the oval.

The team conducted its third and final public practice at Levi's® Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. 

Here are 12 observations from the helmets-and-pads session.

1. After finishing his rehab from injury, starting cornerback Tramaine Brock returned to practice on his birthday and made a big play during team drills. He picked off reserve quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and returned the interception for a touchdown, treating fans to a quick dance. Bethel-Thompson was seeking wideout David Reed on a quick curl route.

2. Nose tackle Mike Purcell and inside linebacker Patrick Willis were sporting blue, non-contact jerseys, but both players were moving around well and without limitations.

3. Starting safety Antoine Bethea, who sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos, was seen in a T-shirt and shorts, doing some light jogging on the sideline. Bethea is following the NFL's protocol.

4. Right tackle Anthony Davis was in a helmet and pads for the first time this training camp. Back from injury, Davis still yielded to Jonathan Martin during team drills. 

5. Fans in the stands, braving 81-degree heat in Santa Clara, could listen to team play-by-play man Ted Robinson and analyst Tim Ryan using the Levi's® Stadium app on their phones.

6. During a drill that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio led and Jim Harbaugh oversaw, outside linebacker Aldon Smith gave left tackle Joe Staley a forceful bull rush, but Staley held his ground. On another play in the one-on-one session, rookie outside 'backer Aaron Lynch bested Martin.

7. In a similar drill run by defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, second-year linemen Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial, who are good friends on the team, threw each other to the ground in a good-natured way.

8. Assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith led an unusual drill that appeared to be geared for gunners, although defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie jumped in at one point. Basically, each player had to run around a giant hoop and pick up a towel laying flat on the grass, all the while maintaining their balance.

9. Offensive line coach Mike Solari likes to call his players by their first and last names during these sessions.

10. Wideout Anquan Boldin was catching punts, bringing back memories of his younger days with the Arizona Cardinals.

11. Speaking of returners, running back LaMichael James was a full-go. He was wearing a black brace around his elbow but was catching kicks with ease.

12. Kicker Phil Dawson, who is working on his Levi's® Stadiums strategy, was attempting field goals on the opposite side of the field where team drills were taking place.