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15 Observations Before 49ers Travel to Baltimore

Posted Aug 5, 2014

The San Francisco 49ers held a short half-tempo practice before hitting the road. Here are the most pertinent notes from the day.


The San Francisco 49ers held a breif, half-tempo practice before hitting the road to Baltimore. We wrote down the most pertinent notes from the day, including a few random observations.

-Nose tackle Ian Williams was evaluated on the turf practice field by general manager Trent Baalke and the team's head doctor and strength coach. Williams did a couple of sled drills, the same ones the defensive line do during warmups. Williams punched a few of the bags and moved down the line, showing his stance and acceleration to demonstrate his health status for the 49ers brass. Williams could be an option to replace injured lineman Glenn Dorsey in the coming weeks. But first, Williams has to show he's healthy enough to be activated off the team's Physically Unable to Perform List.

-Frank Gore's playing time for Thursday's preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens has yet to be determined, according to offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Offensive linemen Daniel Kilgore, Joe Looney and Jonathan Martin are expected to play the longest out of the first-team offensive linemen.

-Rookies L'Damian Washington and Glenn Winston made their practice debuts on Tuesday. Washington, the wideout, wore No. 82. Winston, the receiver, wore No. 31. Both saw action in team periods.

-Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd did not practice once again. Instead, they rehabbed their minor leg injuries. With both veterans not practicing this week, second-year receiver Quinton Patton and veteran Stevie Johnson have seen a ton of reps with the first-team offense. Johnson caught a pair of red zone touchdowns from Colin Kaepernick.

-Patton was praised by offensive coordinator Greg Roman. "He's been able to stay healthy," Roman said. "That's the number one thing. He's making a very favorable impression."

-Roman said the offense is fully installed. The team, however, will scale back what it shows against the Ravens and stick to fundamentals.

-Players wore shorts for the practice session. Actually, four players didn't wear them, they wore game pants. Players who line up at center - Daniel Kilgore, Marcus Martin and Dillon Farrell - all have to wear practice pants so they can snap the ball efficiently in practice. Also, safety Bubba Ventrone wore his gold pants. Maybe that's a ritual.

-Blake Costanzo spray painted his lucky shoes black. Perhaps that means it's getting close to game mode for the special teams contributor.

-Quarterbacks worked on rollout passes during individual periods. The team used its trusty basketball-looking hoop in the back right corner of the end zone. Frank Gore, as well as Roman, got in the throwing mix. Intern coach George Whitfield made one of his throws and was later discussed by Roman. "He's a bright young coach," San Francisco's play-caller said. "He shows real aptitude to communicate at a high level."

-Offensive and defensive linemen engaged in 1-on-1 blocking drills. The big observation here was the emphasis on hand placement and footwork. Players weren't crashing into each other without pads. On this day, they worked on hands and feet.

-Chris Culliver and Chris Cook were the first-team cornerbacks on the left and right sides of the field, respectively.

-Rookie cornerback Dontae Johnson and second-year linebacker Nick Moody swatted away incoming passes during 11-on-11 work.

-Second-year tight end Vance McDonald caught a one-handed seam route from Kaepernick for a 20-yard touchdown. McDonald also got past the defense later in practice for a 35-yard sideline grab.

-Kassim Osgood caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

-Once practice was over, Jim Harbaugh spoke to the players briefly. The group broke the session with a "Niners!" chant.


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