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Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree Continue Chemistry at 49ers Camp

Posted Jul 29, 2014

With first-team cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver taking Tuesday off to rest minor leg injuries, the San Francisco 49ers first-team offense took full advantage.


With first-team cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver taking Tuesday off to rest minor leg injuries, the San Francisco 49ers first-team offense took full advantage.

In particular, Colin Kaepernick completed two touchdown passes to Michael Crabtree at the expense of cornerback Perrish Cox. Chris Cook joined Cox as replacements for Brock and Culliver.

The second touchdown left defensive coordinator Vic Fangio most unpleased.

“We messed up too many things,” Fangio said of his defense’s outing in the first morning training camp session. “Critical offside penalties and we gave up a deep ball.”

The deep ball to Crabtree was on a broken coverage. San Francisco’s offense ran a two-minute drill for the first time of camp. Kaepernick led the first offense 60 yards down the field with 1:38 on the clock and two timeouts.

Five plays into the drill, Kaepernick saw Crabtree running open down the right sideline and lobbed a perfect touch pass for a 30-yard touchdown. Cox lost sight of Crabtree on the play. Rookie defensive back Jimmie Ward blitzed off the edge as Crabtree slipped past the 49ers defense.

In the first red zone team period, Crabtree also got past Cox for a 20-yard touchdown catch. Crabtree ran a perfect post pattern and snatched the ball as he cross the goal line.

By our unofficial count, Kaepernick completed 9-of-12 passes in team periods and 11-of-12 passes in 7-on-7 passing drills.

Offensive Play of the Day

Kaepernick continues to show confidence in second-year tight end Vance McDonald. The two hooked up for an impressive sideline reception in the opening camp practice.

On Tuesday, McDonald hauled in a rifled seam route from the 49ers signal-caller.

Kaepernick launched a frozen rope 25 yards down the field to McDonald, who slipped inside of Antoine Bethea’s coverage in the opening 7-on-7 period.

Defensive Play of the Day

Cook, who replaced Brock on the right side of the field as a first-team cornerback, recorded his first interception of training camp in 7-on-7 work.

Josh Johnson’s deep ball intended for Brandon Lloyd sailed short of his intended target. Cook was on Lloyd’s inside hip and rose up to make a nice high-point interception.

Roster Update

Rookie receiver Bruce Ellington participated in his first training camp practice with the 49ers. Ellington saw reps at wide receiver and at punt returner in his camp debut.

Rookie linebacker Aaron Lynch and rookie center Marcus Martin were activated off the Physically Unable to Perform List and Non-Football Injury lists on Sunday, but both players did not dress for practice.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith (shoulder) and offensive tackle Anthony Davis (shoulder) did not practice. Ray McDonald (leg) did not practice as well.

Members of the PUP (physically unable to perform) list did not practice. The group includes linebacker NaVorro Bowman (knee), tight end Garrett Celek (back), nose tackle Ian Williams (leg) and defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey.

NFI (non-football injury) list members also were not practicing. The group included Lattimore (hamstring, knee), fullback Trey Millard (knee), cornerback Keith Reaser (knee) and guard Brandon Thomas (knee).

Observations

-Ellington looked pretty comfortable fielding punts in his first practice. He caught them in the opening period of special teams and again at the very end of practice. Ellington did, however, muff one punt in the final special teams period. Cox and Ellington were joined in the punt return drill by receivers Devon Wylie and Quinton Patton. Ellington was the only player to muff a punt in that period.

-The one-on-one blocking drills were much quieter. Linebackers and running backs did not thud, they just worked on footwork and did not engage in contact. Perhaps this was a preventative measure after LaMichael James was injured in the drill on Sunday.

-The funniest part of practice was seeing Crabtree and Patton strumming their air guitars before one-on-one drills against the cornerbacks. Hopefully they bring that celebration out this season.

-Rookie cornerbacks Dontae Johnson and Kenneth Acker each recorded pass breakups in one-on-one drills. Johnson defended a stop-and-go route from Chuck Jacobs; Acker knocked away a comeback pass to Lloyd, who lost his footing at the top of his route.

Worth Sharing

When given the time to throw, Kaepernick was able to locate his receivers for the most part. The defense, however, did have a couple of coverage sacks in the later stages of practice against the first-team defense. In one instance, Bethea ran stride-for-stride with tight end Vernon Davis, Kaepernick's intended target. Behind Kaepernick, the 49ers other quarterbacks did not complete as high of a percentage of their passes. Gabbert was 5-of-8 in team drills with one interception. McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed 2-of-5 passes and Johnson was 1-of-2. Coupled with their 7-on-7 stats, the four other quarterbacks completed 17-of-31 pass attempts.