Demarcus Dobbs is back. Is he better than ever?
Dobbs recorded an interception and a sack in the San Francisco 49ers training camp practice on Sunday morning. The fourth-year defensive tackle had missed sessions earlier this week.
Dobbs had teammates and coaches calling "Dobbsy!" after his pick of Colin Kaepernick.
"Made a hell of a play," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told reporters afterward. "We have to throw him in that inside 'backer mix."
Fangio was kidding about that last part. But Dobbs, who was also listed as a tight end earlier in his career, did look ready to compete for time along a suddenly thinning defensive line.
Offensive Play of the Day
Quarterback Josh Johnson completed four straight passes to four different receivers during a two-minute drill in an 11-on-11 period; the fourth completion was a 40-yard touchdown pass that dropped over the shoulder and into the hands of rookie wideout Bruce Ellington.
Johnson has a way of throwing rainbow-shaped passes right to a spot, and he made Ellington's job easy on this play.
Other candidates for this top spot: Blaine Gabbert's 15-yard scoring connection with tight end Vernon Davis during a fruitful red-zone period; Davis bested linebacker Patrick Willis on a route over the middle.
Kaepernick also threw touchdown passes to rookie wideout Bruce Ellington (10 yards) and Davis (35 yards) toward the end of the session.
Defensive Play of the Day
Lined up at left defensive tackle during a red-zone drill, the University of Georgia product dropped into coverage and hauled in a Kaepernick heave near the goal-line.
Defensive linemen don't usually "get" to help out in the defensive backfield, but the spry Dobbs looked happy to do it. He enters this season slated to back up Justin Smith at right defensive tackle and is seeking the first turnover of his NFL career.
Fangio's unit recorded three other interceptions in the latter half of practice: rookie safety D.J. Campbell grabbed a Kaepernick-thrown ball that was deflected off of Ellington's hands; rookie defensive back Jimmie Ward snagged a Josh Johnson-tossed ball that was tipped into the air; and veteran cornerback Perrish Cox blanketed running back Alfonso Smith before jumping a McLeod Bethel-Thompson-tossed pass.
-Nose tackle Ian Williams, right tackle Anthony Davis, safety C.J. Spillman, defensive tackle Ray McDonald and cornerback Tramaine Brock were all out of uniform and started practice by working out on the turf field.
-Tight end Garrett Celek and defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey were on the exercise bike as the session began. Running back Marcus Lattimore, fullback Trey Millard and Smith, among others, later joined them in the locker room.
-With McDonald, Smith, Williams and Glenn Dorsey unavailable to practice, there were just six defensive lineman working with position coach Jim Tomsula.
-Rehabbing an elbow injury, running back LaMichael James ran sprints down the turf field with the ball in his right hand.
-Wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd were again absent as they recover from minor injuries.
-Veteran offensive lineman Adam Snyder didn't participate in practice.
-Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin was waived not long after the team returned to the locker room.
-Wide reciver Devon Wyle, who had family watching on the sideline, shared punt return reps with cornerback Perrish Cox and Ellington.
-With Brock "working through something," Cox lined up with the first-team defense at outside cornerback.
-With Dorsey gone, second-year defensive linemen Quinton Dial and Mike Purcell shared reps at nose tackle with Tony Jerod-Eddie, who filled in for Dorsey at times in 2013.
-Ward is not the biggest guy, sure, but he measures up to veteran safety Antoine Bethea when they're standing side by side.
-Another new drill from intern quarterbacks coach George Whitfield: He had Kaepernick lobbing over-the-shoulder throws while on one knee.
-Rookie center Marcus Martin and rookie outside linebacker Aaron Lynch both acquitted themselves well in their first NFL practices.
-Tight end Derek Carrier and fullback Will Tukuafu were both in the backfield for one play during team drills.
-The defense committed offsides penalties on consecutive plays at one point. At another, the offense was whistled for delay of game and false start in a two-play sequence.