A consistent trend throughout the opening week of 49ers training camp has been the high completion rate between Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis.
San Francisco’s quarterback and tight end chemistry was on display once again at Saturday’s camp session, which also happened to be the first padded practice of the summer.
Davis hauled in several downfield darts from the 49ers starting quarterback. It was almost like déjà vu for members of San Francisco defense.
Davis, the eighth-year pro, continues to get behind opposing safeties and linebackers whenever he gets off the line of scrimmage. There’s not much they can do when the 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end runs like a receiver.
C.J. Spillman found himself the victim of Davis’ blazing speed and Kaepernick’s Major League Baseball-quality arm.
More than an hour into practice, Davis lined up on the right side of the line of scrimmage, darted behind the second-team defensive unit and hauled in a rifled deep post from Kaepernick over Spillman’s underneath coverage.
[ PHOTOS - TRAINING CAMP: JULY 27 ]
Davis tapped both feet inbounds after snatching an over the shoulder reception. Spillman couldn’t help but react to the downfield reception.
“I knew that was coming,” Spillman said with a grin while looking back at Davis.
All the 49ers tight end could do was smile. Camp has been a good time for the tight end and members of the offense have been thoroughly pleased with the progression of Kaepernick-to-Davis in team periods.
Davis wasn’t the biggest option in San Francisco’s passing attack when Kaepernick took over as the team’s starter last season, but the relationship developed the more they played together.
“It takes time,” left tackle Joe Staley said earlier in the day. “It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. You saw that develop as the season went on and Colin got more snaps. I think this offseason they’ve been on the same page.
“We’re excited to see what they can do this season.”
Davis also caught a deep crossing route from Kaepernick in between NaVorro Bowman and Donte Whitner, showing no fear going over the middle and a high level of trust in his quarterback.
Davis' other highlight worhty catch came in the form of a 40-yard deep ball from Kaepernick. It came at the expense of Craig Dahl, who once again lined up as the first-team free safety. Dahl, like Spillman, was in position to make a play, but the accurate throw from Kaepernick was placed where only the 49ers tight could end could haul in the pass.
Training Camp Notes
-The majority of players wore legs pads for the first padded practice of camp. NFL rules will force players to wear them in-game, so many of the 49ers began getting accustomed to the change.
-B.J. Daniels continued to have a busy role at camp. The seventh-round pick ran routes as a wide receiver during the start of practice and later fielded punts. Oh, and Daniels even had time to take reps with the second-team offense at quarterback. Daniels completed a 35-yard touchdown to Ricardo Lockette during 7-on-7 work. It wasn’t all perfect for the young quarterback. Daniels was intercepted on the last play of practice when a deep sideline route intended for Vance McDonald hung up in the air long enough for rookie linebacker Nick Moody to pick the ball off at its highest point.
-McDonald and several others dropped passes on the day. Anquan Boldin, Chad Hall and A.J. Jenkins each dropped catchable balls. Boldin, however, still had highlights, including a deep reception from Scott Tolzien.
-In addition, Boldin displayed his power in a press-man get-off drill. Facing undrafted rookie cornerback Lowell Rose, Boldin literally ran right through Rose as if he was completely unfazed by the rookie’s jam at the line of scrimmage. This was grown man strength at its best.
-Kyle Williams caught a 35-yard touchdown over rookie safety Eric Reid in the opening 7-on-7 period. Williams, however, didn’t return to practice after the play. Kaepernick threw the deep ball and yelled out encouragement to Williams after the scoring play. Williams tweeted after practice that he was "fine."
-Lawrence Okoye made his padded football debut and had some success, but failed to locate the ball on a couple occasions during team periods. Okoye’s reps during one-on-one pass blocking drills were quite the sight. He matched up with tackle Kenny Wiggins and was neutralized on his first rep, a bull rush. Okoye jumped offsides on his second attempt, but beat Wiggins with an inside move on his third rep. Later in practice, Okoye was sealed off the line of scrimmage which opened a wide running lane for second-year running back LaMichael James. Okoye continued to compete and later pushed back guard Wayne Tribue deep into the pocket.
-Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Cam Johnson all recorded sacks at various points of practice.
-Adam Snyder took reps at center with the first-team offensive line.
-Perhaps the loudest thud of practice came in a team period where right tackle Anthony Davis and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis collided on the right side of the field. Davis made enough contact to allow Frank Gore to spring up the field for a nice gain.
-Play of the day honors went to Marlon Moore. The free agent addition continues to impress in camp and stood out when he jumped high and reached out to grab a rifled deep crossing route from Kaepernick in between Bowman and Dahl. The fourth-year receiver popped up immediately and pointed up the field to signal a first-down.
-Colt McCoy was intercepted by Spillman thanks to a pass deflection from inside linebacker Nate Stupar. McCoy’s pas was intended for McDonald, but Stupar had tight coverage and batted the ball in the air high enough for Spillman to cradle the ball and return it down the left sideline for a big gain.
-Safety Darcel McBath and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha both recorded pass breakups during a long team period that took up most of the Saturday session. Kaepernick was almost intercepted by Rose on a deep ball intended for Jenkins, but the rookie cornerback dropped the ball inside the goal line.