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Perrish Cox, Darryl Morris Step up on Wednesday

Posted Jul 30, 2014

First-team cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver rested their respective minor injuries for a second consecutive day at San Francisco 49ers training camp.


First-team cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver rested their respective minor injuries for a second consecutive day at San Francisco 49ers training camp.

That meant other defensive backs were given an opportunity to step into the spotlight on Wednesday, the sixth camp session and fourth padded workout of 2014.

In particular, Perrish Cox and Darryl Morris rose to the occasion.

Cox intercepted Colin Kaepernick twice in team drills. On the first play of what appeared to be an 11-on-11 run period, the 49ers quarterback sold a play-action run fake and tried to launch a deep ball 40 yards downfield to Anquan Boldin, who got open behind the starting defense. Kaepernick's pass, however, hung in the air just long enough for Cox to make a leaping interception.

Cox’s second takeaway wasn’t as visually impressive, but it did take place in a clutch situation. Cox put a stop to the first-team offense’s two-minute drive when he dove for a low comeback pass intended for Quinton Patton.

But it wasn't solely Cox disrupting the offense’s rhythm. Morris and other cornerbacks, who are competing to be the team's starting nickel cornerback, all had their disruptive moments.

Morris lined up as right cornerback with the second-team defense and moved inside to be the second-team slot corner role in nickel pass situations.

But before Morris could get into passing lanes in 7-on-7 and team drills, the second-year cornerback made his presence known in 1-on-1 drills against San Francisco's wide receivers. Morris broke up a Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree on an out pattern in the competitive period.

The 49ers entered training camp with young cornerbacks looking to assert themselves on defense. So far, the team has to like the competitive play from the likes of Cox, Morris and others.

Offensive Play of the Day

Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert led the second-team offense down the field to set up a field goal attempt in his two-minute drive scenario. Gabbert was 4-of-4 on the drive, including a 20-yard strike to Devon Wylie to put the offense in position for a field goal attempt.

Gabbert's decision-making and execution was on point. The quick throw to Wylie continues to underscore his knowledge of a new offense.

Defensive Play of the Day

In a 7-on-7 drill from the 30-yard line, Morris broke up back-to-back passes. The second pass breakup saw Morris perfectly time a swipe into the arms of wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who almost caught a short slant pass from Kaepernick.

The bang-bang play was a great example of Morris' closing speed paying off.

Roster Update

Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore had a limited workload. Both were not used in team periods.

Defensive tackle Demarcus Dobbs was not at practice. Tank Carradine lined up as the right defensive tackle with the first defense.

Rookie linebacker Aaron Lynch and rookie center Marcus Martin were activated off the Physically Unable to Perform List and Non-Football Injury (NFI) 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 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

-Rookie cornerback Dontae Johnson picked off Kaepernick in the opening 1-on-1 drill. Johnson beat fellow rookie Bruce Ellington to the top of his flag route. Johnson also broke up a Gabbert pass intended for Boldin on a deep dig route in 7-on-7 work.

-First-round draft pick Jimmie Ward broke up a pass from Kaepernick to Lloyd in the 1-on-1 period. He also broke up a McLeod Bethel Thompson pass in 7-on-7 work.

-Patrick Willis intercepted Bethel-Thompson in the opening 11-on-11 period. The quarterback known as “Mac” had his over-the-middle pass tipped initially by cornerback Chris Cook and into Willis’ arms for his first interception of camp.

-Kaepernick closed out the day with a pair of red-zone touchdown passes to David Reed and Chuck Jacobs.

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