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10 Observations from 49ers Practice Against Texans: Aug. 15

HOUSTON -- The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their first of two practices against the Houston Texans on Wednesday. It was a sluggish session overall for the 49ers as both the offense and the defense got off to slow starts. Kendrick Bourne dropped a sure touchdown in team drills, and Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo over the middle. Defensively, the 49ers were unable to force a turnover.

San Francisco salvaged practice at the end with an impressive showing in the two-minute drill. Let's start there in this recap from the Houston Methodist Training Center.

1. For most of practice, the 49ers offense was on one field and the defense was on another. However, towards the end, all 180 players convened on the same field for the two-minute drill. Houston's starting offense took the ball first. DeForest Buckner got two quick pressures, one of which resulted in a sack. Deshaun Watson scrambled on third down to make it 4th-and-2. Greg Mabin broke up Watson's fourth-down pass down the right sideline to get the defense off the field.

Garoppolo and the first-team scored a touchdown against Houston's defensive starters. Marquise Goodwin made a clutch catch on 4th-and-1 to move the chains. Garoppolo found Goodwin once again over the middle for another first down. Richie James made a leaping catch down the left sideline on a perfectly thrown ball from Garoppolo fit between two defenders. James' reception was the play of the day as he held onto the football despite taking a pretty big hit. Pierre Garçon capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown catch on a play where Garoppolo had all day to sit in the pocket and find an open man.

2. Dante Pettis highlighted 7-on-7 drills. He caught two touchdowns during the period, one from Garoppolo near the right corner of the end zone and the other from C.J. Beathard. Pettis also had several catches during 1-on-1s.

3. Beathard also found Cole Hikutini for a touchdown during the same 7-on-7 period.

4. Practice started with a scuffle between Jimmie Ward and DeAndre Hopkins. The two went at it after a 1-on-1 rep and were both ejected from practice. "If you do something that would get you kicked out of a game, then it will get you kicked out of a practice as well," is how Robert Saleh put it. Both players shook hands and seemed to squash it before they left the field.

5. Reuben Foster and Adrian Colbert each delivered a big hit during practice. Foster hit Alfred Blue during a run play to the right. In the same period, Colbert lowered a shoulder into Braxton Miller on a pass over the middle. Both plays, as expected, drew a big reaction from the 49ers sideline.

6. Trent Taylor was the most consistent performer on the 49ers offense. He made several catches throughout practice and showed strong rapport with Garoppolo. It's good to see him back healthy as a full participant.

7. Ahkello Witherspoon had an impressive pass breakup near the left sideline on a pass from Watson to Miller. The Texans receiver looked to have a catch before Witherspoon ripped it away.

8. Goodwin had two receptions for medium gains during full-team periods (separate from the two-minute drill). One came on a deep crossing route, and the other was a shallow cross that Goodwin was able to take up the sideline for a long run after the catch.

9. Houston scored on the 49ers second-team defense during the two-minute drill on a touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden to rookie wide receiver Jester Weah.

10. Alfred Morris got some work in with the second-team offense in his 49ers practice debut. Joshua Garnett worked with the twos as well. Fred Warner returned to practice and worked with the second-team defense. He made one nice play in coverage. Jeremy McNichols ran with the first-team offense during the scoring drive in the two-minute drill.

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