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10 Observations of the 49ers Defense from Joint Practice with Texans

Jaquiski Tartt's second interception in as many days was the highlight play for the San Francisco 49ers at Friday's joint training camp session with the Houston Texans.

The second-year safety, however, was not alone in making eye-catching plays. This is why's writers split the field to take note of all the best highlights from the day.
Read up on the best offensive notes here. For those who are defensive-minded fans, we jotted down the top observations in this post.

1. Friday's spirited practice wrapped up with a two-minute drill. It was also the top moment for San Francisco's defense. Tartt began the series by breaking up Brock Osweiler's first-down throw intended for rookie receiver Stephen Anderson. On the next play, undrafted rookie linebacker Jason Fanaika recorded a would-be sack on Osweiler for a 7-yard loss. On 3rd-and-17, Osweiler was pressured once again. The Texans' new signal-caller stepped up in the pocket and launched a deep ball to star wide rceiver DeAndre Hopkins. Tartt, however, was in position to intercept the errant throw to record the second takeaway of the day for the 49ers. Tartt worked with the first-team defensive unit throughout the day. It was reported that starting free safety Eric Reid was not at practice due to personal reasons. Reid's wife is expecting their second child.

2. Arik Armstead did not participate in team periods or 1-on-1 drills. The second-year defensive tackle has been nursing an upper-body injury in recent days. He was replaced in the first-team defense by first-round draft pick DeForest Buckner.


View images of the marquee players from the 49ers first preseason opponent the Houston Texans.

3.** Speaking of rookies, seventh-round pick Prince Charles Iworah had his best day of camp. The Western Kentucky product showed his 4.3, 40-yard dash speed on several occasions. The cornerback opened the day by breaking up a 40-yard deep ball intended for Texans rookie wideout Wendall Williams. Iworah later forced a fumble after Williams caught a crossing route and turned up field in a 7-on-7 period. Iworah broke up two more passes in 11-on-11 work. First, he broke up a Brandon Weeden pass intended for rookie receiver Tevin Jones. Then Iworah knocked away another Weeden deep ball intended for Jones.

4. In depth-chart news, Gerald Hodges with the first-team defense next to NaVorro Bowman. Hodges recorded a sack on Osweiler in the opening red-zone session. Chris Davis handled slot cornerback duties.

5. One of the more lighthearted moments of practice saw Texans quarterback Tom Savage and center Nick Martin have to run a lap around the field for fumbling a quarteback-center exchange during the opening 11-on-11 period.

6. Marcus Cromartie intercepted Savage on a red-zone slant pass. Cromartie was lined up as a safety at the time of the takeaway. Dontae Johnson later joined Cromartie at safety in 11-on-11 work. It was the first time Johnson has played safety in camp.

7. Jimmie Ward competed hard against Texans wideouts like Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller. Ward drew an offensive pass interference on Fuller after keeping up with the speedy receiver on a go route down the left sideline.

8. Rookie defensive lineman Ronald Blair III recorded a tackle for loss in 11-on-11 work, earning praise from his defensive teammates. Shortly after, Kenneth Acker broke up an Osweiler pass intended for rookie wideout Braxton Miller. Acker and Johnson played cornerback and safety at times on Friday.

9. The second- and third-team defenses recorded several notable plays against the Texans. Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong and safety L.J. McCray broke up passes with the second group. Nose tackle Garrison Smith recorded a sack with the third unit. Linebacker Shayne Skov also made a tackle-for-loss on a run by Akeem Hunt.

10. Keith Reaser continues to impress in camp. He broke up an Osweiler pass inteded for Fuller outside the right boundary. In the same team period, undrafted rookie defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry broke up a pass at the line of scrimmage.

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