13 Observations from 49ers Final OTA Session

The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up OTAs with session No. 9 on Thursday.

All that is left for the team this spring is a three-day mandatory minicamp next week (June 7-9). 

But first, let's take a look back at the final OTA workout of 2016.

  1. Colin Kaepernick was observed throwing short passes during the first group period of practice. Kaepernick, who is rehabbing offseason surgeries to his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee, has not been medically cleared to participate. However, the sight of the veteran passer taking a limited role in drills was a positive development. 
  1. Michael Wilhoite took first-team inside linebacker reps opposite of NaVorro Bowman. The only major change to the first-team offense was the inclusion of Andrew Tiller at right guard in place of Brandon Thomas.
  1. Former 49ers defensive end Andre Carter, a coaching intern on Chip Kelly's staff, worked with pass-rushers Aaron Lynch and Garrett Celek during the opening special teams period. It was fascinating to watch a successful NFL player give leverage and fundamental tips to a pair of young 49ers. 
  1. Bruce Ellington, DuJuan Harris and Bryce Treggs handled the kick-return duties to begin practice. Second-year defensive lineman Arik Armstead snuck into the drill and fielded the last kick of the session, earning a laugh from many of his teammates.
  1. Another innovative drill by the coaching staff was utilized during a defensive fundamental rotation period. One of the stations had defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil and a coaching assistant roll large core-training balls for players to scoop up and swing them to the side of their body to simulate wrapping up a ball carrier.
  1. Chris Davis worked with the first-team as a slot cornerback. The base-down cornerbacks remained Tramaine Brock and Jimmie Ward. The second-team corners were Kenneth Acker and Dontae Johnson. Keith Reaser worked behind Davis in the slot. Johnson was shaken up in the final period of practice but was able to walk off the field under his own power.
  1. Reaser turned in the play of the day, intercepting a tipped Thad Lewis pass in the final 11-on-11 period. Reaser showed nifty return skills, too, as he darted back up the field and down the left sideline. 
  1. Carradine continues to show promise as an edge player in O'Neil's scheme. The 270-pound defender chased down Lewis on a bootleg run for a would-be sack in 11-on-11 work.
  1. Safeties Eric Reid and Antoine Bethea recorded pass breakups during 7-on-7 periods. 
  1. Bowman ended a first-team red-zone drive with a tackle-for-loss on Blaine Gabbert's third-and-goal scramble.
  1. Rookie defensive lineman Ronald Blair III recorded a sack on Lewis to end the second-team's drive in the same period. 
  1. Rookie quarterback Jeff Driskel put the offense in the end zone with a 5-yard pass to Treggs in the back left corner of the end zone.
  1. Phil Dawson attended the final week of OTAs to get geared up for the upcoming minicamp. He was joined at practice by his eldest son, Drew.
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