It was a nondescript start to San Francisco 49ers training camp. Thursday's practice offered a few highlights on each side of the football without any massive takeaways. That's to be expected from the first practice of the summer. Still, it was really good to have football back at the SAP Performance Facility.
Here are the top happenings.
1. As expected, Richard Sherman practiced with limited reps. Sherman played in two-rep spurts with Jimmie Ward also getting some time with the first-team defense. Sherman wasn't targeted and there wasn't anything that stuck out good or bad in his play outside of the fact that he looked healthy. He didn't look to be favoring his Achilles in any way, and he was aggressive in run pursuit.
2. The starting lineups were pretty much as expected. Joshua Garnett continued to start at right guard. Brock Coyle started at MIKE linebacker next to Reuben Foster with Malcolm Smith on PUP.
3. Jerick McKinnon flashed fairly regularly. He broke free for a few big runs and also had a long reception on a busted coverage. We won't be able to truly evaluate the running backs until the pads come on.
View the top images from the 49ers back to school photo shoot as players arrived to training camp.
4. The day's top defensive highlights came during 7-on-7 work. Tarvarius Moore intercepted a 50/50 ball that C.J. Beathard threw to Dante Pettis. Moore was able to rip the ball away from Pettis for the takeaway. In the same period, Tyvis Powell intercepted Nick Mullens on a pass over the middle.
5. Coyle provided another top play for the defense. Jimmy Garoppolo looked to have a sizeable completion to George Kittle over the middle, but Coyle got his hand in to knock the ball away at the last second. Coyle and Foster celebrated with what looked to be their own secret handshake. Robert Saleh also ran over to show Coyle some love.
6. Beathard and rookie wideout Richie James combined for the top offensive highlight of the day. During one of the final plays of practice, Beathard lofted a perfect deep ball down the right sideline, placed it in between two defenders and into James' arms for what would have been a 30-yard gain.
7. Sheldon Day flashed twice in the first full-team period. He made two run stops in the backfield.
8. All of Garoppolo's longest completions went to Marquise Goodwin. There were three sizeable connections between those two, one on a deep crossing route in 7-on-7 and two healthy play-action passes during 11-on-11.
9. Fred Warner excelled in downfield coverage. That doesn't come as much of a surprise given that was one of his primary responsibilities at BYU. The rookie linebacker spent the day with the second-team defense.
10. It's hard to take too much away from the pass rush 1-on-1s without pads on. However, Laken Tomlinson, Cassius Marsh, Garnett, Earl Mitchell and D.J. Jones all appeared to show well. The one takeaway from this period was the involvement of pass rush specialist Chris Kiffin, who was constantly communicating with guys after each rep.
11. Arik Armstead batted down a Garoppolo pass at the line of scrimmage during one of the final full-team periods.
12. Chanceller James and Ronald Blair had would-be sacks during 11-on-11 work.
13. Beathard finished practice with a few darts, on an in-cut to Kendrick Bourne and another on a bullet over the middle to Cole Hikutini.