George Kittle Has a Busy Session, Defense Comes Up Big; Observations from 49ers Training Camp - Aug. 21

The 49ers wrapped up their sixth practice of training camp with efforts to keep the team safe amid the Northern California wildfires. Practice was moved an hour earlier to help avoid the unhealthy air quality and high temperatures hovering around Santa Clara County. Nonetheless, it was a productive session with a hefty load of highlight plays. Here are some observations from the SAP Performance Facility, as well as player updates from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

Practice Recap

- Brandon Aiyuk was active on Friday, seeing reps with the first and second-team offense. The rookie saw five targets on the day and also took a couple of handoffs.

- George Kittle had a busy day, especially during the two-minute drill. The tight end hauled in three of his four targets during the period and also had two additional receptions during a full-team situational drill. One catch was a 25-yard bomb from Jimmy Garoppolo during 11-on-11 work.

- Like Kittle, Kendrick Bourne saw a good deal of targets. The wideout caught five of six targets on the day. The most impressive was on a comeback route where he beat cornerback Richard Sherman to the ball for an impressive catch. As you'd expect, the entire offense broke out in hysteria following the reception.

- Sherman got his revenge during the team's move-the-ball period, as he took advantage of what appeared to be misscommunication on offense, and came down with an interception.

- Jerick McKinnon made back-to-back impressive receptions on passes from C.J. Beathard. The first was a reception while in tight coverage against cornerback Jamar Taylor. The second was a diving catch for a first down.

- Trent Taylor continues his campaign to prove he is Garoppolo's favorite target as the wideout hauled in a contested catch for a first down during the team's situational period.

- Newcomer Johnathan Cyprien hauled in his first interception of camp as he jumped the route on a pass intended for Jauan Jennings.

"He knows our system, he's in great shape and he moves very well," Saleh said. "The expectation for him is to come in and compete. You're never going to restrict roster spots with numbers, but he's a talented football player and his ability to come in and compete and push guys - you can never have too many good football players and he's a good football player. It doesn't say anything about the men in the room because they've all been doing a great job. It's a very talented safety group. So it's just another piece of the puzzle to see how we can get a little bit better."

- Nick Bosa notched multiple "would-be" sacks and quarterback pressures during team drills.

- During 1-on-1 drills, the defensive line got the best of the O-line. Defensive lineman Kentavius Street had a strong showing, winning the bulk of his reps.

- Solomon Thomas had a "would-be" sack against Garoppolo during the 49ers first set of full-team drills. Linebacker Joe Walker also found his way to the quarterback during 11-on-11 drills.

- Tarvarius Moore registered an impressive PBU on a pass from Nick Mullens intended for Jennings.

- The 49ers saw flashes of Tavon Austin on Friday. His first catch came during the first full-team period as Garoppolo connected with the veteran receiver over the middle for a modest gain. The second, Austin hauled in a 25-yard pass from Beathard, where the wideout managed to get both feet in bounds during the move-the-ball period.

Check out some of the top photos from 49ers Training Camp as the team continues their preparations for the start of the 2020 season.

Odds and Ends

- Running back Tevin Coleman did not practice. Due to the air quality, he was one of the players who was removed from the session.

- Arik Armstead returned to team drills for the first time after missing several practices with back stiffness.

- Deebo Samuel was spotted along the sideline doing sprints - a good sign as the receiver continues to work his way back from a foot injury.

- No updates yet on D.J. Jones' apparent left shoulder injury, as he is undergoing more testing. Saleh said he feels pretty good about the depth along the interior defensive line if Jones is, indeed, sidelined for an extended period of time given Thomas, Street and Kevin Givens' potential at nose tackle.

"We feel good about the depth going on, on the inside part of the defensive line," Saleh said. "We feel good about the group being able to go do it. Solly did it last year and if Street continues to progress the way he's showing, then there's no doubt that he can do that too. But it's early in camp, and there's a lot of things that have to sort out."

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