On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers held their first practice of mandatory minicamp at the SAP Performance Facility. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media following practice to share updates from the team's first day together on the field.
Here are five takeaways from the head coach:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: Excused from minicamp
"All his rehab is down in LA, so for him to stop it to come up here for a three-day minicamp doesn't make much sense for him or for us, so we want him to stay with his rehab. It wasn't a real risky surgery or anything, it just takes time… He'll be throwing sooner rather than later."
DL Dee Ford: Excused from minicamp
"I think he's coming in to get his physical later this week. But no, he's not doing anything with us."
WR Danny Gray: Sidelined
"He tweaked his hamstring last week in OTAs. That's why he was out this week and will most likely be out next week."
Nick Bosa's Return:
Shanahan mentioned that San Francisco has not yet entered into contract talks with Nick Bosa's representation after completing his third year in the NFL last season. As the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Bosa signed a four-year contract with the 49ers. The team picked up the defensive lineman's fifth-year option this past April.
Although Bosa remained in South Florida during the team's voluntary OTAs to continue his offseason training, the pass rusher returned to the Bay Area for the first day of minicamp.
"I fully expect Nick Bosa being here for a very long time, but seeing him for the first time in a while, Nick always takes care of himself as good as any athlete I've ever been around. He had a good Florida tan seeing him yesterday. His quads are still huge and he's ready to play football whenever it's time to go."
Addressing the Center Position:
After Alex Mack announced his retirement on Friday, discussion sparked on who would fill the center position for the 2022 season. Possible contenders to take the spot after Mack's departure include seasoned players to the position like Jake Brendel, Daniel Brunskill and Keaton Sutherland or rookies such as Dohnovan West and Nick Zakelj.
"We had a lot of confidence in (Brendel) last year to make the team. If Mack would have ever missed a game, we wouldn't have hesitated and we would have gone into that game very confident with (Brendel)… We don't want to make a big thing and go chase stuff, especially with a player that we've had in here who has done a good job and he's shown us that he can do it.
"We also have guys like Brunskill who's done it before and I think we have some young guys who can do it… We have to work them hard throughout OTAs, throughout training camp and we'll come up with the best guy and then you'll see how long he can do it over the year."
Jake Brendel's Progress:
In March, Brendel signed a one-year extension through the 2022 season with the 49ers. The offensive lineman originally signed with San Francisco as a free agent in 2020. After opting out of the 2020 season, Brendel appeared in 16 regular season and all three postseason games for the 49ers in 2021.
"Chris (Foerster) is the one who brought (Brendel) to our attention, having him in Miami. He was a big fan of his there… Chris talked highly of him and he's been better than advertised.
"He's wired to execute difficult blocks in a run scheme and it's about staying healthy and being able to adjust each week to some of the guys you have to go against. And that comes with some experience, but I think he's ready for his opportunity and he's getting a chance to compete with some guys and hopefully by getting that and getting those reps, he will only get better."
Young Players Becoming Leaders:
The 2022 offseason timeline was the most standard the 49ers have seen in the past few years due to the pandemic. In 2020, COVID protocols restricted offseason activities at the team facility and in 2021 the players' time was cut short with only four offseason days before OTAs began.
With proper time in place for players to train on their own during the offseason, Shanahan noticed a boost of confidence in young players upon their return to the team's facilities.
QB Trey Lance
"Trey's been deliberate in everything he's done. I think especially last week heading into today you can really see him stacking days and getting better each practice."
WR Jauan Jennings
"I'm extremely confident in Jauan. I think if anyone watched our games at the end of last year, not many people covered him. He got open, he had aggressive hands, he got up the field, he blocked well… what's cool about Jauan, he's got some unique running styles, but just watch him, he separates more than probably all the other guys."
WR Brandon Aiyuk
"This offseason, (Jennings) and B.A., the first day they got here they've had as good of an offseason as they've had since they got in the league. And they're as good as they've been right now, both of them."
"Being in the league for two years and going through that, it's also different. I didn't realize until you get with some of these guys, none of them really had offseasons (in past years)… And for those guys to come in this year, this is by far the best I've seen them at this time. And I think that's allowed them to be leaders. They knew what they were doing. They were in shape. They're able to talk to other guys. I know how much they went into training camp or the season a little unprepared just from lacking experience. And you can see that experience that's led them to prepare this offseason so much better. And that's why their game's a lot better."