NaVorro Bowman and 89 of his teammates went back to work on Thursday after a needed day of rest from training camp.
Bowman, fresh off his four-year contract extension, continued to lead by example for the San Francisco 49ers. Most notably, the veteran inside linebacker recorded a tackle for loss in the opening 11-on-11 period. The second padded workout of camp also saw many standout plays from the offense and defense. There were a few wrinkles in the depth chart, too.
As always, we were there to bring you the top observations of the day.
1.Who likes deep touchdown passes? Everyone (except the defense). Thursday saw the longest pass play of camp when Colin Kaepernick launched a 60-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith, who ran under the ball and caught it in stride just as a defender tried to knock it away. The Kaepernick-to-Smith connection in the opening 11-on-11 period was the best offensive moment on Day 4 of camp.
2. Another bright spot of practice was the emerging play of rookie cornerback Rashard Robinson. The fourth-round draft pick out of LSU recorded a leaping interception on a deep out pattern during a combo route-running period. The second-team corner later broke up three more passes. Robinson spoke with reporters after practice to discuss his growing confidence in a press-corner-friendly defense.
3. Anthony Davis and Joshua Garnett earned work with the second-team offense at right tackle and right guard, respectively. The final red-zone period saw the physical linemen move up from the third to second-team unit. Garnett also earned some attention with a pancake block in the opening team period.
4.** Jimmie Ward, like Robinson, enjoyed a strong showing. Ward recorded the second interception of the day in 7-on-7 work. The first-team corner also broke up three other passes throughout the two-hour practice.
5. Offensive highlights on the day included a high-point grab from rookie receiver Aaron Burbridge on a deep out thrown by Thad Lewis. DeAndrew White also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert during a red-zone drive period. Shaun Draugn punched in another score on a 5-yard rush up the middle. Rookie quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Kelvin Taylor later followed each other with 20-yard runs on back-to-back plays midway through practice.
6. Chris Davis worked as the first-team slot cornerback. Michael Wilhoite re-joined the first defense at inside linebacker next to Bowman. Second-team linebacker Gerald Hodges nearly intercepted a pass when he read the quarterback's eyes and almost tracked in the over-the-middle throw.
7. Undrafted rookie receiver Devon Cajuste caught three passes on consecutive plays during a 7-on-7 period.
8. The final 7-on-7 period of the day ended with a 30-yard, Driskel-to-Burbridge touchdown pass.
9. Pierre Garçon flashed soft hands on a sideline throw from Kaepernick in the final 11-on-11 period. Kaepernick evaded pressure in the pocket and launched the ball high and outside for Hyde to go up and get.
Meanwhile in the trenches, Arik Armstread continued to display his improved strength and confidence