The SAP Performance Facility was buzzing for the San Francisco 49ers first day of padded practice. The day opened with a press conference from general manager John Lynch who previewed this second phase of training camp.
"The guys are ready. The team is well-conditioned," Lynch said. "We've done a really nice job in the build up phase, and now, we'll go and put the pads on. Not a whole lot of changes. I'm excited about that."
Here are the updates from Day 5 of the team's workouts:
Updates from the coaches and front office personnel:
- Lynch shared the approach the team is taking to defensive lineman Nick Bosa's contract negotiations. He emphasized the need to strike a balance between "urgency and patience" throughout this process and went on to reiterate the privacy that both sides have agreed upon during this time. The general manager noted he was confident that the situation would ultimately be successful.
- Lynch noted it would be "difficult" to keep four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster but keeping four quarterbacks in the building is a possibility for the 49ers.
- The general manager noted the development of Danny Gray from Year 1 to Year 2 which includes enthusiasm for blocking and mastering the intricacies of the wide receiver position in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme.
- Lynch noted running back Tyrion Davis-Price's development as well. The second year pro is getting to the stadium early to work, and on the field, he's aggressive and playing in that downhill style the team likes.
- Quarterback Brock Purdy was back at practice and in pads following two days of rest from throwing.
- Trey Lance took a majority of the second-team reps on Monday, Sam Darnold was largely working in as the No. 3 quarterback and Brandon Allen worked in as the No. 4.
- Defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell batted down a ball for a would-be turnover during a "move the sticks" period.
- Lance's best throw of practice came at the end of a "move the sticks" period. He hit wide receiver Tay Martin in tight coverage to set up a field goal by rookie kicker Jake Moody.
- Offensive play of the day: Purdy, with time in the pocket, fires a dart down the middle to running back Christian McCaffrey who went off for a would-be touchdown.
- Defensive play of the day: Linebacker Dre Greenlaw notches the second interception of camp on a pass intended for wide receiver Danny Gray.
Check out photos of the 49ers wide receivers from the fourth day of the 49ers 2023 Training Camp presented by SAP.
Camp Feature: Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks
The Steve Wilks era is in full swing, and if you've had a chance to catch any of the 49ers first few training camp practices, it's likely you've seen some of the defensive coordinator's unique flair on display. From his hands-on approach during individual drills to providing immediate feedback to his players on the field to incorporating new blitz packages, Wilks is putting his own spin on the league's reigning No. 1 overall defense.
"I have a very aggressive personality, but I think you have to be selective whether you do stuff throughout the game or each week," Wilks said earlier in the offseason. "I don't want a defense that is going to sit back and react to the offense. I want to be aggressive and have those guys react to us and dictate the momentum of the game."
Wilks' coaching style has been described as "technical" by cornerback Deommodore Lenoir over the offseason programming, and in training camp, the defensive coordinator has continued to coach up his defensive backs with extreme attention to detail. On Monday, Wilks had Lenoir and fellow cornerback Charvarius Ward using towels to add to kick slide drills, seemingly going over stance and hand placement between sets.
"He's a real technician, just helping us kick 45, that's what we had a problem with," Lenoir said. "(We're working on) just opening the gate, having us turn and run. Mostly every guy in this league is fast, so it's hard for it to be a track meet every time. You've got to work angles."
Meanwhile, the linebackers are having fun with Wilks' increased blitzing. He's leaning into the physicality and talent he has at that position.
"That's going to be a big thing for us this year, getting after the quarterback more and more," linebacker Dre Greenlaw said. "He's been doing a good job of teaching us to hug rush, being more aggressive in that way, and calling more blitzes for us."
Wilks has spent just a few months here in The Bay, but in that short time has earned the respect of his defensive unit as evidenced by their glowing reviews in the offseason and now, just a few days into training camp.
"He feels like he's been there the whole time. He's natural with the way he coaches us and the way he teaches us," Greenlaw said. "He's been a great leader, just telling us the defense, going over it and doing a good job of making it stick with us."