Cornerback Charvarius Ward describes himself as a player who prefers to lead by example, so it is not surprising that he has been quick to flash his playmaking abilities early in training camp.
In the first three days of practices, Ward has recorded two big pass breakups and delivered some excellent coverage of 49ers receivers, providing a nice challenge to starting quarterback Trey Lance and San Francisco's offensive unit.
"Of course, it feels good to make plays, but it's training camp," Ward said. "We're battling every day. Everybody is going to have their ups and downs. We've (the defense) been making plays. The offense has been making plays. We're going to keep battling every day, trying to get better and better."
Ward joined the 49ers in free agency, penning a three-year deal with the team back in March. The fifth-year corner first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the start of the 2018 season. Ward spent four seasons with the Chiefs and in 13 games (12 starts) and finished with 67 tackles, 10 passes defensed and two interceptions in 2021. He also started all three postseason games and finished with 16 tackles and three passes defensed.
"He's come in and done exactly everything we've asked him to do," defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said. "He competes every day. He's always challenging the guys across from him, challenging the guys in the room. It has raised our competition level in the DB room and I'm happy to have that. The more competition, the better all those guys get so that's what Charvarius has done."
View the top images from the first practice of the 49ers 2022 training camp presented by SAP.
One relationship that has developed in the cornerback room is that of Ward and Emmanuel Moseley. The duo has been building off their individual strong suits during camp.
"Oh man he's great," Moseley said. "He's a great press corner so I'm learning from him. Just the attitude that he brings every day, to the meetings, talking to the younger guys and even coaching me up. I like Chavarius and I'm ready to work with him."
"I've been learning from E-Man too," Ward added. "He feels like I'm good at press man and I feel like he's one of the best to off man so we've been kind of like piggybacking off each other. Just learning from each other, it's going to make both of our games like way better."
Ward has also spent time around veteran cornerback Jason Verrett. Verrett was recently placed on the Physically Unable to Perform/Active list (knee) but head coach Kyle Shanahan hopes to see his longest tenured corner back in action at some point during training camp.
"I've been of fan of him since I was in college," Ward said. "I wore the No. 2 in college because I was a fan of Jason Verrett. He's just been dropping knowledge on us (cornerbacks). I can't wait until he's healthy and gets back out there with us."