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Defense Notches 3 Takeaways - Observations from Aug. 26 Training Camp

San Francisco's offense started off strong, but it was the defense who was the storyline of Wednesday's session. Robert Saleh's group had a day, notching multiple pass breakups and interceptions during team red zone work. It was an eventful session with a number of highlight plays from both sides of the ball. Here are a few observations from the practice:

Practice Recap

- There was a big scare during Wednesday's session. While in individual drills, cornerback Richard Sherman came down with what looked like a startling ankle injury. The entire secondary surrounded the corner, as trainers tended to his leg. After a few minutes, Sherman adjusted his cleats and returned to the field to test his ankle. The corner returned to practice and even took part in full-team drills. Yes, you can exhale now.

- Jimmy Garoppolo took snaps with the first, second and third team offense during red zone drills. Here are some takeaways from that period:

  • Sherman proved to be okay as he hauled in his third interception of camp. During red zone drills, Arik Armstead brought pressure as Sherman jumped a route and returned the ball for a "would-be" 95-yard pick six.
  • On the following play, Jimmie Ward notched a PBU on a pass near the front of the end zone.
  • Javon Kinlaw registered his first interception of camp. Jordan Reed tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and the ball floated into the rookie's arms.
  • Garoppolo connected with Kendrick Bourne in traffic on a pass in the front of the end zone for a touchdown.
  • On the ensuing play, Fred Warner broke up a pass intended for Trent Taylor at the goal line.
  • Garoppolo connected with Dante Pettis and Tavon Austin in back-to-back plays for a touchdown.
  • Johnathan Cyprien hauled in his third interception of camp as well. On a pass intended for Charlie Woerner, cornerback Tim Harris tipped the ball that fell right into the hands of the safety. Cyprien, who was signed to the team last Thursday, spoke with the media following practice to discuss his opportunity to fight for a roster spot in his short time with the 49ers.

"Stepping into a new area, you kind of have to prove yourself," Cyprien said. "It doesn't matter what your resume says about yourself. You have to go out there and show people who you are and not just talk about it. So, for myself personally, I just go out and try to have fun and play to the best of my ability the way I know I can and pretty much leave it up to that."

- Warner and defensive lineman Kevin Givens registered "would-be" sacks during a move-the-ball period.

- Cornerback Jason Verrett broke up a pass from C.J. Beathard intended for Shawn Poindexter.

- In a situational drill with :8 seconds left on the clock, Beathard connected with Jauan Jennings in the end zone for a score.

- Jeff Wilson Jr. had a sizeable run during 11-on-11 work. The running back found a hole and cut up the middle to the open field.

- On the following play, Austin took a handoff from Beathard, as the entire defense chased the veteran wideout for a large gain.

Here are a few takeaways from 1-on-1 drills:

  • For the second-straight day, Reed excelled during the period. The tight end beat his man on two different series, including on a go route for a sizeable gain.
  • Tarvarius Moore broke up two passes during the period, one was a pass intended for undrafted tight end Chase Harrell and the other against Woerner.
  • Harrell evened the score, hauling in a pass over the outstretched hands of Moore.
  • Tevin Coleman beat his man on a deep pass that would have gone for a touchdown.
  • Jerick McKinnon flashed his speed on a go route with ample separation between him and his defender.
  • Jamycal Hasty beat his man on a deep pass up the sideline.
  • Ward broke up a pass intended for recently acquired tight end Erik Swoope.

Check out some of the top photos from Tuesday's training camp practice at the SAP Performance Facility.

Odds and Ends

- Deebo Samuel (foot) ran full-speed sprints up the sidelines. Great news as the receiver works his way back into the fold.

- Kyle Juszczyk did not practice on Wednesday. It is likely the fullback received a veteran day off.

- Practice got a bit chippy on Wednesday as multiple minor scuffles broke out over the session. According to Saleh, he's not too concerned with the heightened energy at practice.

"When our guys scuffle, I really don't look into it any further than the fact that they're just competing their butts off," Saleh said. "It's not malicious and it might get into a little shoving match here and there, but I know where their hearts are and I know that when push comes to shove every single one of those guys have each other's back."