Vin’s TC Report…08.04.07
Today was a team scrimmage with full pads. Though the starting offensive and defensive units didn’t receive too much contact, the 2nd and 3rd stringers went at it.
– The practice began with Andy Lee and Ken Parrish working on punts, with Nate Clements, Taylor Jacobs, Brandon Williams, and Arnaz Battle returning. Andy Lee looked like the more consistent punter and had some nice booms. Ken Parrish looked better than the last time I witnessed him (when his punt hit a woman in the stands), but Andy Lee has the punt battle locked up.
– Nate Clements again muffed some punts. He maybe an extraordinary CB, but thus far his kick punt returning skills haven’t looked too great as he seems to have a problem holding on to the football.
– The team also practiced kickoffs, with Maurice Hicks and Michael Robinson back to return the kicks. Vernon Davis was on the return team blocking,and he looked very physical. On one occassion, Maurice Hicks had a nice return out to about the 40 yard line.
– The team briefly worked on some pass routes before scrimmaging. All of the WRs looked good, making nice, routine catches. Vernon Davis; however, dropped his which drew some jeers from the crowd.
– As the scrimmage began, the first team offense went against the second string defense. One of the standouts during this period was LB Jay Moore. He was constantly getting pressure on many of the plays, especially from the outside. He nearly sacked Alex Smith on one occassion, instead forcing Alex Smith to flush out and throw an errant pass. Then on another play, Alex Smith’s pass was batted at the line of scrimmage and as it fell to the ground Jay Moore dove and made an INT, showing off his athleticism.
– Vernon Davis was featured a lot in the first string’s offense. He made two very nice plays. On one play, he was wide open in the middle of the field for a first down. On the second play, Alex Smith threw to the right of the field and Vernon Davis leapt up over about 3 defenders near him to make a nice catch. He then lifted his hands in the air to pose for the audience, drawing cheers.
– However, the starting offense could not get into the endzone against the second string defense in the first round of the scrimmage. They got to about the 5 yard line and then the drive stalled on 4th down. As the offense came off the field, there was some sort of altercation/jawing between Vernon Davis and Larry Allen. Vernon Davis had to be held back by about 5 teammates, and then BY, Mike Singletary and a couple other guys went up to talk to him to the far end of the field. He seemed heated about something and BY and company were trying to calm him down for a few minutes. It was a nice, intense showing. Nothing too serious, as VD came back to the sideline after a few minutes and seemed calm again.
– Then, the 1st string defense went against the 2nd string offense. The 2nd string offense seemed to be moving the ball very well. On one play, Trent Dilfer hit Brandon Williams along the sideline for a big gain. As Williams caught the pass, he was hammered by Michael Lewis and spun to the ground. But he got back up and signaled “first down” drawing cheers from the crowd.
– However, any progress the 2nd string offense made was halted when Dilfer threw a deep pass into the end zone. Nate Clements leapt up and made a nice INT in traffic to end the drive. He was pumped up, jumping around and getting cheered by fans.
– After that, the 2nd string O had no chance. On one play, Trent Dilfer rolled out to the left and found himself being chased by Ronald Fields from the backside (with GREAT speed may I add…for a big guy) and Manny Lawson coming in from the front. Dilfer just threw the ball out of bounds. Then, on the very next play, both Brandon Moore and Tully Banta Cain sacked Dilfer.
– During the offensive plays, Maurice Hicks looked like the best and most experienced RB out on the field. Robinson was good for short yardage, and Clayton seemed to look okay but danced around a bit into of just hitting the hole on one occassion. Hicks looked quick, and ran outside of the tackle very well, displaying his speed.
– But there was a scare with Hicks during special teams drills, as after a play where he was covering a punt, Hicks got up slowly off of the ground. Trainers worked on him but he was back on the next series during the team scrimmage, so he should be alright.
– Tully Banta Cain continued what has been a really solid camp for himself. He looked very quick during pass rushing, putting a spin move on Duckett to get to the QB. Brandon Moore also looked good, closing in on runs.
– Hannibal Navies also flew around all over the field when the 3rd string offense played the 3rd string defense. He was really looking fast and covering lanes and getting to the ball all day long.
– Derek Smith was stood up by Billy Bajema while trying to get to Maurice Hicks on one occassion. On the next play, Derek Smith made a tackle on a pass play……10 yards down the field.
– Patrick Willis looked fast out there. He played a lot on the 2nd string defense, but also got many reps with the 1st stringers.
– One one play, the 49ers had Vernon Davis and an RB in to block while Smith stood in the shotgun. As a defender came in to rush Smith, you could hear the crack of the pads as VD made the block to stand him up.
– On another play, Keith Lewis tried to come in on a blitz. He was stood up and thrown to the ground by Larry Allen. Jokingly, Lewis got back up and tried to climb on Allen’s back. The crowd laughed, as did the referees.
– The 1st string offense got one more crack against the 2nd string defense. This time, they were able to drive down the field, with Alex Smith connecting with Darrell Jackson on two or three passes, one of which was a nice diving catch in the middle of the field. Michael Robinson then punched it in.
– The 1st string O then practiced redzone offense, where Alex Smith hit Bryan Gilmore for a 20 yard TD pass in the back of the end zone. He then found Vernon Davis in the back of the end zone for another TD. Vernon Davis posed and then threw the ball into the stands to a fan. Some 49ers staff took the ball back from the fan, but due to the numerous boos by the other fans in attendance, the staff member gave back the ball to the fan.
– Jonas Jennings did not participate in the team scrimmage.
– Manny Lawson had a nice INT which he returned for a TD against QB Shaun Hill.
– Kwame Harris had a false start penalty which cost the 1st stringers 5 yards.
– There were several fumbled snaps between the center and QB when the 3rd string offense was on the field.
– CJ Brewer made a nice catch, twisting catch in the back of the end zone. Jason Hill made several nice grabs as well. Luke Getsy could not find Marcus Maxwell much at all. All of Getsy’s throws to Maxwell were off.
– Arnaz Battle dropped a TD during redzone drills against the 2nd string D. But otherwise, he had a very solid day.