The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their first day of organized team activities (OTAs) today. There is no live contact permitted during OTAs. 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills with helmets are permitted, but cannot exceed six hours per day with a maximum of two hours on the field for any one player.
The following are some interesting observations from team beat writers.
#49ers Kaepernick is not medically cleared but he's out on the practice field going through the motions.— Mindi Bach (@MBachCSN) May 17, 2016
Earlier today, head coach Chip Kelly stated that Kaepernick has not fallen behind in the quarterback competition. "It's not a race. Today is the first time we're going against the defense," he said. When asked if he felt pressure to name a day one starter, Kelly said, "I'll let it happen organically."
Colin Kaepernick taking mental reps and drops. This is how he spent his entire practice coming off three surgeries. pic.twitter.com/QMu4fC1BRT— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) May 17, 2016
Ryan Sakamoto of NinerFans.com seemed impressed with former fullback Bruce Miller at tight end, saying that he "looks like the real deal."
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that WR Devon Cajuste, who signed as an undrafted free agent, walked off the practice field early with a right leg injury. WR Quinton Patton also possibly suffered a minor knee injury.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that practice looks "fast-paced as advertised," perhaps with some players adapting better to the learning curve than others.
First phase III practice of Chip Kelly era for the 49ers. Fast-paced as advertised with some players handling it better than others...— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) May 17, 2016
Multiple beat writers stated that DB Jimmie Ward started at corner opposite Tramaine Brock in base defense and moved to the slot position in nickel defenses. A really interesting note considering that it was stated that Ward would get a lot of work at safety. Ward has played only 11 snaps at outside corner during his two years in the NFL, per Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus.
Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group stated that the 49ers starting offensive line was made up of Joe Staley, Zane Beadles, Daniel Kilgore, Brandon Thomas, and Eric Pears. OG Joshua Garnett, who has not yet graduated from Stanford, is absent from OTAs.
#49ers OLines:— Cam Inman (@CamInman) May 17, 2016
1: Staley, Beadles, Kilgore, Thomas, Pears
2: Kelly, Silberman, Martin, Tiller, Brown
3: Muir, Price, Balducci, Cooper, Theus
Inman also observed that LB Gerald Hodges worked primarily along side NaVorro Bowman inside. Michael Wilhoite practiced with the second team. Both Aaron Lynch and Eli Harold spent time working with the first team defense. Ahmad Brooks spent the day conditioning, per Chris Biderman of Niners Wire.
#49ers defense, first unit:— Cam Inman (@CamInman) May 17, 2016
Front: Lynch, Armstead, Purcell, Dial, Harold
ILB: Bowman, Hodges
CB: Brock, Ward
S: Bethea, Reid
First-round draft pick, DE DeForest Buckner, lined up with the 49ers third-team defense during practice, per Cam Inman.