The San Francisco 49ers kicked off a three-day mandatory minicamp this week with today being the team's second day of practice. This minicamp will be the final gathering for players prior to training camp. Players can only participate for up to ten hours per day, which includes preparation for participation. On-field activities are limited to three and a half hours per player.
Yesterday, the biggest story from practice was QB Colin Kaepernick's surprise participation. "He's practicing. He's just not going to do team and seven-on-seven. But, he's been cleared to do individual drills," said head coach Chip Kelly prior to practice on Tuesday. However, Kaepernick did take part in the team's 7-on-7 drills as well as individual drills. He only sat out the team's 11-on-11 drills.
For the second day in a row, Kaepernick was on the field practicing with his teammates. "Colin Kaepernick practiced when the 49ers were in 7-on-7 drills without a pass rush. Kaepernick again threw the ball accurately in only his second day of work against a defense," said Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
"Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was noticeably sharper on Wednesday than he was Tuesday when he was still shaking off some rust," said Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee in his practice recap. "His best pass of the morning was a dart in the back of the end zone to Miller, who couldn't hang onto the pass. Miller also let the next pass from Kaepernick slip through his grasp. Later in the drill, however, Miller was wide open in the back of the end zone and Kaepernick hit him with a short toss."
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Maiocco stated that today's practice looked to be the offense's best of the offseason – at least from what the media has been able to observe. In his recap, Maiocco describes a play during a red zone drill that had running backs coach Tom Rathman shouting "Touchdown! Touchdown!" before the play was even snapped. The result was a Blaine Gabbert to Bruce Ellington touchdown pass, beating Antoine Bethea.
Some good news out of training camp is how ILB NaVorro Bowman feels heading into his second season since returning from a devastating knee injury. He stated that his surgically repaired knee feels great, a vast improvement from last season when it was still giving him issues. "This year, I'm able to wake up and ride," said Bowman via Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group."
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On Tuesday, it was ILB Michael Wilhoite next to Bowman when the first-team defense was on the practice field. Today, it was Gerald Hodges, per Barrows.
Defensive lineman Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey continue to sit out practice, per Ryan Sakamoto of Niner Fans. Williams is recovering from offseason surgery on his troublesome left ankle. Dorsey is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in November.
CB Dontae Johnson also sat out practice with an apparently leg or ankle injury. Prior to practice, Chip Kelly did not sound too concerned about the injury.
WR DeAndre Smelter also sat out his second straight day. Chris Biderman of Niners Wire states that Smelter "appears to be having some discomfort in his lower body." Prior to practice, Kelly stated that the issue is not related to his surgically repaired knee. "He has been just nagging a little bit, but I wouldn't call it an injury," said Kelly.
49ers Day 2 minicamp safely over. Kaepernick 8-of-10 in 7on7, Miller dropped 2 before TD catch. Smith, Ellington, Campbell had Redz TD grabs— Cam Inman (@CamInman) June 8, 2016
Joe Fann of 49ers.com said that Smith had an impressive day of practice, referencing a "toe-tapping" catch that he had.
Torrey Smith's contested, toe-tapping catch in the corner of the end zone for a TD might have topped the list. Impressive day for him.— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) June 8, 2016
"Torrey Smith had another good showing on the practice field, including a catch of 40-plus yards from Gabbert against tight coverage of Jimmie Ward down the field. He also caught a 15-yard touchdown in 7-on-7 drills," said Maiocco.
Trent Brown and Andrew Tiller worked with the starting offensive line today, per Biderman. Erik Pears and Brandon Thomas worked with the second team unit.
New to the first team offensive line today: Trent Brown at RT and Andrew Tiller at RG. Erik Pears and Brandon Thomas worked with the twos.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) June 8, 2016
Outside linebackers Aaron Lynch, Tank Carradine and Eli Harold generated consistently good pressure during team drills, per Maiocco.
Sakamoto spoke with defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley and asked who he had been impressed with. He mentioned both Tramaine Brock and Rashard Robinson. Sakamoto went on to mention that Robinson did a nice job while covering WR Quinton Patton during 11-on-11 drills. Hafley also included Prince Charles Iworah as another player who has shown noticeable improvement, per Maiocco.
#49ers rookie CB Rashard Robinson did a nice job on WR Quinton Patton today playing outside as the RCB during 11 on 11 drills.— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) June 8, 2016
On one particular play Robinson played w/outside leverage and maintained proper leverage throughout the jam. Showed patient feet...#49ers— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) June 8, 2016