It was "reporting day" for members of the San Francisco 49ers as the entire team arrived to the Santa Clara headquarters for the start of training camp. The team will hold their first practice on Sunday at 10:25 AM. In the meantime, players spent the day working with the team's medical staff, going through conditioning meetings, working with NFL security, and spent over an hour talking to the media. Here is a breakdown of what we learned during the first day.
Ian Williams is out for the season
The big news today was that the 49ers defense, which has already lost OLB Aaron Lynch to a four-game suspension, suffered another huge blow. NT Ian William, who the team had hoped to have available at some point this season, was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list and will miss the year. Williams and Lynch were the team's top two graded defenders in 2015 according to Pro Football Focus.
"It is not known how Williams sustained the non-football injury in the offseason," reported Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
In March, Williams, who was about to become a free agent, agreed to a new five-year contract with the 49ers. That contract was believed to pay Willians between $5 and $6 million per year. However, when his availability for the 49ers' season opener in September came into question, that contract was replaced by a one-year deal. Following a physical in March, it was determined that Williams' rehab from surgery on his left leg would require more time that originally believed.
Anthony Davis activated to the 49ers roster
OT Anthony Davis was officially reinstated by the NFL today and activated to the 49ers roster. He took the roster spot of Ian Williams. Davis has to be considered the leading candidate for the right tackle position along the offensive line.
While he was nowhere to been seen today at the team's headquarters, he was reportedly scheduled to join his teammates. Davis and the 49ers have reportedly "patched things up" with each other following a very turbulent offseason where criticisms were thrown out by Davis via Twitter.
"Him leaving the game was him, personally, making the decision for himself," ILB NaVorro Bowman told the media today. "For him to come back, I think it shows that he misses it. This is not an easy game so when you make a decision to come back, it shows that you still love the game and hopefully he comes back, is willing to work and just contribute the way that I know he can and the way that the coaches know he can. So, I'm excited about it."
"He'll definitely have to come in and work for it, just like everyone else," said RB Carlos Hyde.
#49ers Carlos Hyde glad Anthony Davis is back (to compete). "He'll definitely have to come in and work for it, just like everyone else."— Cam Inman (@CamInman) July 30, 2016
Blaine Gabbert organized a throwing session with receivers
QB Blaine Gabbert, who will enter a competition with Colin Kaepernick for the starting quarterback job when the team practices for the first time on Sunday, reportedly organized an unofficial throwing session with about six receivers just a few days ago at San Jose State. The news came courtesy of WR Torrey Smith.
Gabbert is considered by many within the media to be the frontrunner for the starting job. Kaepernick was fully cleared for practices by his surgeon this past week and is likely to be given the "ok" by the 49ers medical staff. During the team's minicamp last month, Kaepernick was held out of 11-on-11 drills but took part in 7-on-7 and individual drills.
DeForest Buckner worked with Michael Bennett during time off
49ers rookie DE DeForest Buckner and DE Arik Armstead spent their time off fraternizing with the enemy. Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group reported that Buckner was training with Seattle Seahawks DE Michael Bennett in Hawaii. Armstead worked out with the two as well since he accompanied his friend Buckner to Hawaii. Buckner said that Bennett helped the duo a lot.
Buckner's goal during his first NFL season? He wants to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, which would mean a successful season in his mind.
Torrey Smith on Chip Kelly being open to listening
On Thursday, Philadelphia Eagles OT Jason Peters criticized Chip Kelly saying that the coach was quick to get rid of anyone that stood up and had something to say. 49ers WR Torrey Smith doesn't seem to feel that way.
"It's not like he's been a brick wall or someone we don't feel we could talk to about issues," said the veteran receiver. "He's a big communications guy."
A number of Kelly's former players have been quick to attack their former head coach and his style of offense. Players in San Francisco – so far – have had nothing but good things to say about Kelly and his fast-paced system. Smith said he was excited about the team's new offense this season. "You're moving a lot. The tempo – once you get used to it – it's definitely a competitive advantage," said Smith.
Torrey Smith Confident in 49ers WR Group
Players love the training camp schedule
Numerous players were asked to share their thoughts on the team's training camp schedule and they all loved it. For example, both Torrey Smith and Carlos Hyde loved the early practice times with the former calling it the best camp schedule he has ever had.
The intensity is expected to vary from practice to practice which Smith welcomes. "We're not out going to maximize our time each and every time. With that tempo you will be worn out," said Smith.
SS Antoine Bethea said he was excited about taking part in morning practices and felt that it would better prepare the team's for early east coast games.