On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers held their fourth practice since opening training camp on Saturday. This practice, like others will be, started at 10:25 AM. Prior to practice, offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins met with the media to answer questions.
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Here are some notes from today's practice based on observations by the media. Chris Biderman of Niners Wire called Thursday's practice a good day for the defense.
The unofficial quarterback statistics during 11-on-11 drills, as reported by Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group, were as follow:
Blaine Gabbert was 4 of 13 with a nice touchdown to WR DeAndrew White.
Colin Kaepernick was 6 of 14 with a nice touchdown to WR Torrey Smith. Chris Biderman called Kaepernick's 50-yard touchdown pass to Smith the offensive highlight of the day.
Of the two involved in the competition for the starting quarterback job, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that Kaepernick had the better da of the two, but that both struggled against the defensive pressure.
Cam Inman of Bay Area Sports Group reports that "Kaepernick went 0-for-4 during a seven-on-seven period, capped by a Jimmie Ward interception."
While there were some wide receivers that ended up banged up by the end of practice (see injuries below), two that impressed Cam Inman were Aaron Burbridge and White.
"During an early period of practice, receivers DeAndre Smelter, Devon Cajuste, Jerome Simpson and Quinton Patton all dropped passes on successive plays," reports Matt Barrows.
Although, Barrows seemed impressed with Cajuste. "He caught three straight passes from Kaepernick during seven-on-seven drills, all of them against cornerback Dontae Johnson," said Barrows. "The first was a deep throw, the second were nice snatches by Cajuste."
OT Anthony Davis and OF Joshua Garnett, who have previously been practicing with the third-team offense, moved up to the second-team unit during red zone drills, per Cam Inman.
Chris Biderman of Niners Wire and Ryan Sakamoto of Niner Fans both felt that CB Rashard Robinson had a good day of practice. Sakamoto, while evaluating the defensive backs, felt that Robinson looked good during individual drills.
"Long-armed and rangy, Robinson stood out in the spring for his aggressive style of play, and he's followed that with a strong start to the summer session," said Matt Barrows. Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat called Robinson the "best cornerback on the field today."
DB Jimmie Ward continued his impressive offseason with a sideline interception off of Kaepernick during 7-on-7 drills.
Chris Davis and Keith Reaser each got some time playing at the nickel spot.
The 49ers' towering defensive ends, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, apparently stood out during practice, per Chris Biderman. Matt Barrows reports that Buckner had a sack ... or whatever is equivalent to a sack during practice ... of Gabbert during team drills.
What have 49ers players thought of Armstead, who is entering his second season? "Have y'all been watching the kid? He's killing it," said Eric Reid via Cam Inman. "He's focused. He's making plays."
Grant Cohn talked about Buckner a bit within his practice report. "Not as powerful as Armstead, but much more difficult to block on pass plays," he said. "Buckner uses his arms as weapons – constantly punching and clubbing the offensive lineman he's facing. Today, no one could block Buckner on third downs."
WR Torrey Smith didn't finish practice due to what appeared to be a minor knee injury. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Smith looked "gimpy" after running a route and visited with a trainer.
Torrey Smith also had knee checked by trainer; issue doe not seem serious.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 4, 2016
Matt Barrows also reported two other receiver injuries. WR Bruce Ellington appeared to injure his hand/finger following a Kaepernick pass. He ended up with his middle and index fingers on his right hand taped together. WR Eric Rogers tweaked his ankle after he fell down while running a round. Rogers was asked by Eric Branch if he was ok. "I don't know," he answered. "We'll see."
#49ers WR Bruce Ellington (finger) also didn't finish practice. Had middle and index finger on right hand taped together.— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 4, 2016
Jerome Simpson said that his finger, which he injured during Tuesday's practice, is not broken.
SS Jaquiski Tartt continues to miss practices and has not yet been cleared from the active/non-football injury list due to what is being called a "muscle tweak."
Head coach Chip Kelly is scheduled to meet with the media at 10:10 AM. The team's practice, which is open to reporters, is scheduled to follow at 10:25 AM. Players will be made available following practice.