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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Training Camp Day 12 Breakdown: Offense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 10, 2022 at 8:00 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers had their longest practice of training camp on Wednesday, with the session lasting nearly two hours, as the team went through 11-on-11s, situational drills, and multiple move-the-ball sessions.

RELATED: 49ers Training Camp Day 12 Breakdown: Defense
RELATED 49ers Training Camp Day 12 Breakdown: 11-on-11s



After a 14/17 performance on Tuesday, Trey Lance completed 9/18 passes on Wednesday, as the 49ers had a much more aggressive aerial attack on the day, looking to consistently push the ball downfield, to no avail.

Lance began the day by looking for Deebo Samuel on a 50-yard deep pass that ended up falling off the fingertips of the receiver's outstretched hands as he dove for the pass with cornerbacks Ka'Darr Hollman and Ambry Thomas trailing in coverage. The ball was nearly accurate, but just a little too far off the receiver, resulting in an incompletion.

Then, Lance followed with an underthrow 40-yard throw to Malik Turner, which resulted in a pass interference call, as well as a deep 35-yard incompletion to Ray-Ray McCloud along the right sideline that should've been called pass interference on Ka'Darr Hollman, but was ruled an incompletion, during the first scrimmage session.

Lance continued to be inconsistent with throws outside of the numbers, missing wide on out-routes twice, first missing Tyler Kroft on a 5-yard out to the left side before missing Trey Sermon wide on a 3-yard out.

Lance also hasn't been very accurate when targeting receivers deep downfield recently after a strong start to camp, overthrowing receivers at times, while also missing off-target on other throws.

Lastly, the young quarterback also made a grave mistake, attempting to force a pass over the middle to George Kittle, but missing off-target for a near interception to Fred Warner, who deflected the pass.

However, Lance was very effective during the move-the-ball period on Wednesday, completing 3/4 passes, with the only incompletion coming off a deflection at the line of scrimmage by Samson Ebukam.

While the defense was without their top two cornerbacks in Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley, it's important to note that the offense rotated skill-position players and offensive linemen in with the first-team offense.

Additionally, right tackle Mike McGlinchey appeared to be nurturing his leg, and sat out of the second half of scrimmage, so backup Colton McKivitz and Justin Skule took reps with the first-team offense.

Lance had his best throw of the day during this period, hitting Brandon Aiyuk with anticipation on a 17-yard out-route that was closely covered by Ambry Thomas, showing improvement on the difficult throw after overthrowing a similar route with anticipation last week.

The second-year quarterback seems to be most comfortable when operating in game situations, as opposed to freelancing without having to move the chains, which is a good sign for the 49ers.

Lance's biggest threat came during his several zone-read plays, where he made several good reads when deciding to hold the ball or hand it off, including a 15-yard gain up the right edge, a 7-yard gain up the middle for a first down in situational drills, and an 8-yard gain up the middle in the redzone. Lance had one play where he mistakenly kept the ball, rather than handing it off, but this aspect of his game seems highly effective currently, as he looks more comfortable and less hesitant than last year when turning upfield.

Additionally, the 49ers ran a significant amount of play-action on Wednesday, which should really kick into gear once the 49ers' running game shines in a real-game situation with live tackling. Coming off bootlegs, Lance did a nice job of taking the easier throw, taking the checkdown and allowing his skill-position players to get yards after the catch.

Lance didn't look great coming off a spectacular performance on Tuesday, but delivered when it mattered most, driving the 49ers down the field successfully during the move-the-ball session, where he was much more coordinated and comfortable, rather than the over-aggressive aerial attack that Kyle Shanahan attempted during the first 11-on-11 session.

Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld completed 12/14 passes with two touchdowns in the redzone, first connecting with tight end Tyler Kroft on a play-action rollout to the left side before finding Marcus Johnson on a 5-yard fade-route over Darqueze Dennard.

Brock Purdy had one of his best days of camp, completing 6/7 passes with the only incompletion being an accurate pass to Austin Mack, who dropped the pass, which would've moved the sticks.

Purdy also had a nice touchdown throw to Brandon Aiyuk, who ran a fade-route from the slot for a 30-yard touchdown pass, beating third-team slot cornerback Qwuantrezz Knight for the score.

Running Backs

The running backs had a good day overall on Wednesday, with several strong runs, including a breakaway 50-yard rush by JaMycal Hasty that nearly would've resulted in a touchdown.

Elijah Mitchell and Jeff Wilson Jr. did not participate in scrimmage, leaving ample opportunities for the remaining four running backs to get carries with the first and second-team offense.

After a slow start to the run game to begin practice, with six rushes failing to gain more than three yards across the entire running backs group, lead back Trey Sermon started the fireworks on the seventh rush with a nice cutback to the right side, gaining five yards on the play.

Here's a list of Trey Sermon's best runs on Wednesday:

In addition, Sermon caught a pass from Trey Lance in the flat on a 4th & 5 during situational drills, taking the pass ten yards for a first down.

With Mitchell out, Sermon took a majority of the first-team carries and prevailed on Wednesday, having a solid practice while showcasing his smooth cutting ability and decisiveness.

Lance and Sermon were featured as the 1-2 punch in the zone-read plays, and the duo was fairly successful.

Another standout on Wednesday was undrafted rookie running back Jordan Mason, who saw extended carries with the second and third-team offense in perhaps his highest volume role of training camp.

Here's a list of Jordan Mason's top plays on Wednesday:

While Tyrion Davis-Price had a quieter day, it was more so due to the lack of running lanes on certain plays, as the rookie halfback still displayed his quick burst, allowing him to see some outside zone carries, but to no avail as linebackers consistently got to the edge to stop the run.

With the passing attack struggling to consistently get a rhythm, especially in the first period, the running game was the predominant part of the offense on Wednesday.

Wide Receivers

The top receivers for the 49ers had a quieter day on Wednesday, with Brandon Aiyuk being targeted three, while Deebo Samuel didn't have a catch on the day.

Aiyuk's main reception came at the hands of a Brock Purdy 30-yard touchdown against Qwuantrezz Knight, while he and Trey Lance connected on a 17-yard out-route near the end of team drills.

Aiyuk's lone incompletion came off a rep where Lance eyed him down while the receiver was coming out of his break on a slant, which safety Talanoa Hufanga detected, allowing him to sprint in and deflect the pass.

Samuel was targeted on a deep 50-yard pass to begin the day, but the ball was just off his outstretched hands as he dove for the pass with defenders Ka'Darr Hollman and Ambry Thomas trailing.

Later, Samuel was targeted on a 20-yard pass over the middle by Nate Sudfeld, but the pass was too high for the receiver's hands, deflecting off Samuel's fingertips with cornerback Deommodore Lenoir in close coverage.

Part of the reason that the receivers had such a quiet day was due to the 49ers constantly rotating players in with the first-team offense, which led to a few of the coverage sacks and offensive inefficiencies.

Ray-Ray McCloud was targeted four times on the day, catching three passes: an eight-yard out-route and a 2-yard screen pass from Nate Sudfeld, as well as a 15-yard play over the middle from Brock Purdy.

The last of McCloud's targets was a deep pass from Trey Lance that resulted in an incompletion which should have been ruled pass interference.

Receiver Tay Martin got action in the 11-on-11 period, catching two passes while continuing to flash as one of the best candidates to make the 53-man roster, slotting just behind Malik Turner as wideouts on the bubble. Martin is a likely practice squad candidate, as his surefire hands, release package, and route-running ability have all been showcased during training camp.

Tight Ends

George Kittle was a prominent target on Wednesday again, and could be seen as that primary redzone candidate for Trey Lance, as well as a potential safety blanket when needing to move the chains.

Kittle has been the second-most targeted player in camp behind Brandon Aiyuk, and could be inching towards another 1,000-yard season, should he remain healthy.

Backup tight end Tyler Kroft caught a 17-yard touchdown from Nate Sudfeld off of play-action, adding to the list of tight ends that have been targeted by the backup quarterback in the redzone.

The three preseason games should help dictate who wins the final spot, or spots, at the position since there isn't a clear candidate coming out of training camp.

Offensive Line

The offensive line struggled on Wednesday at times, giving up several sacks, with some being coverage sacks, to the first and second-team defenses.

It's important to note that the second-team offensive line did see snaps with the first-team offense, but Lance was repeatedly under pressure on Wednesday.

Spencer Burford has been a pleasant surprise during 1-on-1s, as he consistently won his reps during training camp, showcasing his power while holding up against the defensive linemen.

Both Burford and Banks continue to have work-in-progress performances, but should be helped by playing alongside the starting tackles consistently during the season, as well as by having one center, rather than the current rotation.

Daniel Brunskill continues to have an underwhelming training camp, as he didn't look great in 1-on-1 drills throughout training camp, while also struggling with snapping issues. Currently, Jake Brendel is the projected starter on the depth chart, and he's been the better center in camp.

While Brendel is still growing in pass protection, he's had a couple of nice 1-on-1 reps, including a win against backup lineman Tomasi Laulile on Wednesday.

Mike McGlinchey appeared to be favoring his leg at times on Wednesday, and sat out for the second portion of scrimmage, with backup linemen Justin Skule and Colton McKivitz taking his place.

In other offensive line news, newly-signed tackle Jordan Mills has been a fairly strong pass-protector in 1-on-1 drills, consistently winning reps, which has led to some consistency along the right side for the backups.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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