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49ers Training Camp Day 4 Breakdown: Defense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 30, 2023 at 6:40 PM--

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Day 4 of the San Francisco 49ers training camp is officially over, as head coach Kyle Shanahan conducted a shorter practice during the last session before pads come on Monday.

After a few practices where the defense held the upper hand, the offense shined on Day 4, with quarterbacks Trey Lance and Sam Darnold splitting first-team reps as Brock Purdy had a scheduled rest day.

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Defensive Line

Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead were limited in team drills today, playing just one series before relegating their first-team spots to Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens.

Givens, who has consistently been matched with Kinlaw on the second-team defense, made the "standouts" list for me today, recording a sack on the first dropback of the day for Sam Darnold.

Drake Jackson also made the "standouts" list, as the defensive end continued his strong training camp with an impressive pass-breakup, running stride for stride with running back Elijah Mitchell on a wheel route, and breaking the pass up 20 yards downfield on a good delivery from quarterback Trey Lance.

In addition, Jackson broke up a pass at the line of scrimmage. He's been the top defensive end on the field with Nick Bosa away from the team due to contractual reasons, and has begun to deliver in training camp. He'll be a player to watch upon Bosa's arrival in San Francisco.


The 49ers have rotated in backups with the starters, as Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles saw some snaps with the first-team defense next to Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw.

While there hasn't been much flash from the linebackers yet in camp, it'll be interesting to see who begins to show out as pads are put on since the run game will be in full effect.

Along with the running backs, this position groups one of the bigger training camp battles, as rookies Dee Winters and Jalen Graham look to unseat one of the contenders, such as Marcelino McCrary-Ball, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, and Curtis Robinson for a roster spot.


Charvarius Ward did not participate in team drills for the second consecutive practice due to a groin injury, and was seen working on the side during some individual drills, although he suited up.

As a result, Ambry Thomas took over with the first-team defense opposite Deommodore Lenoir and was heavily targeted on Sunday, struggling on the day when matched up against the starters.

Samuel Womack and D'Shawn Jamison were the top backups, while Tre Swilling earned third-team reps on a tough day for the defensive backs. The wideouts had their way in the route-running department, leading to a multitude of wide-open catches and a smooth day for the quarterbacks.


Tashaun Gipson was limited once again in team drills, allowing George Odum to earn some reps with the first-team defense, and he was beaten to the spot on the first throw of practice, as Trey Lance ripped a 25-yard play-action pass to George Kittle on a leak, where the tight end positioned himself well for the incoming safety to make the catch.

Ji'Ayir Brown continues to work with Odum along the second-team defense, although he consistently has been an early appearance, joining Talanoa Hufanga nearly a half hour before the start of the day to get some work in.

At the back of the group, Myles Hartsfield and Tayler Hawkins have taken the third-team safety reps, and could be competing for the final roster spot at the position, should the 49ers carry five safeties this season.
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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