49ers camp report (82): Focus on running game

220908.jpg

49ers camp report (82): Focus on running game

August 2, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEO
Follow @MaioccoCSN
Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Practice No. 4
Summary: Running back Frank Gore ended a holdout and returned to the practice field, and the 49ers shifted their attention to the run game. At one point, the 49ers had 20 consecutive run plays as part of their 11-on-11 work. Gore got a big share of the load, too. Coach Jim Harbaugh explained that the focus shifted more toward the ground game when the team was allowed to work in full pads. "Taking advantage of us having our armor on and thudding it up a bit, and you can hear it when it's good, you don't even really need to see the play, you can hear it," Harbaugh said.
RELATED: Gore takes care of business on the field
Offensive Plays of the day: Rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick and tight end Vernon Davis hooked up repeatedly on intermediate and deep passes. Davis exploited a mismatch against rookie Aldon Smith on a crossing route for a big play, and then he gave Smith an earful all the way back to the huddle.Defensive Plays of the day: Safety Reggie Smith appears to be solidifying his starting spot with a good showing in practices. He intercepted two passes, both on plays in which Kaepernick escaped the pocket. Defensive end Will Tukuafu had good pressure on Kaepernick, who tried to force a 25-yard pass into Davis. Reggie Smith jumped the route for the interception.Injury report: CB Shawntae Spencer (left hamstring) and LB Patrick Willis (foot) sat out the entire practice after leaving practice early Sunday evening. . . . LB Ahmad Brooks, WR Ronald Johnson, CB Phillip Adams (left hamstring) were removed from practice after sustaining slight injuries . . . . NT Isaac Sopoaga (hamstring) missed his fourth practice. LB Alex Joseph did not practice for the third day in a row. WR Michael Crabtree (left foot), WR Dominique Zeigler (left knee) and FB Bruce Miller (shoulder) are on physically-unable-to-perform list. . . . TE Nate Byham (torn left ACL), WR Dontavia Bogan (torn right ACL) and CB Curtis Holcomb (ruptured left Achilles tendon) are out for the season.The replacements: With all three starters on the defensive line unavailable for practice, the team's first unit consisted of Tukuafu at left end, Ian Williams at nose tackle and Ricky Jean Francois at right end. Starting defensive end Justin Smith was excused from practice for a personal reason.
RELATED: 49ers lining up free-agent visits
Eye on reps: Brooks has been working with the first team at left outside linebacker. With him out of action, Parys Haralson moved to the left side. That opened up the right side for Aldon Smith, the No. 7 overall pick in the draft.
High praise: Left tackle Joe Staley has his hands full against Aldon Smith every day in practice. "Aldon, man, he has impressed me," Staley said. "He's multi-dimensional as a pass-rusher. He has real long arms, is explosive and naturally strong. I can see why we drafted him where we did."On the sideline: Veteran center Jonathan Goodwin, who has started for the New Orleans Saints the past three seasons, paid a free-agent visit to the 49ers. He watched the team's entire practice from the sideline in street clothes.Next practice: The 49ers return to practice Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. for a scheduled three-hour practice. The club will also have an hourlong walk-through in the morning.

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers began Thursday with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

When his first day as 49ers general manager reached its conclusion, John Lynch had selected two of the three top players on his draft board and picked up additional third-round picks for this year and next year.

After Myles Garrett, the 49ers’ top-rated prospect, was the Cleveland Browns’ selection at No. 1 overall, the 49ers traded back one spot with the Chicago Bears. The 49ers still got their No. 2-rated prospect, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

The 49ers started making calls to teams with selections in the teens, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, to inquire about trading up for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. The 49ers finally worked a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to move up three spots to No. 31.

All they gave up was a fourth-round pick acquired from the Bears earlier in the day.

“In terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said. “We’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. I think these guys have traits that encompass what we want to be about as a football organization.”

Lynch said he began speaking with Bears general manager Ryan Pace more than a week ago. Because the 49ers had picks scheduled next to the Bears in every round, Pace suggested to Lynch that the two teams should be willing to work with each other throughout the draft.

The 49ers had other offers for the No. 2 pick, Lynch said. A source told NBC Sports Bay Area just prior to the start of the draft that the 49ers had fielded three solid offers.

The team’s chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe worked out the details to finalize the trade with the Bears.

The 49ers did not know which player the Bears were targeting at No. 2, but Shanahan voiced his opinion while the trade was going down.

“This guy is a pretty bright,” Lynch said of Shanahan. “He said, ‘That’s not for a defensive lineman. That’s for a quarterback.’ And he was right.”

The Bears made the trade to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. In order for the Bears to trade up one spot, they delivered the 49ers a third-round pick (No. 67), a fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-round pick next year.

Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin, whose team held the No. 4 pick, watched and admired the 49ers' move from afar. 

"To get what you had in mind right off the bat and pick up those extra picks? Pretty nice deal," Coughlin told Jacksonville reporters. "I’ve never seen one of those. . . Oh, my gosh. Nothing like that has ever come my way.”

When asked if the 49ers would have selected Foster if the Bears selected Thomas, Lynch said, “Perhaps. It was very likely.”

Instead, the 49ers waited and waited and waited before finding a trade partner in an unlikely place. The 49ers made a deal with Seattle, giving up the 111th pick obtained from Chicago, to select Foster. The Saints had already told Foster he would be the pick one spot later.

“He’s my kind of player,” Lynch said of Foster. “He plays sideline to sideline, and he’ll hit anything that moves. I think that’s contagious for teammates.”

Foster is recovering from shoulder surgery and his stock was negatively affected by character concerns. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after an argument with a hospital worker during his medical check. He also had a positive drug test due to a diluted urine sample.

Lynch spent a lot of time with Foster during his visit to Santa Clara, as well as a meeting him at the combine. Both Lynch and Shanahan spoke regularly with Foster on the phone and on FaceTime in the past few weeks.

The 49ers also dispatched vice president of football affairs Keena Turner and team chaplain Earl Smith to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to meet with Foster for two days. The team will have a plan in place to help guide Foster as he transitions to professional football, Lynch said.

“I would tell you that his character is what drew us to him,” Lynch said. “When you start talking football with this young man, he lights up a room. He’s a good kid. I believe in the kid. I think he’ll be a great player for this organization for a long time.”

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

So after one day of the NFL Draft, we know the following:
 
1.        Roger Goodell could be booed on the surface of the sun, and if you don’t think so, let’s all agree to give that thesis a try.
 
2.        The Oakland Raiders have invested a lot in Gareon Conley’s word.
 
3.        John Lynch is either a swindler, or he was presented with a deal that only an idiot could refuse.
 
Let’s do Goodell first. He was booed lustily and often by the huge Philadelphia crowd, and though he would be booed anywhere (and he half-heartedly asked for more with a smile that looked more like a dog sticking his head out of a speeding car window), Philadelphia booing causes osteoporosis.
 
Next, we go to the Raiders, who used the 24th pick in the draft to take Conley, the secondary man from Ohio State who is being investigated for rape. Conley has maintained his innocence, putting out a statement denying all the accusations, and TMZ claims to have a video that calls into question the woman’s story. In other words, nobody can be sure of anything quite yet.
 
Except the Raiders seemed sure enough to take him, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team investigated him and the incident thoroughly. In short, given Mark Davis’ stated opposition to employing players involved in violence against women, McKenzie better be right, and close enough to right to assuage any misgivings Davis or the customer base might have.
 
As far as Conley the player, check back with us in at least two years.
 
Finally, there is Lynch, who squeezed (or was amazingly offered) three picks from Chicago Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace in exchange for one place in the draft. Pace, who was immediately described by Wikipedia as “the soon-to-be former general manager,” took North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whom the 49ers had little interest in.
 
In other words, Lynch either pulled a fast one, or had a fast one handed to him. Either way, the 49ers got Solomon Thomas, the defensive lineman from Stanford they had long coveted, plus a third-round pick tomorrow, one next year and one in the fourth round that they helped spin into Reuben Foster, the Alabama linebacker who fell from much loftier draft positions apparently because of shoulder concerns.
 
In short, McKenzie got a much-needed secondary man who might end up being more trouble legally than he is worth athletically (though the level of doubt here is sufficient to jump to no conclusions quite yet), and Lynch won a reputation as the young Billy The Kid, smiling precociously while he robs you at gunpoint.
 
Time will tell whether he also gets to be called a great talent evaluator, but for the moment, don’t ask him to hold your wallet. That, kids, is the highest compliment a general manager can receive on the first night of his first NFL Draft.