49ers camp report (824): My two left feet

August 25, 2011, 4:25 pm
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Mindi Bach
CSNBayArea.com Michael Crabtree was the only noticeable absence from the portion of practice open to the media. He has yet to participate this preseason, but I checked in with Alex Smith just in case to see when the last time he threw to him. Smith said this summer and explained that he meant during their time together at San Jose State.The team had 15 offensive linemen working in group though RG Chilo Rachal, dressed in sweats, only watched and listened. The team gave no reason why he was not able to take part. Theres a question as to whether the starting center position is truly up for grabs. It would seem to belong to Pro Bowler Jonathan Goodwin, who the team signed to a three year deal at the onset of camp. But Adam Snyder has been getting the most time there while Goodwin learns the system. Snyder teamed up with Joe Staley in the offseason to teach the new offensive playbook to the linemen at Camp Alex.Snyder says expects to split time with Jonathan Goodwin during Saturdays game against the Texans. He hasnt been told any differently so is preparing himself as such and not worrying about who will become the starter.49ers Mailbag: What Crabtree can learn from Edwards
For me its about working on technique at center and that stuff will work itself out, Snyder said. Competition is always welcome, and Ive been a guy whos had to compete for seven years not, so its nothing new to me. Im just focused right now on what I need to do to get on the field.Snyder has only positive things to say about the addition of Goodwin and how they help each other on the field. Snyder has played next to Goodwin at guard in practice, and the two double check the protection calls. But they have yet to play next to each other in a game. Snyder also said Alex Boone has been getting time at guard in practice.Offensive coordinator Greg Roman is still shuffling the rest of the line as well, still.Its going to be an ongoing process where we get guys playing in different combinations more to really evaluate them and I think it will continue really until the 11th hour.I had an interesting and informal chat with Trent Baalke about the O-line. He is very pleased with the depth the team has now and considers it a strength of the team. He said other teams have contacted the 49ers offering draft picks as they look to add some of that depth to their depleted rosters.Its all about the feet -- Rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick says the main area he wants to improve with two preseason games left is to avoid having two left feet.I want to improve my footwork a lot, Kaepernick said. There are a lot of times my footwork could be improved, and that might help me through my progressions where sometimes I think my feet get a little bit sloppy.Maiocco: 49ers' 53-man roster pojection
Jim Harbaugh has Alex Smith working on the same thing as Smith told CSN during a sit down interview for our 49ers Preview show.The biggest thing for me that Ive had to work on is my feet coming away from center and my drops, Smith said. Feet within the pocket, very specific things hes looking for out of the quarterback I should say, and just trying to develop those. And it only comes through reps, so just trying to create some muscle memory get that grooved in and working on that everyday.The Little Green Dot On top of a new focus on blitzing the quarterback, LB Patrick Willis is also wearing the green dot this preseason. Safety Dashon Goldson wore it during the regular season last year which means he had the helmet through which he hears the defensive calls from the coaches on the sidelines. Willis says he practices with the helmet as well, but does not yet know if hell be the one to wear it during the regular season.Fast & Detailed With practices now closed to the media after the first 30 minutes, I asked some of the players what has changed now that our glaring eyes are not around. Colin Kaepernick said the workouts have been much more focused with a lot of detail being put in place. Adam Snyder said the tempo continues to be quick. The emphasis for the offensive line, he said, is getting in and out of the huddle and to the line quickly.Quote of the Day When offensive coordinator Greg Roman was asked if he is the main play caller:You know, I would say yes, but if anyone has a good suggestion, my ears are always open.