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


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

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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.

Keenum throws four interceptions, Rams lose to Giants in London


Keenum throws four interceptions, Rams lose to Giants in London


LONDON -- The New York Giants capitalized on four interceptions of Case Keenum to defeat the Los Angeles Rams 17-10 Sunday in the first NFL game played at London's home of English rugby.

Keenum, coming off the best start of his career, had the Rams at the Giants 15-yard line with 50 seconds left when he lobbed a pass in the left corner of the end zone that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off. His intended target, Brian Quick, had broken off his route.

Keenum has thrown an interception on the Rams' final offensive play of the last three games.

The win kept the Giants (4-3) in good shape in the ultra-competitive NFC East, where no one has a losing record. The Rams (3-4) lost their third in a row.

The Giants entered Sunday with the worst turnover differential in the NFC at minus-10. That became -11 on their second play from scrimmage as tight end Larry Donnell coughed up the ball on the Giants 35, leading to the Rams' lone touchdown, a 10-yard grab by Tavon Austin.

But the Rams were unable to build on that early edge and instead hit the self-destruct button. Keenum threw two interceptions, both off high-sailing deflections, to safety Landon Collins, and two more in the end zone to cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie.

Collins returned his first pick 44 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, running from right to left across the field and making several Rams miss tackles before he bowled over center Tim Barnes to draw the Giants even.

Collins' second pick set up the winning drive, which featured a 22-yard catch by Odell Beckman Jr. to the Rams 6. Rashad Jennings from the 1.

The Rams' final two possessions ended in the end-zone interceptions by Rodgers-Cromartie, the pro-Giants crowd of more than 74,000 roaring their approval.


The Giants took the field looking jet-lagged, Rams the savvy travelers. That perhaps reflected the fact Los Angeles chose to fly overnight from Detroit the previous Sunday for a full week in England, while the Giants did most of their preparations at home before arriving Friday in London.

The Giants gained a single first down in the first quarter on an 11-yard completion to Sterling Shepard. The Rams, by contrast, controlled 11:36 of the first-quarter clock, gained seven first downs with a balanced attack, and scored on their first two drives to lead 10-0 with less than 10 minutes gone.


New York struggled for a seventh straight week to move the ball on the ground, frequently attempting ineffective draw plays from shotgun formation straight into Aaron Donald's turf. The Rams' run defense was stout up the middle despite the absence of Michael Brockers (thigh injury).

The Giants finished with 36 yards rushing.


Austin rightly celebrated scoring the opening TD, but much of his game was a head-scratcher. He fumbled twice, one out of bounds after a catch, one on an ill-advised punt return that he recovered - and his butterfingered catch attempt gift-wrapped Collins' interception. He also fair-caught another punt inside the Rams 5.

Austin redeemed himself with a nice 19-yard punt return early in the fourth quarter. He made two good catch-and-runs in the fourth quarter, once juking Rodgers-Cromartie for a first down. But Austin could do nothing to contest the first interception ball thrown to Rodgers-Cromartie minutes later.


New Giants kicker Robbie Gould made a 29-yard field goal in his only attempt and converted two extra points. He replaced Josh Brown, who was placed on the NFL's commissioner exemption list after more information surfaced concerning his abusive behavior toward his ex-wife.


Giants kick returner Dwayne Harris suffered what looked like a serious injury when returning the final punt of the first half. He lay still on the ground for several minutes, was immobilized and carted off the field as teammates prayed. But he returned to field the first punt of the fourth quarter. Neither team reported any other serious injuries.

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

MIAMI -- A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

"We're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized," Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. "I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence's plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.

"I didn't get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame," Lawrence wrote. "Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it's a rallying cry."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports - and many levels, from youth all the way to professional - have followed his lead in various ways.

Heat players and coaches stood side by side for the anthem before their game with Philadelphia, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. The team plans to continue standing that way for the anthem this season as a show of unity.

"Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday in New York. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though he was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."