49ers camp summary (815): Up-and-down day for QB Johnson

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49ers camp summary (815): Up-and-down day for QB Johnson

Summary: The 49ers held a 2 12-hour practice Wednesday that featured some live tackling involving the third-stringers. A 10-play stretch featured plenty of miscues on both sides of the ball.Safety Colin Jones will never see an easier chance for an interception, as quarterback Josh Johnson overshot receiver Brian Tyms on a deep crossing route. But Jones failed to make the interception on a ball that hit him squarely in the hands. The voice of one wag could be heard above all the others: "That was the girl you never asked out." The offense had back-to-back false-start penalties, prompting the offending players to be removed from the huddle. Tyms and center Jason Slowey committed the infractions, and they were quickly replaced by Ben Hannula and Chase Beeler.That was fortunate for Hannula, who three plays later turned in a nifty run after the catch in which it seemed as if just about every player on defense had a chance but failed to tackle him. Cornerback Deante' Purvis was the first to whiff along the sideline.In addition to the one near-interception, Johnson was responsible for the only two picks of practice. He underthrew A.J. Jenkins on a deep route, allowing undrafted rookie Anthony Mosley to make the pick. Jenkins did not make much of an effort to break up the pass. And safety Darcel McBath intercepted Johnson's attempt to tight end Garrett Celek near the end of the workout.Johnson also made two of the better throws of the day. He lofted a touchdown pass to Nathan Palmer in the corner of the end zone during a 7-on-7 drill. And late in practice, he dropped in a beautiful 25-yard pass on a corner route to Chris Owusu just beyond cornerback Tarell Brown and safety Dashon Goldson.Quarterback Alex Smith and the first-team offense did not click as well as in Tuesday's practice, but he still completed nearly 65-percent of his pass attempts during the 7-on-7 and team periods. Smith's best play came when he found Vernon Davis on a deep route against safeties Trenton Robinson and McBath.Injury report: Cornerback Perrish Cox was absent with an undisclosed injury. It was his first missed practice of training camp. . . Tight end Nate Byham sat out his sixth practice of camp after spending last season on injured reserve after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL. The 49ers are keeping the severity of Byham's injury under wraps. . . Outside linebacker Aldon Smith missed his fourth practice with a right hip bruise. Smith sustained the injury in the first quarter of the 49ers' exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings. . . Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks and tight end Delanie Walker (right knee) missed their third consecutive practice. Brooks has general soreness from training camp, a source said. Walker walked out to the practice field to watch the last portion of practice with no noticeable limp. . . Rookie linebacker Cam Johnson might also be out a while. He missed his fourth consecutive practice. He underwent offseason knee surgery but passed the team's physical at the beginning of camp. . . Running back Jewel Hampton (left foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (left knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.Returning to work: Nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga returned to full practice after sitting out two days of practices. Cornerback Tramaine Brock was back at work after missing one practice.
Offensive play of the day: Receiver Mario Manningham, one of several veteran players coach Jim Harbaugh held out of the exhibition opener, is coming on strong this week. He made a remarkable catch on a deep-in route. And while Purvis held Manningham's left arm, Manningham reached out with his right hand to make a one-handed grab of a bullet thrown by backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick.Eye on reps: Demarcus Dobbs played on both sides of the ball. He recorded one sack at defensive line and also caught a short pass from Scott Tolzien on a crossing route.Transaction report: The 49ers signed veteran Ikaika Alama-Francis to assist the team's depleted group of outside linebacker. The 49ers waived tight end Gijon Robinson.Tying up loose ends: Michael Crabtree said he keeps a running tab of his daily matchups against cornerback Carlos Rogers. Crabtree had a quiet practice, but he got the upper hand on Rogers during a one-on-one drill with a reception against tight coverage.Notable: Fifty members of the The Faithfulistas, the new official 49ers female club, attended the evening practice. Membership includes 49ers apparel, e-newsletters and special invitations to VIP 49ers events.Next practice: The 49ers return to practice Thursday from 2 to 4:25 p.m. The 49ers will break camp after their "mock game" practice on Friday.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”

 

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”