49ers camp summary (82): Ragged red-zone offense


49ers camp summary (82): Ragged red-zone offense

Summary: The ball did not touch the ground after the first 18 pass attempts during the 49ers' 7-on-7 drill. Quarterbacks Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Scott Tolzien and Josh Johnson combined to complete 16 of 18 passes to open practice. Smith's second pass attempt, intended for Vernon Davis, was intercepted by NaVorro Bowman at the goal line. Four plays later, Larry Grant intercepted a Tolzien pass for tight end Garrett Celek. With the focus being on the red zone, the defense clearly won the day. Safety Michael Thomas had an interception on a pass intended for A.J. Jenkins. (The play was on a far field, away from the media, and the victimized quarterback could not be seen.) Colin Jones intercepted Tolzien. Darcel McBath picked Smith. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite, who has been splitting practice time at fullback, had two interceptions. He picked off Johnson (a high pass off Jenkins' hands) and Smith in the end zone. There were few offensive highlights in the red zone. Tolzien hit Konrad Reuland for a score, and Johnson teamed up with Mario Manningham. Perrish Cox was in coverage on those back-to-back plays covering nine and four yards, respectively.

Injury report: Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, seen with a brace on his right wrist earlier in the day, was replaced midway through practice. He is not expected to be out for long. Receiver Michael Crabtree (right leg) and defensive lineman Justin Smith, whose right knee was wrapped, did not practice. Crabtree has missed five practices, while Smith sat for the first time. Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb both missed their third day. Running back Jewel Hampton (foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Offensive play of the day: Randy Moss got deep behind safeties C.J. Spillman and Trenton Robinson to haul in a deep pass from Smith during 11-on-11 drills.

Extra work: After nearly 2 12 hours, coach Jim Harbaugh gathered the around him. He excused the starters, as the reserves remained on the field for about 15 additional minutes of 11-on-11 work. During that period, cornerback Deante Purvis added an interception.

Blitz pickup: One of the more entertaining parts of the practice came immediately during a blitz pick-up session. Running back Frank Gore absolutely leveled inside linebacker Tavares Gooden. Then, Gore kept trying to get back in the action only to be turned away, as the coaches wanted others to get work. Anthony Dixon, whose pass protection has been a weakness, had good showings against Patrick Willis, Kourtnei Brown and Aldon Smith before Willis got a measure of revenge with a swift move to get around him. LaMichael James did a nice job to lock up Larry Grant. And Vernon Davis was impressive against Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith.

Rookie report: It was a quiet day for first-round pick Jenkins, who did not catch a pass during any of the 7-on-7 or team sessions. Undrafted wideouts Nathan Palmer and Brian Tyms caught two passes apiece.

Notable: With the NFL's lockout of officials, a handful of replacement officials were on the field during the 49ers practice session to get some experience in case the labor dispute is not settled.

Quotable: "It's good for us as an offense to play against that kind of defense. So, we're moving into the shorter field (today) in the red area. The windows are tighter. Things happen faster" -- 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Next practice: The 49ers return the practice field Friday with a practice in full pads. The 49ers are scheduled to practice from 2:30 to 5:10 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Chip Kelly: 'Zero distraction' from Colin Kaepernick last season

Former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly was front and center last season with the controversy that surrounded quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 season. 

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem as a stance against racial injustice in the United States. The former 49ers quarterback first sat while the anthem played in a preseason game and then decided to kneel throughout the regular season. 

“There was zero distraction," Kelly said to the Monday Morning Quarterback. "He met with the team immediately after [his first protest]. He met with the other team leaders. He explained his position and where he was coming from." 

After Kaepernick met with his teammates, Kelly saw one focus in his signal caller -- football only. 

"Literally, that was it. Colin was focused on football. He was all about the team and trying to help us win," Kelly said. 

Kaepernick is currently a free agent after opting out of his contract this offseason. Kelly believes Kaepernick is still plenty capable of leading an NFL team. 

"Do I think he is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world? There is no question. Does he have the ability to play quarterback on a winning team in the NFL? There is no question," Kelly said. 

In 2016, Kaepernick played in 12 games for Kelly, starting 11 of them under center. He threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. On the ground, Kaepernick added 468 yards rushing and two more scores. 

49ers scheduled to meet with Garrett, the likely No. 1 overall pick

49ers scheduled to meet with Garrett, the likely No. 1 overall pick

The 49ers have a visit scheduled with the presumptive top pick in the upcoming draft.

The 49ers, owners of the No. 2 overall selection, will visit with Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett, he told reporters Thursday at this pro day, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

General manager John Lynch attended Garrett's pro day workout in College Station, Texas.

"I thought it was impressive," Lynch told Wilson in a video posted on social media. "Here’s this kid who really doesn’t need to show everyone much more, but yet he shows up and runs a 40. I think it just speaks to the kind of kid he is. It was impressive. It’s well-documented – I’m not saying anything ground-breaking – he’s a special athlete.

"He checks all the boxes. That’s why people are talking about him in the way they are."

Garrett said he has upcoming visits with the 49ers and Chicago Bears.

Each NFL team is allowed to bring in 30 draft-eligible prospects from outside their area. The 49ers have their list of 30 prospects already finalized, Lynch said.

In addition, teams can visit with an unlimited number of local prospects. The 49ers’ local pro day -- featuring athletes from Stanford, Cal, San Jose State and prospects from the Bay Area who played college football elsewhere – is scheduled for April 12 in Santa Clara.

The Cleveland Browns hold the No. 1 overall pick, and coach Hue Jackson ruled out the possibility of the team trading that selection for a quarterback. Garrett is considered the overwhelming favorite to be chosen with the No. 1 overall selection.

"We're getting closer to it but the draft is the 27th (of April),'' Jackson said at the NFL owners meetings. "I think it's a little soon to really say it's this guy or that guy.”

Garrett (6 foot 4, 272 pounds) recorded 31 sacks and 47 tackles for loss during his three-year college career.