49ers camp summary (83): Again, defense dominates


49ers camp summary (83): Again, defense dominates

Summary: The 49ers' offensive struggles inside the red zone were apparent again on Friday. Or was it that the 49ers' defense was so good? Either way, coach Jim Harbaugh acknowledged the obvious that the defense controlled the action "about every which way it could be dominated. It was an outstanding day for our defense."Conversely, the 49ers' offense looked completely out of sync with a lot of high passes, dropped passes and poor execution. It did not help that offense played most of the day without three presumptive starters on the line. Left guard Mike Iupati was excused from practice with his wife, Ashley, expecting the couple's first child. Right guard Alex Boone sat out most of practice after getting hit, uh, below the belt, Harbaugh said. Also, backup center Daniel Kilgore took most of the first-team reps with veteran Jonathan Goodwin getting rest for the second half of practice.Unlike Thursday when the 49ers' defense picked off seven passes, there weren't a lot of turnovers. Cornerback Chris Culliver intercepted Josh Johnson's pass intended for tight end Demarcus Dobbs. And the day concluded with safety Dashon Goldson's interception of an Alex Smith pass that was tipped by Tarrell Brown before it reached intended target Mario Manningham.In an 11-on-11 portion, Colin Kaepernick had Vernon Davis running all alone down the middle of the field but his pass attempt took a nose dive into the ground, far short of the target. Receiver Randy Moss was targeted on high, uncatchable passes from Johnson (twice) and Smith. Kendall Hunter, Manningham, Dobbs, Ted Ginn, Vernon Davis, and Garrett Celek each dropped a pass. Safety Donte Whitner broke up another pass that was intended for Dobbs when he got a helmet on the ball just as the pass arrived.The offense had little luck getting the ball into the end zone, even though most of the practice was devoted to red-zone situations. Brett Swain took a Scott Tolzien pass the final three yards into the end zone on a 9-yard scoring play. Chris Owusu caught a pass at the 2-yard line from Johnson for an 8-yard TD. And Hunter caught a pass out of the backfield from Smith for a 4-yard score.Injury report: Receiver Michael Crabtree (right leg) sat out his sixth consecutive day of practice. Harbaugh said he expects Crabtree back on the practice field soon. Tight end Nate Byham missed his first practice. Harbaugh indicated Byham has an injury that kept him off the field, but he declined to reveal specifics. Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb also did not participate. 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.Eye on reps: Veteran Leonard Davis, who worked extensively with the second team at right guard through the first six practices, took over at left guard Friday with Iupati's absence. "It's all been positive," Harbaugh said of Davis' short time with the 49ers. "He's working extremely hard to get up to speed. He is right on track and done that. . . . Probably the largest man I've ever stood toe-to-toe, knee-to-knee with is Leonard Davis."
Rookie report: Rookie guard Joe Looney, a fourth-round draft pick from Wake Forest, had his debut on the practice field. He lined up at right guard as a reserve and was seen doing a good job against fellow rookie reserve Tony Jerod-Eddie, a defensive lineman from Texas A&M. "It was awesome to finally get the pads on and compete and be out there with my teammates and my friends," Looney said. He was activated this week from the non-football injury list after being cleared to practice after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a foot fracture.
Punt returns: Rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins was back deep, along with Ginn, Kyle Williams and LaMichael James, catching simulated punts off the Jugs machine while special-teams coach Brad Seely worked at the line of scrimmage with his protection unit. Jenkins never returned punts in college, and he looked the most uncomfortable of the group. Jenkins had trouble judging punts, and muffed three balls.
Notable: Harbaugh gave the group of replacement officials high marks for their work during 49ers practices the past two days."I haven't seen the film from today's practice but after yesterday's practice it was very good," Harbaugh said. "They saw everything I was able to see and more. Today, they were right on it. I think they had another good day today."There was a humorous exchange at one point when an official threw a flag for pass interference against Chris Culliver. Tarell Brown came over from the sideline to ask whom the penalty was against. "You," said the official. "I wasn't in," Brown responded.
Next practice: The 49ers return the practice field Saturday with their first evening workout, scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.


49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.

Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.

Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.

John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.

“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”

Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.

“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”

Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.

“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.

While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.

“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.

"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”