Crabtree arrives, Smith closes 49ers camp to media


Crabtree arrives, Smith closes 49ers camp to media

June 6, 201149ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEO
UPDATED: 1:30 p.m.

Editor's note: We'll update this page throughout the day with news from the 49ers' unofficial workouts.Mindi Bach

SAN JOSE -- Wide receive Michael Crabtree spoke for a few minutes while leaving Spartan Stadium on Monday, indicating he's been in the Bay Area for last three months. Crabtree said he's always worked out by himself, but when there's a team function, he's always been in attendance.

Vernon Davis, another of the team's offensive standouts, said that quarterback Alex Smith, who organized the unofficial minicamp, was running everything -- even going over video and working out plays on the whiteboard "like a coach would."

The issue of closing the practice was somewhat resolved, with word that players will open practice to the media for 30 minutes Tuesday, from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.

Running back Anthony Dixon said he has been working out at Mississippi State and in Jackson, Miss. during lockout. He's bunking with Anthony Davis this week.

UPDATED: 11:45 a.m.
Smith and David Carr are taking most of the snaps. Colin Kaepernick has yet to throw. The unofficial tally of players is 24, with 19 of them from the offensive side of the ball.

According to a San Jose State University spokesperson the players contributed to the Spartan Foundation as compensationappreciation for the use of the facilities.

Regarding the practice closure, security guards were asked by Alex Smith to request that the media leave Spartan Stadium. Media members said they were not inclined to leave, citing the fact that it was a public university.

That prompted Smith to come over himself and emphasize that this not an issue he was going to relent on. Bottom line: Smith indicated that they would not begin workouts until the stadium was clear.

He literally walked the media out, pleasantly but firmly.

There are four offensive lineman working on their own. Smith is working with receivers and running backs, going through set plays and formations.

The defensive players finished running the steps and headed to the weight room.

Even though the practice is closed, there's a partial view of the field from the north end of the stadium. We'll stay on site and report what we can.

UPDATED: 11 a.m.
Alex Smith has told the media that Monday's workouts at San Jose State's Spartan Stadium are closed to the public. A handful of media members voiced a protest, but Smith held firm. He indicated that the workout could possibly be open to the media on Thursday.

Running backs on the field are Anthony Dixon and Moran Norris. No sign of Frank Gore yet.

A group of defensive players is also in the mix. Confirmed are: Justin Smith, Parys Haralson, Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald.

UPDATED: 10:30 a.m.
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree was among the notable arrivals in the South Bay Monday morning as an Alex Smith-organized, players-only minicamp got under way.

Players did not immediately take the field. The first item on the agenda was a classroom session.

Other attendees included: Anthony Dixon, Anthony Davis, Ted Ginn Jr., Mike Iupati, Dominque Ziegler, Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Staley and Adam Snyder.

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

Bowman guarantees he will not be odd-man out of 49ers' competition

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ biggest free-agent acquisition on defense and one of the team’s first-round draft picks play the same position.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he is holding off on thinking about how everything is going to play out this season at the linebacker position.

“I really try not to envision it too hard because I see a lot of good players there,” Shanahan said Tuesday during the 49ers’ first week of organized team activities.

The 49ers awarded weakside linebacker Malcolm Smith guaranteed money as an unrestricted free agent totaling approximately $12 million. Then, on the first day of the draft, the 49ers’ No. 3 rated prospect experienced a free fall, and the club traded into the back end of the first round to select him.

While Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has been sidelined through the offseason program as he recovers from shoulder injury, he figures to compete with Smith for the starting job. Foster will also learn middle linebacker, where NaVorro Bowman has earned first-team All-Pro honors in four seasons.

Bowman looks to be nearly all the way back from a torn Achilles that limited him to just four games last season.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Shanahan said. “Seeing Bow out here and how healthy he’s been, knowing we’ve added some good free agents, and the way the draft worked out, having a linebacker we had ranked very highly fall to us at the end of the first round. We got a lot better pretty fast.

“When you ask me how it’s going to play out, I’m not sure. It’s a good problem to have. It’s something you’d like to have any every position. There’s going to be a very good player who’s not out there all the time. That’s not a bad thing. That makes the two guys who are out there go a lot harder and play better. It makes special teams better and it allowed you to survive injuries, which almost always happen.”

Bowman’s vision for the upcoming season includes him retaining his role in the middle of the 49ers’ defense.

"I won't be on the sideline, I'll tell you that right now,” Bowman said.

Bowman said he was not fazed with the 49ers selected Foster in the first round. Foster is likely considered the heir apparent to Bowman.

Shanahan called Bowman after the selection of Foster was made, but Bowman said he did not need to speak with the coach about why the selection was made.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Bowman said of the phone call, “but it was good to hear from him, to see that he had something to say or an idea of what he wanted to get across to me.

“But we haven’t talked about it. I did that on purpose. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll compete with anyone, whether he’s 21 or 35. It doesn’t matter. I’m a guy who’s going to give my best effort and have full confidence in my abilities to play this game. I know how much I study this game. I know how good I am and that’s what was going to bring back here.

“It’s always a competition. There’s always someone trying to take your spot. As a player, if you keep that in mind, you’ll always put the work in that’s needed.”


49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

SANTA CLARA -- For the first time since Bryant Young retired following the 2007 season, the 49ers have placed his old number back into service.

Linebacker Dekoda Watson was issued No. 97 for the team’s organized team activities this week.

Young was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award as the 49ers’ most inspirational and courageous player. No 49ers player has worn No. 97 in the past nine seasons or offseasons.

Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is now wearing No. 94 after being issued No. 96 for the rookie minicamp. Linebacker Reuben Foster is wearing No. 56.

Rookie defensive tackle D.J. Jones now wearing No. 96. Cornerback Rashard Robinson switched back to No. 33 after an earlier change to No. 26. Running back Kapri Bibbs is now 26. Rookie running back Joe Williams is No. 32 after wearing No. 33 at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles over the weekend. Veteran running back Tim Hightower is wearing No. 22.