Maiocco: Wrapping up 49ers' Camp Alex 2.0


Maiocco: Wrapping up 49ers' Camp Alex 2.0

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com

SAN JOSE -- It could be the end of an era that nobody will want to see repeated.Today is the final day of Camp Alex 2.0 at San Jose State, and there is optimism that this will be the last time a player-organized workout will be necessary.There is little doubt the team's offense benefited greatly from these Alex Smith-led sessions, which were designed to get the players familiarized with the 49ers' new playbook.
Receiver Kevin Jurovich estimates that if there are 100 different formations in the playbook, the skill-position players have already a pretty good understanding of 75 of them.The players know the basics of the playbook. So, when the lockout is lifted, coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman do not have to spend a lot of time on the absolute basics of the offense.Receiver Lance Long, who caught 20 passes with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, and tight end Colin Cloherty, who spent time with the Indianapolis Colts last season, both spent time on the 49ers' practice squad last season. They are under contract to the 49ers for the upcoming year. Neither player participated in the first Camp Alex, but both are here this week.MAIOCCO: 49ers' skill positions well-represented
I witnessed a brief film session after a workout earlier this week. Smith was watching film of the just-completed workout, while Long and Cloherty were hanging on Smith's every word. When there was some confusion while Long and Cloherty tried to identify the formation on the screen, Smith quickly pointed out that one of the veteran players had lined up in the wrong spot. That was an error that would be addressed the next morning in the film session.These get-togethers have been invaluable. After all, when the official practices begin, the 49ers will not have much time to waste to get ready for the regular season.Updates from Camp Alexwill be posted here throughout the day.UPDATE at 1:57 p.m.:
Alex Smith said there will not be a need for another get-together if the lockout is settled within the next couple weeks.Also, he said he will consider sending the practice film to 49ers coaches, but offered an optimistic view, "If the thing ends soon enough, it's kind of a moot point."Smith said he virtually tapped out his knowledge of the new playbook during the sessions. This morning, Smith gave his teammates a quiz on the offense. The winner, Smith said, was receiver Kevin Jurovich.UPDATE at 12:49 p.m.:
The players meet at midfield after running 32 plays, and thus Camp Alex draws to an end.
UPDATE at 12:25 p.m.:
The practice snaps are being divided equally among the three quarterbacks. The offensive linemen are not on the field today.
UPDATE at 12:05 p.m.:
Kicker Joe Nedney stopped by to greet his teammates, but there's not much for him to do here. "My holder is in South Carolina, and my long-snapper is in Phoenix," Nedney said.UPDATE at 11:52 a.m.:
On the other side of the field are the same three defensive players -- Justin Smith, Parys Haralson and Ray McDonald -- getting in the typical workout.UPDATE 11:49 a.m.:
Alex Smith said today's on-field workout will be shorter than usual. Several players left town after the Thursday workout.The players on the field today are QBs Smith, David Carr and Colin Kaepernick, RBs Anthony Dixon and Bruce Miller, WRs Josh Morgan, Kyle Williams, Ronald Johnson and Kevin Jurovich; and TEs Nate Byham and Colin Cloherty.UPDATE at 11:45 a.m.:
Rookie seventh-round draft pick Bruce Miller, who is making the conversion from defensive end, made his first appearance to work with his new 49ers teammates.Miller said there were initial injury concerns about joining the workouts, but he said he felt he needed to begin learning the playbook as the lockout continued."There's a lot of information; a lot of things I'm hearing for the first time; so I'm just trying to take in as much as I can," Miller said.Miller spent the early part of this week at the rookie seminar in Florida and testifying in a court case. He arrived in San Jose on Thursday night and plans to spend a few more days in the Bay Area before heading back to his residence in Atlanta.

Long supports Eagles teammate, wraps arm around him during anthem protest


Long supports Eagles teammate, wraps arm around him during anthem protest

Chris Long supported his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, Thursday night by wrapping his left arm around Jenkins, who continued to raise his right fist in protest of racial injustice during the national anthem prior to the Eagles' preseason game against the Bills at Lincoln Financial Field.

Long's intention Thursday night was not immediately known. While he's been outspoken on Charlottesville, Virginia, he did not specify how he would conduct himself during the anthem.

Long and Jenkins both publicly criticized President Donald Trump's response to the racial tensions that resulted in the tragic violence and the death of Heather Heyer last weekend in Charlottesville, Long's hometown.

Last Sunday, Long touched on his comments by speaking to reporters, reiterating his disappointment in President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, where white nationalists held a "Unite the Right" rally in protest of the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

"Some people are tired of hearing me tweet because they want me to stick to football but I like to use social media like I was a regular guy because I think I am," Long said Sunday. "I don't tell people to stick to their job when they want to talk politics. And this isn't political. That's the thing. Everybody is trying to turn this political. This isn't a political issue. This is right or wrong. I believe you're on one side or the other. For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything. And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn't."


Practice report: 49ers passing game looks much improved


Practice report: 49ers passing game looks much improved

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ passing game has ranked 29th or lower in each of the past four seasons.

If two practices against last year’s No. 1-ranked pass defense are any indication, the 49ers could be vastly improved under coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Brian Hoyer.

“I think our guys were expecting to do good,” Shanahan said on Thursday after a second joint practice against the Denver Broncos in two days. “There’s a lot of stuff we can clean up. A lot of stuff we can do better. But I think our guys were happy with how they competed and, hopefully, that can continue to carry over.”

Hoyer hit more higher-percentage passes on Thursday. He teamed up with rookie Victor Bolden on his deepest completion -- down the left sideline against first-team All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris. After completing better than 80 percent of his passes against the Broncos a day earlier, Hoyer was 12 of 19 passing on Thursday.

Pierre Garçon, who figures to be Hoyer’s top target, was not as active during Thursday’s practice. But he did find himself in the middle of the action with a tussle against Harris.

Hoyer’s red-zone pass intended for slot receiver Jeremy Kerley was tipped and intercepted by safety Justin Simmons. Away from the action, Aqib Talib blocked Garçon, who retaliated by tossing him to the ground.

“That’s part of the game,” Garçon said. ‘You always expect one scuffle in joint practices. But it ended and you move on. It was nothing personal at all.”

Hoyer was especially sharp during the practices to strengthen his grasp on the team’s staring job. Meanwhile, rookie C.J. Beathard had a solid showing on Thursday. He will enter Saturday’s game after Hoyer and could play through the rest of the first half and open the third quarter.

The 49ers exited the field after their two most-significant practices feeling optimistic about where things stand.

“We did good the first day,” Garçon said. “We could’ve done better the second day. But we’re still learning each other and getting better. We still have a lot to do to get ready for the regular season, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

--Linebacker Reuben Foster wore shoulder pads and took part in all but the contact drills due to what the team described as a “mild AC joint sprain” of his right shoulder. That did not prevent Foster from getting into the middle of a skirmish that appeared to involve Broncos tackle Menelik Watson and 49ers linebacker Eli Harold.

The 49ers expect Foster to play Saturday night, Shanahan said.

--Linebacker NaVorro Bowman was pulled from practice on Thursday after experiencing soreness in his shoulder. Shanahan said Bowman's shoulder soreness is similar to what Foster experienced.

--The Broncos’ offense, which struggled to complete passes on Wednesday, made a lot more plays down the field on Thursday with Paxton Lynch at quarterback.

--Tight end Vance McDonald made an outstanding catch of a Hoyer pass at the sideline against tight coverage from safety Will Parks.

--The 49ers’ practice Thursday brought an official end to the team’s training camp. They will transition to a regular-season type of schedule next week leading up to the team’s third exhibition game, which is scheduled for Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings.

“Training camp is over, and what that means is we’re not all staying in dorms together and we’re not having night walk-throughs,” Shanahan said.