Position change prolonging Dixon's 49ers tenure

867375.jpg

Position change prolonging Dixon's 49ers tenure

Anthony Dixons 26-yard touchdown run against the Broncos came after his coaches told him to make one small adjustment.

During the game, coach told me, 'Look inside. I think you could have got in there.' And thats what I did the next time, Dixon said. I was kind of settling it to the outside and at the last second I tried to dip in on him and it was wide open.

Making in-game adjustments is just one of many changes Dixon had to make this training camp in order to earn a roster spot. Dixon struggled in short yardage situations last season, and his opportunities declined as Kendall Hunter emerged. Dixons coaches also questioned his focus. Sundays game against Denver was another example of how Dixon is doing all the right things this preseason to be among the 49ers' final 53.

I stayed consistent with the mental errors, Dixon said of his take after watching the game film. I didnt make any, and that was a good thing. And I made a couple plays in the process.

The 49ers brass saw as much as well. In separate radio interviews on different stations Tuesday morning, general manager Trent Baalke and offensive coordinator Greg Roman both spoke as if Dixon will remain with the team.

RELATED: Dixon works way into 49ers' plans
Dixon admits he sharpened his resolve when he saw the depth the 49ers added to the running back position this offseason. He spent all offseason working out at the team facility. His goal became to show his coaches he was not going to quit or waver. He was going to work hard while keeping a good attitude. Already a solid special teams player, he also took the initiative to make himself more versatile.

I just kind of went to them when I was done with the walk through. I really didnt like the reps I was getting, Dixon said. I was like, 'Coach, you know, let me do fullback or something.' I just wanted to get on the field. He was like, 'OK.' He was excited about it, and I just ran with it.

Understanding how to lead block has helped Dixon when the ball is in his hands. The third-year player believes he is in a better position now, to be much more effective when it is.

He doesn't have much to say about the comments from Baalke and Roman from Tuesday morning mainly because he has been told little, personally, about his status with the team when final cuts take place on Friday. But he remains optimistic.

I dont take it for granted. You never know what could happen, Dixon said. I worked all offseason for the opportunities coach gave me and the chances. I wanted to be productive, and I feel like thats what I did and thats what Im trying to continue no matter what my assignment is each week. Just to get it done. Be right.

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”

 

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

SANTA CLARA – NaVorro Bowman, who sustained a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 4 of the 2016 season, has been a full participant as the 49ers return to the practice field this week.

Bowman worked with the first team at middle linebacker Wednesday and appeared to move at top speed as the 49ers went through the second day of on-field workouts at a voluntary minicamp.

The 49ers, under new coach Kyle Shanahan, are allowed an extra voluntary minicamp as part of their offseason program. Bowman's return to the practice field was the highlight as the 49ers enter their third-week of the offseason program.

In other notes:

--The 49ers had tryouts with three unsigned veteran players: cornerback Steve Williams, and offensive linemen Tim Barnes and Kitt O’Brien.

--Wide receiver DeAndre Carter made the best catch of the day on a deep throw from quarterback Matt Barkley. Carter beat Williams on the reception.

--Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is a candidate to play the “Leo” position, was held out of competitive drills as he continues to recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

--Ronald Blair lined up at the “Leo” position with the first-team defense and beat No. 2 right tackle Garry Gilliam for a sack in the “non-contract” drills. Aaron Lynch was at the “Leo” position with the second team.

--Tank Carradine lined up at the 5-technique, which is a position where the 49ers could target Stanford’s Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.

--Kyle Juszczyk showed the versatility that prompted the 49ers to make him the highest-paid fullback in the league with several pass receptions during the 90-minute practice.

--Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson lined up at the cornerbacks with the first-team defense. Robinson made a leaping interception of a Brian Hoyer deep sideline pass against Rashad Ross during 7-on-7 drills.

--Hoyer and receiver Pierre Garçon teamed up for a 20-yard completion on the opening play of the 11-on-11 period.

--Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who spent all of last season on injured reserve, did not practice due to a soft-tissue injury not related to his hamstring injury of a year ago.

--Offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah (soft tissue), tight end Je’Ron Hamm (leg), running back Raheem Mostert (soft tissue), linebacker Eli Harold (toe) and tight end Blake Bell (cut forehead) did not practice.