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SANTA CLARA – The 49ers took the field for the first time at Levi’s Stadium, and coach Jim Harbaugh pulled back on the reins.
A crowd of approximately 10,000 watched a down-tempo practice with a lot of half-speed scout-team work, as the team prepared to open the exhibition season on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
Harbaugh said he instructed his team to avoid going all-out in the first of three scheduled public practices inside their new home this summer.
“I tried to slow them down a little bit, especially at the beginning of practice,” Harbaugh said. “Be in control. We have a new grass surface and I wanted the guys to get their feet under them, get used to it. (It was) me overly cautious. I think that was the right thing to do.”
Here are some of the highlights, notes and observations from the day:
--Cornerback Chris Cook, who did not record an interception in four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, picked off two passes on the day. Cook had good coverage against Devon Wylie to make an interception of Josh Johnson along the right sideline. His second interception came on a Blaine Gabbert throw intended for Chuck Jacobs.
“I focused on that mainly in the offseason and I spent a lot of time catching balls and having balls thrown at me, turning my back, then turning to look at the ball,” Cook said. “I spent a lot of time doing that in the offseason, so I think I definitely improved.”
--Cornerback Perrish Cox intercepted a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for David Reed in the end zone. Cox had another interception of a Josh Johnson pass for Wylie.
--Two rookies who are vying for the job to replace NaVorro Bowman at inside linebacker had notable plays a short time apart.
Shayne Skov got turned around in coverage and fell, as Chuck Jacobs caught a pass on a crossing route behind him. Two plays later, Chris Borland made a nice read and reacted by breaking up a pass to Stevie Johnson.
--Gabbert had to leave the pocket due to pressure from defensive end Lawrence Okoye against left tackle Carter Bykowski. Gabbert rolled to his right and hit tight end Derek Carrier for about a 20 yard touchdown against C.J. Spillman.
--On next play, Gabbert tried to find Carrier again. This time, Craig Dahl and Spillman tipped the ball, and Borland made the interception off the deflections.
--Running back Carlos Hyde was back returning kickoffs. He struggled a couple of days ago, and he had difficulty fielding the ball on Monday, too. He misjudged one kickoff and the ball tore his fingernail. He sat out a short time but returned to finish practice.
--Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks took an outside rush around right tackle Dillon Farrell to strip quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson of the ball.
Daily transactions: The 49ers signed RB Glenn Winston; waived/injured RB Kendall Hunter; the Lions claimed WR Jon Baldwin off waivers from the 49ers.
Returned to practice: S C.J. Spillman (hand), OL Adam Snyder (NA).
Did not practice: WR Michael Crabtree (leg), WR Brandon Lloyd (NA), CB Chris Culliver (leg), RB LaMichael James (dislocated elbow), RB Kendall Hunter (torn right ACL), CB Tramaine Brock (ankle), DL Justin Smith (offseason shoulder surgery), DL Ray McDonald (leg), RT Anthony Davis (offseason shoulder surgery).
Physically unable to perform: LB NaVorro Bowman (knee), NT Ian Williams (lower leg), TE Garrett Celek (back), DL Kaleb Ramsey (NA).
Non-football injury: RB Marcus Lattimore (knee/hamstring), FB Trey Millard (knee), CB Keith Reaser (knee) and G Brandon Thomas (knee).
Reserve/did not report: RG Alex Boone (contract holdout).