49ers camp summary (729): Justin Smith dominates


49ers camp summary (729): Justin Smith dominates

Summary: The 49ers held their first padded practice of training camp Sunday, and with the pads finally going on, the players on both lines got their first real opportunities to do what they do.

Nobody took advantage of that more than defensive lineman Justin Smith, the team's MVP last season.

Smith blew up several plays from his position at right defensive tackle. During 11-on-11 plays, Smith knocked offensive lineman Derek Hall on his back on one play. A short time later, Smith leveled backup center Daniel Kilgore. During team drills, Smith joined Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald in picking up would-be quarterback sacks.

"The guys up front really get a lot of work mentally over the course of the offseason. But to simulate playing low, playing hard, playing aggressive, second, third effort, pads are required," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "So, that'll be the first thing we're going to really stress and focus on with these guys is getting them to play lower pad level coming off the offseason."

Injury report: Receiver Michael Crabtree did not take part in any portion of practice for the second day in a row with an apparent right lower leg injury. Crabtree came out to the field late in practice. He had Kinesio tape on the back of his right lower leg, an indication he has a calf strain. The 49ers have not disclosed the specifics of Crabtree's injury . . .

Linebacker Tavares Gooden did not practice due to an illness. . . Receiver Joe Hastings went down with a right leg injury during the individual portion or drills. Although he remained on the field for practice, he did not run any more routes. . . . Guard Joe Looney (foot) and running back Jewel Hampton are on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

No-fight zone: Earlier in the day, Harbaugh said he would not tolerate scuffles on the practice field. "We want no fights, he said. "When guys are punching other guys in the helmet, why would we want that? That's not going to help us win games. We'll be proactive with that and when tempers flare, you handle it. So, we have a team that's willing to do that together, coaches, staff, players handle those kind of issues-before they happen, hopefully."

Harbaugh demonstrated his no-tolerance policy when he ordered rookie receiver Brian Tyms off the field midway through practice. According to eye-witness Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group, Tyms upended rookie safety Trenton Robinson during a special-teams drill and then "verbally taunted" Robinson. Tyms left the field. After practice, he came out to the speak with Harbaugh on the field. Harbaugh appeared to have some pointed comments to Tyms. The two men shook hands at the conclusion of the discussion.

Notable: Receiver Kyle Williams tried to haul in a pass from Josh Johnson and keep his feet in-bounds at the sideline. When the ball fell to the ground, Williams kicked it in frustration. The ball hit the top of the green-tarped fence and bounced over into the driveway behind the team's practice facility. Williams sheepishly returned to the huddle.

Rookie report: First-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins made a nice catch during a one-on-one session against physical coverage from cornerback Perrish Cox. . . Undrafted rookie receiver Nathan Palmer, however, was the standout rookie of the day. He turned around Carlos Rogers with an inside release to catch a pass during one-on-one drills. During 7-on-7, he beat Rogers and Donte Whitner to catch a pass from Scott Tolzien about 40 yards down the field. Working again against the first-team defense, he made a nice catch of a slightly off-target throw from Colin Kaepernick. But all was not perfect. Near the end of practice, Palmer reacted with frustration when he dropped a pass from Tolzien on a deep crossing crossing pattern.

Extra work: Frank Gore, Vernon Davis and Randy Moss took turns providing physical distractions to each other while catching passes from the Jugs machine after practice. Davis gave Gore gentle shoves in the back as the passes were coming to him. Moss and Davis took turns softly grabbing each other's arms with the spirals en route. During the 7-on-7 session of practice Moss made an amazing juggling catch below his knees at the left sideline on a pass Kaepernick fired with safety C.J. Spillman nearby.

Tying up loose ends: Linebackerfullback Michael Wilhoite played offense for most of the practice. With about 30 minutes remaining, Wilhoite took off the red jersey to expose a white jersey. He finished the practice at linebacker.

Next practice: The 49ers return the practice field Monday with a practice in full pads. The 49ers are scheduled to practice from 2:30 to 5:10 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

49ers Mailbag: Shanahan is overwhelming favorite, if he wants it


49ers Mailbag: Shanahan is overwhelming favorite, if he wants it

The 49ers have interviewed six head coach candidates and nine prospects for the general manager position.

During the search, 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe admitted to candidates that mistakes were made and the roster is in shambles. They have also promised all the resources necessary and plenty of patience in fixing the problem, according to multiple sources.

Three of the 49ers’ six original coach possibilities – Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams), Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills) and Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers) -- have already taken jobs elsewhere. Perhaps the top candidate, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, decided against uprooting his four children from the East Coast and remain in the no-lose situation of working with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for at least another season.

That leaves Kyle Shanahan and Tom Cable as the last known candidates for the job. And this is where we go to our 49ers Mailbag to answer questions submitted on our Facebook page:

Do you think Kyle Shanahan will be our next coach?‬ (Praize Rodriguez)
I’m not able to predict how strongly Shanahan, 37, wants to become a head coach at this stage in his career. But it appears to be his job if he wants it.

The 49ers decided to wait on McDaniels and Shanahan. McDaniels announced on Monday that he has removed himself from consideration. That leaves Shanahan as the overwhelming favorite for the job. Really, he is the only legitimate candidate for the job.

Cable is regarded around the league as a good coach. In the right circumstances, maybe he will again get the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. But the 49ers might be the worst fit, considering what occurred when he was in the Bay Area as the Raiders coach. Cable's time with the Raiders ended with allegations he punched an assistant coach, breaking his jaw, and had a history of domestic violence.

The 49ers will be able to speak again with Shanahan after the NFC Championship. If the Atlanta Falcons lose, they can get the deal done immediately. If the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl, they must wait until after the game to make things official.

The last team to wait for a Super Bowl coach was the Atlanta Falcons, who ended up with Dan Quinn, who signed a contract in the early morning after the Seattle Seahawks’ loss to New England in Super Bowl XLIX in February 2015.

That worked out pretty well.

Who would be the best GM fit if the 49ers hire Kyle Shanahan?‬ (Brad Peltier) ‬
The 49ers were the only team with a general manager opening this offseason after firing Trent Baalke. With no competition, the 49ers compiled a strong list of interviews for the job.

Assuming Shanahan wants the coach job, he will be able to meet with the finalists for the general manager position and see which of the remaining candidates he believes is the best fit for his philosophy on building a roster.

York and Marathe set out two weeks ago to find the best pairing of coach/general manager, so their input and direction during the final phase will be pivotal, too.

Arizona’s vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough looks like a strong fit. McDonough is believed to have Shanahan ranked at the top of his list of coaches even though the men have never worked together. McDonough has experience on the pro and college scouting sides, and he has helped build one of the top defenses in the NFL with the Cardinals.

Green Bay director of football operations Brian Gutekunst also has extensive history as a college scout, and he impressed the 49ers with a strong interview on Jan. 5. There is also some buzz about Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner.

Who do you think will be the defensive coordinator if Shanahan takes the job?‬ (Ryan Cruz)
The 49ers last year received permission from the Houston Texans to interview linebackers coach Mike Vrabel for the position. Vrabel’s stock has only risen after the Texans ranked first in the NFL in total defense under coordinator Romeo Crennel. Vrabel turned down Chip Kelly's job offer.

Vrabel’s name surfaced for the first time this offseason as a head-coaching candidate, though he did not receive a formal interview. This would be a good opportunity to Vrabel to, in essence, be the head coach of the defense while Shanahan’s focus is solely on the offense. This could be a tempting situation for Vrabel because Shanahan's offense does not present the same issues and concerns that defensive coaches had working on the other side of Kelly.

Another strong candidate to join Shanahan’s staff as defensive coordinator is Falcons’ secondary/senior defensive assistant Marquand Manuel. Manuel played eight NFL seasons as a defensive back and worked with Falcons coach Dan Quinn at the University of Florida, then Seattle before moving onto Atlanta.

If Shananahan is coach, is Kap pretty much done in SF?‬ (Juan Ito Heredia)
Of course, that decision on what happens with Colin Kaepernick and the remainder of the roster will be up to the new head coach and general manager.

But one of the 49ers’ main selling points is a fresh start and a clean break from how things have happened in the past. That means the head coach will be free to choose his own staff. That means the general manager can structure the scouting department as he chooses.

That also means, of course, that the coach and general manager will have all the power to assemble the roster.

It is difficult to believe any new coach and new general manager will not want to hit the reset button and start over at the quarterback position.

Report: Chip Kelly interviews for Jags' OC job

Report: Chip Kelly interviews for Jags' OC job

Former 49ers coach Chip Kelly, who was fired hours after the club’s 2-14 season, is reportedly interviewing Monday to become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive coordinator.

Kelly is interviewing with Jaguars new head coach Doug Marrone, reports radio station 1010 XL in Jacksonville.

Kelly told CSNBayArea.com recently he would take his time to determine his next career move. Kelly interviewed for the Jaguars’ head-coaching job, ESPN reported over the weekend.

“I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said two days after his firing. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

The 49ers fired Kelly with three years, $18 million remaining in his contract. The 49ers hired Kelly just two weeks after the Philadelphia Eagles fired him. Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles after leaving his successful program with the Oregon Ducks after the 2012 season.