Matt Maiocco

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Frank Gore and Chilo Rachal were the 49ers' only returning starters who did not attend Camp Alex. Our NFL Insider shines the light on each no-show, the reasons for their absence and their place with the 49ers.

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The 49ers' defense includes four starters -- and one potential starter -- up for free agency. San Francisco is prepared to lose nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin and outside linebacker Manny Lawson.

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The road is never easy for a undrafted rookie trying to make his way into the NFL. But during the lockout, that road has been marked with more potholes than usual.

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Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick, the two most-talked about offseason additions to the 49ers, were at the same locale Friday night. Both talked about the possibility of the 49ers' rookie QB getting a chance to start.

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Our 49ers Insider is back down at SJSU as Alex Smith leads teammates through drills in an attempt to get to know Jim Harbaugh's playbook. Click here for real-time updates!

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With 49ers center Eric Heitmann likely out for the entire 2011 season, who will the 49ers turn to in his absence? Our Insider provides six names to consider.

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Center Eric Heitmann, a mainstay on the 49ers' offensive line since entering the NFL in 2002 out of Stanford, is expected to miss his second season in a row after undergoing recent neck surgery.

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Receiver Michael Crabtree, nursing discomfort in his surgically repaired left foot, sat out most of the on-field portion of the 49ers' offensive practice session on Monday.

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The 49ers anticipate nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin to sign a big free-agent contract and the club has made contingency plans to compensate for his potential departure, according to team sources.

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The 49ers special teams unit got stronger on Wednesday, as 2009 rookie standout Scott McKillop was cleared to rejoin the team after missing the entire 2010 season with a knee injury.

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49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh took to the airwaves Wednesday morning and among other things, praised his wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

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The dust has finally settled on the first 'Camp Alex,' and our 49ers Insider has a few parting thoughts. One thing is sure, though; not much more could be expected from Alex Smith.

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Matt Maiocco alerts Alex Smith that under the NFL lockout rules, Smith is in fact allowed to send 'Camp Alex' footage to 49ers coaches.

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49ers OL David Baas flew across the country from Florida on short notice to take part in the introduction to the new 49ers playbook.

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As "Camp Alex" concludes, Alex Smith restated his commitment to the 49ers, saying his mind is made up about his future in San Francisco despite his unsigned status. Full video interview to follow!

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