49ers camp summary (730): Crabtree still sidelined


49ers camp summary (730): Crabtree still sidelined

Summary: The 49ers were missing three wide receivers for team drills Monday with Michael Crabtree sitting out his third full day of work with lower right leg injury. Also, Mario Manningham did not participate during most of practice after taking part in individual work. Manningham remained on the field to watch practice. His condition was unknown. And Joe Hastings, who appeared to sustain a right leg injury Sunday, did not practice, either. Randy Moss made two nice catches during team drills. He made a lunging catch near the sideline against cornerback Carlos Rogers, managing to get both feet inbounds before tumbling to the ground. He also went up to catch a pass from Alex Smith late in the workout. Linebacker Patrick Willis had the top defensive play of the day when he stripped tight end Vernon Davis after a catch during teamwork. Safety Dashon Goldson scooped up the loose ball and took it the other way. Earlier, Willis had an interception of a Scott Tolzien pass on a ball that deflected off rookie tight end Garrett Celek.
Notable: Quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst gathered the four quarterbacks for an accuracy contest while the rest of the team was working on special teams. Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien took turns trying to hit small square holes in a net from about 15 yards away. Kaepernick had the best round of the group.
Quotable: "I'm the best, dog" -- 49ers running back Frank Gore to a couple of reporters on his return to the huddle after busting through the line and taking the ball about 60 yards into the end zone.
Eye on reps: Coach Jim Harbaugh said running back Anthony Dixon has asked to play fullback. But Dixon has not been seen taking any reps at fullback during camp. Dixon struggled during a blitz pickup drill against linebacker Larry Grant.
Extra work: Rookie running back LaMichael James spent time before practice with special-teams coordinator Brad Seely working on catching punts. James had his back turned to the Jugs machine about 40 yards down the field. When the ball was in the air, James had to locate it and make the catch.
Getting physical: Linebacker NaVorro Bowman couldn't help himself. The All-Pro linebacker leveled James during a blitz pickup drill. Later, he flattened Kendall Hunter after Hunter caught a short pass from Tolzien. While there is contact during the padded practices, the coaches do not want to see players hitting the ground.
Two-way wonders: Demarcus Dobbs and Ben Hannula, both of whom came to the 49ers as defensive players, had good days as pass-catchers on offense. Dobbs, who rotates between practices at defensive end and tight end, made a nice catch of a high pass from Alex Smith against Bowman's coverage during team drills. Hannula, who has played exclusive at wide receiver after signing as a defensive back, held onto a pass that was partially deflected by cornerback Tarell Brown.
Injury report: Crabtree missed his third day of practice with a right lower leg injury. . . . Hastings and cornerback Curtis Holcomb did not practice for undisclosed reasons. . . Linebacker Tavares Gooden returned to practice for the first time since exiting practice Saturday with an apparent illness. . . Manningham was on the practice field but he did not participate in team drills. . . . Guard Joe Looney (foot) and running back Jewel Hampton (lower leg) are on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Next practice: The 49ers have their first day off of training camp on Tuesday. The team returns to work Wednesday in full pads. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent


Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys


Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.