49ers camp summary (82): Ragged red-zone offense


49ers camp summary (82): Ragged red-zone offense

Summary: The ball did not touch the ground after the first 18 pass attempts during the 49ers' 7-on-7 drill. Quarterbacks Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Scott Tolzien and Josh Johnson combined to complete 16 of 18 passes to open practice. Smith's second pass attempt, intended for Vernon Davis, was intercepted by NaVorro Bowman at the goal line. Four plays later, Larry Grant intercepted a Tolzien pass for tight end Garrett Celek. With the focus being on the red zone, the defense clearly won the day. Safety Michael Thomas had an interception on a pass intended for A.J. Jenkins. (The play was on a far field, away from the media, and the victimized quarterback could not be seen.) Colin Jones intercepted Tolzien. Darcel McBath picked Smith. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite, who has been splitting practice time at fullback, had two interceptions. He picked off Johnson (a high pass off Jenkins' hands) and Smith in the end zone. There were few offensive highlights in the red zone. Tolzien hit Konrad Reuland for a score, and Johnson teamed up with Mario Manningham. Perrish Cox was in coverage on those back-to-back plays covering nine and four yards, respectively.

Injury report: Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, seen with a brace on his right wrist earlier in the day, was replaced midway through practice. He is not expected to be out for long. Receiver Michael Crabtree (right leg) and defensive lineman Justin Smith, whose right knee was wrapped, did not practice. Crabtree has missed five practices, while Smith sat for the first time. Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb both missed their third day. Running back Jewel Hampton (foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Offensive play of the day: Randy Moss got deep behind safeties C.J. Spillman and Trenton Robinson to haul in a deep pass from Smith during 11-on-11 drills.

Extra work: After nearly 2 12 hours, coach Jim Harbaugh gathered the around him. He excused the starters, as the reserves remained on the field for about 15 additional minutes of 11-on-11 work. During that period, cornerback Deante Purvis added an interception.

Blitz pickup: One of the more entertaining parts of the practice came immediately during a blitz pick-up session. Running back Frank Gore absolutely leveled inside linebacker Tavares Gooden. Then, Gore kept trying to get back in the action only to be turned away, as the coaches wanted others to get work. Anthony Dixon, whose pass protection has been a weakness, had good showings against Patrick Willis, Kourtnei Brown and Aldon Smith before Willis got a measure of revenge with a swift move to get around him. LaMichael James did a nice job to lock up Larry Grant. And Vernon Davis was impressive against Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith.

Rookie report: It was a quiet day for first-round pick Jenkins, who did not catch a pass during any of the 7-on-7 or team sessions. Undrafted wideouts Nathan Palmer and Brian Tyms caught two passes apiece.

Notable: With the NFL's lockout of officials, a handful of replacement officials were on the field during the 49ers practice session to get some experience in case the labor dispute is not settled.

Quotable: "It's good for us as an offense to play against that kind of defense. So, we're moving into the shorter field (today) in the red area. The windows are tighter. Things happen faster" -- 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Next practice: The 49ers return the practice field Friday 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.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season


Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”