49ers camp summary (83): Again, defense dominates


49ers camp summary (83): Again, defense dominates

Summary: The 49ers' offensive struggles inside the red zone were apparent again on Friday. Or was it that the 49ers' defense was so good? Either way, coach Jim Harbaugh acknowledged the obvious that the defense controlled the action "about every which way it could be dominated. It was an outstanding day for our defense."Conversely, the 49ers' offense looked completely out of sync with a lot of high passes, dropped passes and poor execution. It did not help that offense played most of the day without three presumptive starters on the line. Left guard Mike Iupati was excused from practice with his wife, Ashley, expecting the couple's first child. Right guard Alex Boone sat out most of practice after getting hit, uh, below the belt, Harbaugh said. Also, backup center Daniel Kilgore took most of the first-team reps with veteran Jonathan Goodwin getting rest for the second half of practice.Unlike Thursday when the 49ers' defense picked off seven passes, there weren't a lot of turnovers. Cornerback Chris Culliver intercepted Josh Johnson's pass intended for tight end Demarcus Dobbs. And the day concluded with safety Dashon Goldson's interception of an Alex Smith pass that was tipped by Tarrell Brown before it reached intended target Mario Manningham.In an 11-on-11 portion, Colin Kaepernick had Vernon Davis running all alone down the middle of the field but his pass attempt took a nose dive into the ground, far short of the target. Receiver Randy Moss was targeted on high, uncatchable passes from Johnson (twice) and Smith. Kendall Hunter, Manningham, Dobbs, Ted Ginn, Vernon Davis, and Garrett Celek each dropped a pass. Safety Donte Whitner broke up another pass that was intended for Dobbs when he got a helmet on the ball just as the pass arrived.The offense had little luck getting the ball into the end zone, even though most of the practice was devoted to red-zone situations. Brett Swain took a Scott Tolzien pass the final three yards into the end zone on a 9-yard scoring play. Chris Owusu caught a pass at the 2-yard line from Johnson for an 8-yard TD. And Hunter caught a pass out of the backfield from Smith for a 4-yard score.Injury report: Receiver Michael Crabtree (right leg) sat out his sixth consecutive day of practice. Harbaugh said he expects Crabtree back on the practice field soon. Tight end Nate Byham missed his first practice. Harbaugh indicated Byham has an injury that kept him off the field, but he declined to reveal specifics. Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb also did not participate. 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.Eye on reps: Veteran Leonard Davis, who worked extensively with the second team at right guard through the first six practices, took over at left guard Friday with Iupati's absence. "It's all been positive," Harbaugh said of Davis' short time with the 49ers. "He's working extremely hard to get up to speed. He is right on track and done that. . . . Probably the largest man I've ever stood toe-to-toe, knee-to-knee with is Leonard Davis."
Rookie report: Rookie guard Joe Looney, a fourth-round draft pick from Wake Forest, had his debut on the practice field. He lined up at right guard as a reserve and was seen doing a good job against fellow rookie reserve Tony Jerod-Eddie, a defensive lineman from Texas A&M. "It was awesome to finally get the pads on and compete and be out there with my teammates and my friends," Looney said. He was activated this week from the non-football injury list after being cleared to practice after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a foot fracture.
Punt returns: Rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins was back deep, along with Ginn, Kyle Williams and LaMichael James, catching simulated punts off the Jugs machine while special-teams coach Brad Seely worked at the line of scrimmage with his protection unit. Jenkins never returned punts in college, and he looked the most uncomfortable of the group. Jenkins had trouble judging punts, and muffed three balls.
Notable: Harbaugh gave the group of replacement officials high marks for their work during 49ers practices the past two days."I haven't seen the film from today's practice but after yesterday's practice it was very good," Harbaugh said. "They saw everything I was able to see and more. Today, they were right on it. I think they had another good day today."There was a humorous exchange at one point when an official threw a flag for pass interference against Chris Culliver. Tarell Brown came over from the sideline to ask whom the penalty was against. "You," said the official. "I wasn't in," Brown responded.
Next practice: The 49ers return the practice field Saturday with their first evening workout, scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely


Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.