SANTA CLARA – Before the 49ers hit the practice field on Tuesday, safety Eric Reid talked about how offensive play-caller Kyle Shanahan is always trying to set up the defense to surrender a big play.
The use of the run game to lay the groundwork for a big play through the air became apparent Tuesday during the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp.
After run plays for Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower, 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer used a play fake to and coax a blown assignment in the secondary, allowing rookie tight end George Kittle to break free for a 60-yard touchdown.
A short time later, Hoyer struck down the field again, this time with a pass that traveled 45 yards in the air for speedster Marquise Goodwin, who beat the coverage of cornerback Keith Reaser and safety Jimmie Ward for a touchdown.
“When you're moving the ball and scoring points, and hitting stuff in rhythm people can feel it,” said Shanahan, the team's head coach who calls in the plays to the quarterback. “It's usually contagious and it gets going. Then usually you go in and human nature, you feel good about yourself and the other team doesn't and they come out and kick your (butt) the next day.”
The 49ers’ offense did not have to wait that long to come back down to earth. That came during a red zone sequence a short time later.
The offense managed to get into the end zone just once in 10 plays, and that came from the fourth unit. Undrafted rookie quarterback Nick Mullens’ touchdown pass to undrafted tight end Cole Hikutini against the coverage against cornerback Zach Franklin.
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman collected an interception of a Hoyer pass while in coverage against Kittle in the end zone. Linebacker Malcolm Smith batted down a pass. DeForest Buckner had an interception, Aaron Lynch got a would-be sack on a C.J. Beathard pass that safety Vinnie Sunseri intercepted. Dekoda Watson had an interception, and Tank Carradine batted down a pass.
Here are other notes from the practice:
--Mike Shanahan, the Super Bowl-winning coach and father of Kyle, watched the practice session from the sideline.
--Veteran Elvis Dumervil, who agreed to a two-year contract last week, reported to the team but was held out of practice.
“I just want Elvis to come in here, learn the schemes, and really get a chance to meet everyone,” Kyle Shanahan said. “I did want to get him signed fast to get him in here, but we didn’t think getting him involved in the work and everything was important at least for now.”
--Eli Harold got first-team snaps at the Sam linebacker with Ahmad Brooks being held out of practice due to an undisclosed condition.
--Rashard Robinson did not practice. Dontae Johnson and Keith Reaser worked at the cornerback positions with the first team. Johnson broke up a pass intended for Pierre Garçon.
--Lynch had a strong day, including his second sack of the day while working with the second-team against right tackle Garry Gilliam.
--Backup quarterback Matt Barkley hit tight end Garrett Celek on a 25-yard seam route.
--Tank Carradine had a couple of quarterback pressures, along with Arik Armstead. Practice concluded with rookies Pita Taumoepenu and Jimmie Gilbert combining for pressure/sack on Beathard.
--Jeremy Zuttah, who earned a Pro Bowl trip with the Baltimore Ravens last season at center, saw action at right guard with the second-team defense. Zuttah missed a large portion of organized team activities with a hamstring strain.
--The 49ers announced the signing of quarterback C.J. Beathard to the mandatory four-year contract for a draft pick. Beathard was selected in the third round. Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, whom the 49ers selected No. 3 overall, is the only remaining unsigned 49ers draft pick.