Camp report (84): 49ers' full team takes field


Camp report (84): 49ers' full team takes field

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Practice No. 6
Summary: The 49ers moved practice back to 5 p.m. to allow as many players as possible to get onto the field. It was the first time the newly signed free agents were allowed to practice because of the rules governing the transition to a new collective bargaining agreement. "It was a different feel," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "You know we definitely had some reinforcements out there (Thursday night), but it had a lively feel, a fun practice. I thought there was a lot of energy, a lot of juice. So it seemed to fly by." In team drills, QB Alex Smith threw a deep pass that S Curtis Taylor intercepted. Smith later hit TE Vernon Davis with a touchdown in a red-zone drill. Rookie QB Colin Kaepernick worked exclusively with the second team. He lofted a nice 9-yard TD to RB Anthony Dixon, who beat the coverage of OLB Parys Haralson. The practice concluded with a two-minute drill. Smith led the first-team offense into position for a field goal against the 49ers' second-team defense. Kaepernick was intercepted by CB Tramaine Brock on a pass intended for WR Lance Long to end the second-team offense's try against the first defense.Injury report: CB Shawntae Spencer (left hamstring) sat out his third full day of work... LB Ahmad Brooks, CB Phillip Adams (left hamstring) and DL Brian Bulcke missed their third day in a row... NT Isaac Sopoaga (hamstring) missed his sixth practice. LB Alex Joseph did not practice for the fourth day in a row. WR Michael Crabtree (left foot), WR Dominique Zeigler (left knee) and FB Bruce Miller (shoulder) are on the physically-unable-to-perform list... TE Nate Byham (torn left ACL), WR Dontavia Bogan (torn right ACL) and CB Curtis Holcomb (ruptured left Achilles tendon) are out for the season.Returning to work: LBs Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman were back practicing after undisclosed injuries kept them out of action for two days apiece.
Personnel report: Newly signed additions WR Braylon Edwards, C Jonathan Goodwin, CB Carlos Rogers, S Madieu Williams, LB Larry Grant, LB Antwan Applewhite, LB Blake Costanzo and FB Jack Corcoran all suited up and saw their first action with the 49ers on the practice field. Edwards wore No. 81 -- Terrell Owens' old number. He emphasized that 81 is a temporary number. Dominique Zeigler currently wears Edwards' old number, No. 17. But Edwards said he might want to change it up to get a fresh start.
Stock rising: S Reggie Smith has performed well during, and appears to be in line for a starting job. The 49ers were never able to reach an agreement with free-agent Dashon Goldson, and the club signed Donte Whitner. Smith is more of a free safety and Whitner is a strong safety.Stock falling: S Taylor Mays worked mostly with the first unit when C.J. Spillman could not practice. But Mays was back with the second- and third-team defense. With the additions of Whitner and Madieu Williams, the 49ers consider Mays expendable. His size (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) and straight-line speed is impressive, but the coaches do not believe he moves well enough laterally to succeed at safety in the NFL. The 49ers sent a mass email to the other 31 NFL teams on Thursday to announce Mays was available in a trade.Notable: Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick both were wearing braces on their left knees -- on their plant leg. Neither is injured. It's Harbaugh's idea as a safety measure. "Yes, it's like a seatbelt," Harbaugh said. "You can't fight the odds, on wearing it on the plant leg, that leg that strides out and it's something that can prevent MCLs (medial-collateral ligament injuries). That's the thing that it's there to prevent, the impact from the side of the leg. Even if you were to get a shot that would be a grade-three (sprain). The brace could make it a grade-two or a grade-one or eliminate it all together. We're trying to find ways to dodge bullets out here and give ourselves the advantage over the bullets."Next practice: The 49ers hold their first open practice of training camp on Friday. The workout is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and last approximately three hours.

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’


LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.