SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Brian Hoyer might have confidence in his ability to throw the ball down the field, but during the 49ers’ practice Thursday the vertical game was non-existent.
“The way he throws is different than the way Matt Ryan throws. No better, no worse,” said 49ers passing game specialist Mike LaFleur, who was on Kyle Shanahan’s offensive staff with the Atlanta Falcons the past two seasons. . “It’s just getting used to our receivers. The angles they’re taking. It takes time. It took Matt real time.
“It’s going to take the guys (receivers) going down the field time to get that timing, that rhythm. What angle? How far can he actually throw it. Because I know Hoyer has a lot of confidence in his arm and how far he can throw it. And we have some guys that can run and get down the field.”
On Friday, they held their final session of organized team activities before holding two days of practice next week at the squad's mandatory minicamp. Thursday's practice was open to the local media.
The 49ers quarterbacks completed 21 passes to 14 different receivers during Thursday’s practice. Few of the passes were completed down the field.
Here are some notes from the practice session:
--Rookie slot receiver Trent Taylor and veteran Pierre Garçon caught a team-high three passes apiece. Jeremy Kerley, DeAndre Carter and running back Matt Breida caught two apiece.
--The 49ers’ defense produced seven “sacks” during the practice with undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert break through for three sacks. Gilbert is lining up with at strongside linebacker. Tank Carradine, DeForest Buckner, Chris Jones and NaVorro Bowman also had sacks.
“Hopefully, it’s a learning experience and we’re better for it,” 49ers offensive line coach John Benton said. “But (I’m) not happy about it today.”
--Bowman broke up two passes, including a Hoyer pass intended for Carlos Hyde out of the backfield that ended up in linebacker Malcolm Smith’s hands for an interception. Bowman could have come up with a leaping interception in the end zone, but the ball slid through his hands. Bowman also ran stride for stride with tight end Blake Bell on a deep Hoyer incompletion.
--On the first play of an extended red-zone session, Smith was in position to make a big hit on Kerley on a crossing pattern at the 5-yard line.
--Cornerback Dontae Johnson had an interception off a pass that deflected off Garçon’s hands. Johnson and Keith Reaser lined up with the 49ers’ first-team defense while presumptive starting cornerback Rashard Robinson worked on a side field due to a minor injury. Reaser broke up a pass intended for Garçon.
--The 49ers made two transactions, including the official signing of veteran pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil to a two-year contract. The 49ers also signed former New Hampshire offensive lineman Andrew Lauderdale, who originally signed with the New Orleans Saints but was waived two weeks later.
To make room for Dumervil and Lauderdale, the 49ers waived offensive lineman Evan Goodman (Arizona State) and safety Malik Golden (Penn State).
--Hyde got the handoffs on seven of the 49ers’ 19 run plays during 11-on-11 drills.
--Running back Raheem Mostert dropped what would have been a 4-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Matt Barkley. Three plays later, rookie tight end Cole Hikutini had C.J. Beathard’s 4-yard pass slip through his hands in the end zone.
--It was a rough day for the tight ends. Rookie George Kittle had a false start, and Garrett Celek and Vance McDonald dropped passes.
--The 49ers are trying to figure out with Joshua Garnett fits best along the offensive line. Benton said he initially felt as if Garnett was best on the right side, where he played most of last season. But in recent days, Benton said he believes he’s playing both sides equally.