Adrian Colbert

49ers snap count: Rookies carry big load on defense


49ers snap count: Rookies carry big load on defense

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers had five defenders who played all 66 snaps on Sunday in the team’s 31-21 victory over the New York Giants.

Three of those players were rookies, who greatly contributed to the 49ers’ first victory of the season.

Linebacker Reuben Foster, a first-round pick, recorded 10 tackles, including four stops near the line of scrimmage, and allowed just 12 yards in coverage on three pass plays on which he was targeted, according to Pro Football Focus.

Safety Adrian Colbert, a seventh-round draft pick, has taken over as a starter after Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt sustained season-ending broken forearms. Colbert recorded four tackles and showed his range in the deep middle with two passes broken up.

And cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round pick making his third consecutive start since unseating Rashard Robinson, allowed just 24 yards receiving on the four pass plays on which he was targeted.

Also, second-year player Ronald Blair made his second appearance after coming off injured reserve following his recovery from thumb surgery, played 30 snaps and recorded two quarterback sacks, including a forced fumble. The takeaway led to a 49ers touchdown in the second quarter.

On offense, the 49ers compensated for the losses of wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Trent Taylor with a four-player combination that featured Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, rookie Kendrick Bourne and veteran Louis Murphy, who played 27 snaps just days after being signed off the street.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

(61 plays)
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 61
Running back – Carlos Hyde 46, Kyle Juszczyk 38, Matt Breida 17
Wide receiver – Marquise Goodwin 48, Aldrick Robinson 31, Kendrick Bourne 29, Louis Murphy 27, Victor Bolden 1
Tight end – Garrett Celek 56, Logan Paulsen 12
Offensive line – Joe Staley 61, Daniel Kilgore 61, Laken Tomlinson 61, Trent Brown 61, Brandon Fusco 61

(66 plays)
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 52, Leger Douzable 38, Elvis Dumervil 37, Ronald Blair 30, Earl Mitchell 25, Datone Jones 16, D.J. Jones 14, Tony McDaniel 12
Linebacker – Reuben Foster 66, Brock Coyle 60, Eli Harold 37, Dekoda Watson 21
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 66, Ahkello Witherspoon 66, K’Waun Williams 44, Leon Hall 10
Safety – Eric Reid 66, Adrian Colbert 66

(24 plays)
Watson 19, Mark Nzeocha 15, Bolden 15, Antoine Exum 14, Dexter McCoil 14, Ray-Ray Armstrong 14, Bradley Pinion 12, Greg Mabin 11, Breida 10, Blair 8, Johnson 8, Paulsen 8, Raheem Mostert 7, Witherspoon 7, Colbert 7, Harold 7, Kyle Nelson 6, Celek 6, Hall 6, Robbie Gould 5, Zane Beadles 5, Erik Magnuson 5, Staley 5, Kilgore 5, Tomlinson 5, Brown 5, Coyle 5, D.J. Jones 5, Da.Jones 4, Buckner 4, Douzable 4, Reid 4, Bourne 3, Mitchell 3, Hyde 1, Juszczyk 1, Murphy 1

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

LB Elijah Lee (knee)
LB Pita Taumoepenu
DL Aaron Lynch (calf)
OT Darrell Williams
WR Trent Taylor (ribs)
TE George Kittle (ankle)
DT Solomon Thomas (knee)

49ers rookie DB gets way too physical during practice against Broncos


49ers rookie DB gets way too physical during practice against Broncos

SANTA CLARA – If the play had occurred three days later, 49ers rookie safety Adrian Colbert would have been fined $24,309 for an illegal hit.

The 49ers and Denver Broncos held a joint practice Wednesday on the 49ers’ practice fields behind Levi’s Stadium. Both teams were wearing pads, but live tackling was not allowed.

Colbert, a seventh-round draft pick from Miami, temporarily forgot the ground rules established by coaches Kyle Shanahan and Vance Joseph.

During a 7-on-7 period early in practice, Colbert launched himself at defenseless receiver Steven Scheu, a first-year tight end, and leveled him on an incomplete pass. Both players were OK. Players on both teams started pushing and shoving, but it did not turn into a melee.

“I thought our coaches handled it really well,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “First of all, I want to say, Adrian is a tremendous kid. I went over there and said, ‘Adrian, that’s not how we practice.’

“We talked about how we were going to conduct ourselves and he said, ‘Hey, I just lost my head. I was just tracking the ball.’ Next thing you know, he was there. I can’t tell you I haven’t been there myself.”

The 49ers held out Colbert out of some drills to “let things cool down” before he re-entered practice.

The 49ers and Broncos held the first of two days of practices. The teams meet Saturday night at Levi's Stadium in the second exhibition game for both teams.

--The 49ers’ defense had a very good day against the Broncos, who are trying to figure out whether Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch is their top quarterback. Neither player got much going against the 49ers’ defense on Wednesday.

--The 49ers’ secondary, including cornerbacks Rashard Robinson, Dontae Johnson and K’Waun Williams, held up well in coverage against Broncos wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos did not shake free for a deep pass completion at any point during the two-hour practice.

--Jaquiski Tartt was back with the first–team defense at free safety. He recorded an interception of Siemian on a pass intended for receiver Kalif Raymond that Robinson tipped into the air.

--Robinson was in coverage during a 7-on-7 drill in which Thomas caught a short touchdown. But Robinson came back on the next play to break up a pass.

--Solomon Thomas and Dekoda Watson got consistent pressure on the quarterback. Pita Taumoepenu routinely got past Broncos offensive linemen during one-on-one pass-rush drills.

--Cornerback Will Davis intercepted a pass from No. 3 quarterback Kyle Sloter during a 7-on-7 drill intended for rookie receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

--Linebacker Reuben Foster broke up a Siemian pass for tight end Virgil Green over the middle. In one-on-one drills, he earlier intercepted a Siemian pass for veteran running back Jamal Charles.

--Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon broke up two passes, including one on which he went high to get his hands on a Siemian pass for Jordan Taylor at the sideline.

--Newly signed cornerback Asa Jackson held up well in one-on-one coverage drills on multiple deep passes.

--Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, a friend of John Lynch, worked with 49ers defensive linemen.

Untimely injury opens door for seventh-round pick Colbert


Untimely injury opens door for seventh-round pick Colbert

SANTA CLARA – Safety Chanceller James got off to an impressive start in training camp. But his season-ending injury Friday night opened the door for a 49ers draft pick to find a home in a new spot.

Adrian Colbert, a seventh-round draft pick from Miami, worked at cornerback from the beginning of training camp. But when James sustained a season-ending torn ACL in the 49ers’ exhibition opener Friday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers needed Colbert in another role.

When the 49ers returned to practice on Monday, Colbert was moved to free safety. He made his mark with two interceptions. Colbert has put himself into serious conversation for a spot on the 53-man roster because of his versatility.

“He showed up good as a corner,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “Then we got beat up in the secondary at safety, so we put him back there at free safety because he’s got such great speed and he’s a really, really,really aggressive football player and can tackle.

“I feel like he has a good chance to be pretty good at both, but free safety is where we’re pretty excited about having him at. . . He’s got a chance as a free safety to be pretty good.”

Jimmie Ward (hamstring) remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Jaquiski Tartt did not play in the exhibition opener due to a ribs injury that kept him out for more than a week.

Undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome has quickly risen up the depth chart. He started alongside Eric Reid on Friday. Jerome also had an interception during Monday’s practice.

Colbert intercepted a Matt Barkley pass that sailed high in the middle of the field for Tim Patrick. He later picked off C.J. Beathard, who tried to fit a pass into Cole Hikutini in the end zone.

--Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice spoke to the 49ers in a team meeting before practice. Young spent time with coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch during warmups before practice. Rice remained long after Young had departed.

Decked out in 49ers-issued workout gear, wristbands, gloves and game cleats, Rice ran through warmup drills and caught passes with the 49ers receivers. Then during 11-on-11 drills, he regularly lined up 5 to 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and took off at the snap of the ball as if he were running pass routes in his playing days. Sometimes, he got very close to the action and had to make some quick moves to avoid the action.

After several periods of running, Rice proclaimed, “That’s my CrossFit for the day.”

--Defensive lineman Aaron Lynch sustained a right leg injury early in practice. The 49ers medical staff looked at him. His practice day ended early, as he walked slowly back to the 49ers’ locker room.

--Cornerback Dontae Johnson returned to practice off the concussion protocol. He lined up with the first-team defense but wore a blue no-contact jersey. The 49ers did not wear pads during practice. Linebacker Brock Coyle, who has been out with a ribs injury, also returned to work with a blue jersey.

--Rookie receiver Victor Bolden made a diving catch 50 yards down the field on a Barkley throw against the coverage of cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and Vinnie Sunseri.

--Tight end Vance McDonald dropped a pass and did not have any receptions.

--Barkley and Brian Hoyer combined for four consecutive touchdown passes during a red-zone drill on passes to Garrett Celek, Blake Bell, Pierre Garçon and Kendrick Bourne.

--Linebacker NaVorro Bowman recorded a sack, but had a difficult day in coverage. Bowman was in coverage when running back Joe Williams came out of the backfield to catch a 34-yard pass on a wheel route.