SANTA CLARA -- Cornerback Jason Verrett entered the past two seasons as a bit of a luxury for the 49ers.
The team had its starting cornerbacks, and Verrett was a talented player who simply had not been able to stay on the field due to injuries.
Now, Verrett is not just a depth piece. The 49ers are counting on him to carry over his strong play from 2020 into this season.
“I’m capable of doing a lot of good things,” Verrett said following an impressive practice on Thursday. “I’m capable of being a Pro Bowler, an All-Pro. It’s how I approach each and every week, each and every practice.”
Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance opened 49ers training camp on Wednesday with impressive showings. On Day 2, the defense won the day.
Verrett was particularly impressive in the 49ers’ defensive backfield. He broke up three Garoppolo passes intended for Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel.
“There’s always something you can just take over to the next day,” Verrett said. “Tomorrow, I got to go out there and do it again. That’s my approach with everything I do. I try to be as consistent as possible.”
Here are other notes and observations from practice No. 2 of 49ers training camp:
— Garoppolo completed 5 of 11 passing attempts, while Lance connected on five of his nine attempts.
— The two best plays for the offense came back to back with Lance at quarterback. First, he sidestepped Kentavius Street, straightened up and delivered a nicely thrown pass to Samuel over the coverage of rookie Ambry Thomas. Then, he ripped a pass between defenders in the middle of the field for a completion to Travis Benjamin.
— Josh Rosen took more of the third-team snaps on Thursday. He completed four of seven pass attempts, while Nate Sudfeld was two-for-two.
— Tim Harris Jr. continues to be the cornerback on the side opposite of Verrett while Emmanuel Moseley remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The 49ers have a workout scheduled Friday with veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. "We’re just doing our due diligence, making sure we’re covering all bases,” 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans said. “We’re always looking to improve our team at every position." Kirkpatrick, 31, has appeared in 113 games with 78 career starts. He played eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before going to the Arizona Cardinals last year.
— Defensive tackle Zach Kerr broke through the line a few times, including on the first run play of practice when he popped rookie running back Trey Sermon in the shoulder/helmet area. On Tuesday, general manager John Lynch said the club was not anticipating the opportunity to add a proven veteran like Kerr, but a declining salary cap worked to the team’s advantage. “I'd say that that was fortuitous for us, you know, first of all, that a guy like Kerr was out there,” Lynch said.
— Defensive end Arden Key beat rookie Jaylon Moore for a would-be sack.
— Nose tackle D.J. Jones has an impressive showing in one-on-one pass rush drills against Alex Mack and rookie Aaron Banks.
— During a 7-on-7 drill, No. 7’s pass intended for No. 7 was broken up by No. 7. That’s right, with a 90-man roster, the 49ers have three players with the same jersey digit — Sudfeld, receiver Austin Watkins Jr., and defensive back Jared Mayden.
— It was a non-padded practice, but it did not look that way when safety Marcell Harris blasted running back Elijah Mitchell over the middle to break up a Rosen pass.
—The defense ended practice strong with a couple of plays against Garoppolo and the first-team offense. Armstead got pressure and Dontae Johnson broke up a pass for Mohamed Sanu. On the next play, Ebukam got a good push with his pass rush and K’Waun Williams broke up a pass intended for George Kittle.
— Again, the players rehabbing from injuries — receiver Jalen Hurd and defensive linemen Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and Javon Kinlaw — took part in individual drills but were held out of 11-on-11 work.