49ers camp report: Kendrick Bourne coming on in make-or-break summer

49ers camp report: Kendrick Bourne coming on in make-or-break summer

SANTA CLARA – Kendrick Bourne led all 49ers wide receivers in receptions last season.

Entering his third NFL season, Bourne is getting better with more experience. But there are no guarantees he will be on the 53-man roster when the season begins. Bourne said his goal is to string together good days of practice.

And that is exactly what he has done over the past three days. He is trying not to think too much about where he stands in the competition during 49ers camp.

“Everybody’s good. Everybody’s doing good, so I really don’t get too much into it,” Bourne said of trying to figure out which receivers will make the team. “I mean, I put myself in there all the time.”

Bourne’s practice on Saturday got off to a good start with an impressive rep during a one-on-one drill in the red zone, making a diving touchdown catch on a Nick Mullens pass. He later worked free for another reception in the end zone on a pass from C.J. Beathard.

Bourne was the 49ers’ second-leading receiver behind George Kittle last season with 42 receptions for 487 yards and four touchdowns. This season, he finds himself in a battle for a roster spot.

The 49ers figure to keep six receivers on their 53-man roster. The group in camp includes Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Jalen Hurd and Jordan Matthews, as well as slot receivers Trent Taylor and Richie James.

Bourne said he believes this is a make-or-break year for a lot of receivers on the team, himself included.

“I don’t really know what’s going to happen, so I just come in and go hard and prove the same stuff I’ve already proven,” he said. “It’s the consistency with it. I just feel if the ball comes my way, I’m pretty confident in myself.”

Offensive Play of the Day

Kittle made his best play of training camp when he climbed the ladder to haul in a 20-yard touchdown catch from Jimmy Garoppolo over the tight coverage of linebacker Malcolm Smith at the back line of the end zone.

Defensive Plays of the Day

Through seven practices, the defense has recorded just three interceptions. It looked as if strong safety Jaquiski Tartt would come up with No. 4. He had good coverage and made a move to cut in front of Samuel. He made a good play to break on Garoppolo’s pass. Now, he has to hold onto it. He dropped the would-be interception.

Injury report

Defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford sat out practice for the second day in a row. Buckner was seen working out on the field the past two days with a mild toe sprain. Ford is nursing a case of tendinitis in his knee.

“He says it happens about every camp and then usually goes away,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Ford’s condition.

Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (glute), running back Jeffrey Wilson (calf) and guard Joshua Garnett (finger) remain out. Tackle Joe Staley and cornerback Richard Sherman were given the days off. Staley is on a two-days on, one-day-off schedule in camp.

Comings and goings

The 49ers signed former New York Giants defensive lineman Jay Bromley and former Houston Texans wide receiver Chris Thompson. Both players face uphill climbs to win spots on the team this season.

The 49ers made those moves to take the spots of Kapron Lewis-Moore, who was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury, and wide receiver Max McCaffrey, whom the 49ers waived.

[RELATED: 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo reveals how he maintains 'robot-like' mindset]

This ‘n’ That

Beathard made his best throw of camp with a 15-yard strike in the back right corner of the end zone for a touchdown to Samuel against the coverage of rookie Tim Harris. ...

Cornerback Jason Verrett worked with the first-team defense with Sherman and Witherspoon unavailable. Verrett is being worked back into the mix slowly after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles. 

“He looks really sharp,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “He had a really nice play yesterday, showed great patience on Marquise Goodwin, which is very hard to do when he’s screaming up the field. 

“His foot quickness and speed and all that is right there, so I like the progress he’s going into or he’s showing. He just needs to continue to get better. He’ll get more of a load as we go and keep gaining confidence that he’s healthy and that he’s going to make it through this year, 16 games. That’s the mindset.”

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who ended the final two 1s vs. 1s possessions Friday with third-down “sacks” against Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley, opened practice with a win against swing tackle Shon Coleman. Staley was given the day off ...

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead and unblocked nickel back K’Waun Williams arrived at the same time on a “sack” of Garoppolo ...

Prospect High football coach Rob Mendez, a lifelong 49ers fan, attended practice and spoke at length afterward with passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur, as well as Bosa, Pettis, Kittle and others. Mendez, who was born without arms and legs, recently was named the winner of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY Awards. ...

The field-goal unit had their first live snaps of camp, and Robbie Gould made all three of his attempts in the 35-yard range. ...

Malcolm Smith had tight coverage on back-to-back plays against running backs 20 yards down the field. On the first pass, Mullens completed a back-shoulder pass to Raheem Mostert. On the next play, Smith forced an incompletion on a Mullens throw intended for Austin Walter.

Next up

The 49ers return to practice Sunday at 10 a.m.

Kyle Shanahan's Super Bowl loss with 49ers lingers more than Falcons'


Kyle Shanahan's Super Bowl loss with 49ers lingers more than Falcons'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kyle Shanahan answered countless questions about losing to the New England Patriots with the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers coach lost again after all the questions, this time to the Kansas City Chiefs. He's grieving all over again and having a more difficult time reconciling this time around. 

“I think this one was harder than the last one,” Shanahan said Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. “The last one was a bigger loss, I mean at the end and stuff. I just thought we were a better team. The hardest thing for me is I thought we were the best team in the NFL.

“And when you really believe that, and I thought it for a while, it wasn’t just like the last couple weeks of the year. In Atlanta, we kind of got hot at the end of the year, so I felt pretty fortunate.”

Shanahan's 2016 Falcons and his 2019 49ers entered the playoffs with a first-round bye.  The difference is that the 49ers started the 2019 season with an 8-0 run, and finished with a 13-3 regular-season record, clinching the No. 1 seed.

The 2016 Falcons, however, had a 5-3 record at the halfway point. Atlanta won its last four straight games to clinch the No. 2 seed, but played two playoff home games only because the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys lost in the divisional round to the Green Bay Packers. 

[RELATED: 49ers want to bring everyone back, but know it will be tough]

The 49ers have come a long way under Shanahan. They had a fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl after winning the 10 games the previous two seasons, but it's difficult to focus on the journey following a painful ending. 

“This year I thought we had it,” Shanahan said. “We were the second-worst team in the league last year, and now we got to live with being the second-best, which I’m proud of. But that is harder, because I truly believe it was there for us.” 

NFL rumors: 49ers' DeForest Buckner rejected contract extension last offseason

NFL rumors: 49ers' DeForest Buckner rejected contract extension last offseason

Atop the list of 49ers' offseason priorities sit the prospective contract extensions for tight end George Kittle and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Both players are entering the final year of their current contracts and rank among the best talents at their respective positions throughout the entire NFL.

San Francisco selected Buckner with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he has served as the keystone of the defensive line ever since. He was a critical part of the 49ers' run to Super Bowl LIV, and the team reportedly tried to lock Buckner down for the foreseeable future before the journey to Miami it even got started.

The Athletic's John Middlekauff reported Monday that San Francisco offered Buckner a lucrative extension last offseason, which he ultimately turned down.

"I was told that last year they made a very aggressive offer to him," Middlekauff said on "The Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast." "We're talking in the $60 million range ... Fletcher Cox, years ago, got $63 [million]. They offered less than that, and he said no."

However, Buckner recently took to Instagram to argue against Middlekauff's report.

"When did we start believing everything on the internet," Buckner commented.

Entering his age-25 season in 2016, Cox signed a six-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles for $63.3 million guaranteed. Buckner will turn 26 in March, and one could argue he was more productive over his first four NFL seasons than Cox was. Yes, Cox forced two more fumbles than Buckner, but the 49ers' standout started six more games, deflected nearly twice as many passes, recovered one more fumble and totaled 6.5 more sacks.

For that reason, combined with inflation and the fact that the salary cap has risen since Cox signed his extension, it wouldn't be surprising if Buckner sought a higher guaranteed total from San Francisco -- and received it. 

[RELATED: 49ers want to bring everyone back, but know it'll be tough]

Whether or not he already has turned down such an offer is anyone's guess. But it shouldn't be long before we find out exactly how much is guaranteed on Buckner's next deal.

One thing is certain: It's going to be a lot.