49ers

49ers Mailbag: Brown gets off to rocky start

49ers

After four practices, including two days of padded, contact work, the 49ers have their first day off of training camp on Tuesday.

Coach Kyle Shanahan will begin working on more situations when the team returns to the practice field on Wednesday, he said.

“We wanted to go two days of our base offense without pads, two days of our base offense and defense with pads, not really doing specific situations,” Shanahan said. “We’ve been walking through two-minute stuff in our walk-throughs in the afternoon. We’ll get in a lot more situational stuff in our fifth practice when we come back.”

The break in the action allows us a chance to take a step back. Here is the latest edition of the 49ers Mailbag with questions submitted through our Facebook page:

Which player is not looking so good out there on the field? (Frank Sanborn)
The starting-caliber player who has struggled the most in the two padded practices was right tackle Trent Brown. On Sunday, he surrendered upward of five sacks during 11-on-11 periods.

Brown gave credit to the 49ers’ defensive linemen and the variety of different styles he has gone up against – Arik Armstead, Elvis Dumervil and Aaron Lynch, among them.

“It’s only going to make me better,” Brown said.

Shanahan said he was not concerned with Brown’s performance because he wants his players to use camp to experiment and refine their skills in order to peak at the start of the regular season.

 

“I like guys to come out, try techniques, try to improve and not really worry about perception, judging them day to day,” Shanahan said. “It’s a long process. You’re right, he didn’t have a great day (Sunday), but I think he did a lot better (Monday).

“It’s a long camp. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I hope he’s at his best Week 1.”

The 49ers instructed Brown to report to camp at no more than 358 pounds. He said he lost some additional weight to give himself a better chance to succeed this season.

“I took the first step of coming in at a good weight,” said Brown, who stands 6 foot 8. “I’m healthy. I’m light. I definitely feel better out there with the movements that are required of me at the position and doing things in this scheme.”

If Jimmie Ward misses time, do you see Eric Reid sliding back into the free safety role and Tartt sliding into the box as strong safety? (Max Carlson )
Jaquiski Tartt joined Ward and Reid on the injured list on Monday. Injuries to the 49ers’ top three safeties meant that Vinnie Sunseri and Lorenzo Jerome lined up with the first team.

Ward (hamstring) is expected to be activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list in mid-August. Reid (ankle) is day to day. It is unclear how long Tartt could be out with an injury to his ribs area. He sustained the injury to his left side while breaking up a Brian Hoyer pass for tight end Cole Hikutini.

The 49ers fully expect Ward and Reid to be back long before the opening of the regular season. Ward is the free safety. Reid is the strong safety. Both players seem entrenched at those spots.

When Tartt returns, he will remain as the No. 3 safety – capable of playing the position at which he is needed. With Ward is out, Tartt is the free safety. If a replacement for Reid is required, Tartt will play strong safety.

Is Carlos Hyde being challenged or does he look like the clear starter? (Josh Gale)
It was a good first week of practices for Hyde. He looks – right now – to be in good position as the team’s starting running back. Veteran Tim Hightower is also looking very good. He appears to be the team’s second-best running back.

Hyde looks to be adapting better and better to the 49ers’ run scheme. And he has also placed a lot of emphasis on catching the ball out of the backfield.

Rookie Joe Williams, a fourth-round draft pick who was seen as a serious challenger to Hyde, has gotten off to a slow start and he is still gaining familarity with the system. He also must do a better job of securing the football.