SANTA CLARA — The 49ers' final full practice of the preseason had a lively pace, and the offense and defense both made plays.
There were the usual individual position drills Thursday, and then a longer full team session. In the first series, Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance were on the field for five consecutive plays at a time. Then for the second consecutive practice, the two quarterbacks alternated every two plays.
It wasn’t until red-zone drills when Lance was behind the first-team offensive line for three consecutive snaps. On his first play, the rookie held on to the ball and ran past several defenders for a touchdown.
Lance’s second play was a completion to the right sideline, where George Kittle reached the ball out to the goal line right in front of a referee, who did not signal a touchdown. Lance’s next pass attempt was well overthrown to the left corner of the end zone, where Mohamed Sanu was being covered by K’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson.
Garoppolo completed 13 of his 19 attempts, with exceptional completions to Deebo Samuel and Trey Sermon on mid-range passes that likely could have ended up as touchdowns. But it wasn’t a perfect day for the veteran quarterback, who had a ball intended for Samuel intercepted by Emmanuel Moseley, who cut the route and got in front of the receiver.
Lance has a similar day, completing 14 of his 18 attempts, and seems to be improving on the mesh point with his running backs. There have been less exchange issues/fumbles this week than in the past.
Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel believes the 49ers' locker room and organization have the perfect situation to take advantage of a dual quarterback threat. Without fear of a divided locker room and a trust that every move is for the benefit of the team, everyone has bought into the idea.
“Most teams don’t have two good quarterbacks,” McDaniel said Thursday. “The benefit is you can really do things they are good at. We can utilize skill sets from everyone and do it in a manner where everyone can cohesively play together.”
Here are more notes and observations from Thursday’s practice.
-- Not participating in practice: CB Jason Verrett, WR Jauan Jennings, S Kai Nacua, OL Aaron Banks, OL Jaylon Moore, DL Maurice Hurst, LB Dre Greenlaw.
-- Verrett was on the sideline during team drills and seemed lighthearted, joking with his teammates. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans did not have an injury update and deferred to coach Kyle Shanahan, who will speak Friday.
-- Jaquiski Tartt participated in team drills with the second unit, but the veteran safety was seen on the sideline toward the end of practice with his shoes off, testing the mobility of his injured toe.
-- Defensive end Nick Bosa participated in 1-on-1s and team drills for the second day in a row. Trent Williams won both of the reps when they faced each other, but Bosa handily beat Tom Compton.
-- In team reps, Bosa stayed on the field for three consecutive snaps on three separate occasions. In one series, he stayed on the field for four snaps in a row.
-- Williams continued to put on a clinic in 1-on-1s. While the veteran left tackle dominates his competition, he still congratulates the opposing lineman for their effort. When Arden Key attempted a spin move, Williams was more than ready and won the rep, but he then patted the defender on the helmet in appreciation of his work.
-- The 49ers' defensive line continued to wreak havoc on the offense, with several would-be sacks and quite a bit of pressure on the quarterbacks. Notable plays were made by Kevin Givens, who tackled Elijah Mitchell for a loss, and Jordan Willis and Kentavius Street, who got into the backfield and forced Lance to throw an errant pass.
-- Samuel was very involved in practice on the field with both the first and second teams. He caught seven of his 10 total targets.
-- Raheem Mostert split carries with Sermon on the first team, while fellow running backs Elijah Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty were predominantly with the second team.