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49ers' physical defense gets under skin of Vikings' offense

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EAGAN, Minn. — The 49ers and Minnesota Vikings have contrasting practice styles.

The 49ers’ defense did make any concessions on Thursday, and the Vikings’ offense was none too pleased with the physical nature of their on-field work.

Linebacker Fred Warner told his 49ers teammates that their practice Wednesday was “great,” but they had to bring even more intensity to the practice field on Thursday.

“The guys rose to the challenge and, yeah, you know, we were hitting them, we’re throwing to the ground, a little bit chippy, but that’s just how we play,” Warner said. “We’re going to be physical. We’re going to be violent. That’s just how we play.”

The 49ers are generally taught to strike hard and wrap during practices but not to take tackle to the ground. Even when the Vikings wear pads, they do not strike hard during practices.

Safety Talanoa Hufanga made no friends on the Vikings a hit on Vikings receiver Adam Thielen early in the session. Thielen went to the ground, got up and expressed his displeasure with the hit.

On the next play, Dre Greenlaw aggressively wrapped up Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook, and brief scuffle ensued.

Thielen, along with many of his Vikings teammates, came onto the field to confront the 49ers' defense.

Later, linebacker Marcelino McCrary-Ball had a late hit out of bounds on Minnesota running back Bryant Kobak that drew a penalty flag.

At one point, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell had a conversation with 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and receiver K.J. Osborn had some choice works for Warner and Kemoko Turay.


There was some pushing, and a lot of talking. But no punches were thrown, and no players were kicked out of practice.

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“We’re going to practice hard,” Ryans said. “Our guys are going to be physical. That’s how we practice each and every day. We have a standard of how we work every day. And that’s what you saw today: We just practiced to our standard.”

The 49ers’ defensive front had a strong day with at least 13 would-be sacks or quarterback pressures. Nick Bosa was dominant with five would-be sacks. Charles Omenihu and Drake Jackson, who returned from a shoulder stinger, also had standout practices.

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