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Singletary Offers Reward, Shortens Camp

Posted by Taylor Price on June 18, 2010 – 3:27 PM

Once the 49ers hit the practice fields Friday afternoon, it will be the last time the full squad practices together for the next six weeks.

Following the first of two Friday sessions, Mike Singletary announced his decision to reward his players and cancel Saturday’s two minicamp practices. He informed the media shortly after he broke the news to the team.

And while it might be looked at as a reward for the player’s hard work over the last couple of months, quarterback Alex Smith said it wasn’t merely a gesture by Singletary to thank the players for working hard.

It had more to do with how the players went about their business.

“I think it’s a pat on the back for a couple of reasons,” Smith said. “One, we’ve worked really hard this offseason. The effort has been there. But more importantly, the discipline has been there, guys have been coming in ready to work. I really think that’s the reason we’re getting this.”

Left tackle Joe Staley said he wouldn’t have been bothered if Singletary kept the schedule intact, but was pleased to know how much his head coach appreciated their hard work.

“I felt like we deserved it. We’ve definitely been working hard,” Staley said. “As an offensive line, we got a lot of great work and we look forward to closing this camp with a great afternoon practice.”

Morning Notes and Quotes

Singletary proclaimed the return of his famous “Nutcracker” drill to the team’s 2010 training camp schedule. That got us thinking on which players are already salivating for the notorious drill, and which matchups would they desire most. Check TV49 later in the day for some of the answers from various players in the locker room.

Not so much a surprise, but Smith articulated how much this offseason has been a positive for him and how it’s the most comfortable he’s felt in his pro career. “I feel good with where I’m at right now. I feel like we got a lot done this offseason with our offseason program, including all the OTAs and now minicamp. I think we’ve really taken a step and I feel like I’ve done that as well.”

The defense picked off three passes in the morning session, all against second-year quarterback Nate Davis. Outside linebacker Manny Lawson dropped into coverage and intercepted Davis’ quick pass over the middle in the first team period. In the final play of the first 7-on-7 period, safety Taylor Mays came up with his first interception with the 49ers. And later in the final team period, undrafted linebacker Keaton Kristick intercepted a Davis pass that was initially deflected by safety Curtis Taylor.

Kristick was a late addition to the 49ers offseason program as he waited for his alma mater (Oregon State University) to finish graduation before he could join the team. Kristick hasn’t played significant football since the East-West Shrine Game, but said he’s been embracing every opportunity this offseason with the 49ers. His interception on Friday was a result of being at ease with his new surroundings. “It comes with being comfortable. I’m starting to know how to drop, and I haven’t really done that since Pop Warner,” Krisitck admitted. “I’ve been getting the feel for it and I’ve been learning a lot from the veterans so far. I’m anxious for everything that’s coming up, every rep on defense and special teams. I’m trying to make the most of it and not make too many mental errors.”

The best offensive play of the morning session took place on a 40-yard deep ball from Smith to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who got behind cornerback Shawntae Spencer and safety Dashon Goldson. Crabtree has really emerged this offseason as one of Smith’s comfort blankets. He appears to be back to his old Texas Tech days, in terms of play-making ability and explosiveness after the catch.

Backup quarterback David Carr ended practice leading the offense in a two-minute drill scenario. But Carr’s quest to move the team into field goal range was thwarted when Mays picked off his second pass of the practice. As Carr hit tight end Delanie Walker on a quick out in the right flat, the ball was bobbled initially, allowing Mays to swoop in and get his hands on it. You can check our 49ers Twitter account to see Mays’ celebration following the takeaway.

Afternoon Notes

The 49ers wrapped up their 2010 minicamp with a practice that featured more red zone and two-minute drill work.

With season-ticket holders attending the practice, the players put on a show with several big plays by the offense and defense. Here are some photos from the session.

Fans looked on as quarterback Nate Davis looked for an open receiver.

Quarterback Alex Smith throws a pass in the right flat.

Fans soak in the sights of a 49ers minicamp practice.

In the first team period, the offense relied on taking what the defense gave them, making check-downs a premium. That all changed though, as Smith hit Vernon Davis on a 20-yard touchdown hookup which got the attention of the fans in attendance.

Linebacker Scott McKillop must have taken offense to seeing Davis and other receivers catch so many passes over the middle of the field this offseason. The second-year inside linebacker intercepted Smith later in the team period, when Smith tried to find Crabtree in the back of the end zone. On the very next play, McKillop was in position to make another interception, but could only get his fingertips on the highly thrown pass from Carr.

Fellow inside linebacker Navorro Bowman came up with his first turnover with the 49ers, when he stepped in front of Smith’s quick pass intended for Walker. Had it been a game situation, Bowman would have easily returned it for a touchdown.

The offense worked on two-minute situations to close out practice. But the offense failed to pick up points when cornerback Karl Paymah broke up Smith’s pass intended for Ted Ginn Jr.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Singletary Offers Reward, Shortens Camp”

  1. By FaithfulManSince'88 on Jun 19, 2010 | Reply

    Its good to see that our young players are coming around and making plays in practice. Offense and Defense are looking good. I’m excited to see who will be our return guy. I think it should be LeRoy Vann. Hopefully he can show the coaches during training camp and preseason games that he can score TD’s for us.

  2. By Kaleb Athey on Jun 20, 2010 | Reply

    It is good to see our team finally come around and get things together. Now that we finally have team chemistry and Smith is getting more comfortable we will be ready to go this year. We just have to play hard and our young players will have to step up.

  3. By jirms on Jun 21, 2010 | Reply

    As much as I love to hear the niners are doing well, I have grown tired of the pre-season optimism. What I really want to hear(along with every other niner fan) is how well they are doing around wk 13 of next the season.

    This team has loads of talent, and its time to show it off. Go Niners

  4. By kyle on Jun 23, 2010 | Reply

    Lovin it!!!! Just look how many 1st Round and 1st pick overall ‘s are on this squad its incredible… We’ll def get some bizz handled this season…

  5. By Brian Rose on Jun 23, 2010 | Reply

    I’m glad to see that the Niners are working hard. However, it seems like the Niners are always the “up and coming team” in the offseason. They need to get it done this season and at least win the west. It is not a tough division this year and if they can’t do that, then Alex Smith needs to be let go for sure. I understand that he has had a lot of coordinators and never gotten comfortable, but that only accounts for so much. I hope that they give David Carr a real chance to play. I saw him in a couple of preaseason games last year with the Giants and he did well. If Smith comes in and does well then obviously you keep him in, but he hasn’t done well his entire career and he hasn’t shown with his play on Sundays that there is any reason to believe that will change anytime soon. He is certainly not worth the $49 million that he originally got when he was drafted. When you draft a quarterback #1 overall, he should be an All-Pro quraterback inside of 4 years. Well, guess what? Times up. Time has been up. On a side note, I’m glad that Crabtree will have more time with his teammates this offseason. I think he will turn into a great NFL receiver.

  6. By Alaskan on Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

    Brian Rose, Im sorry but it’s clear to me that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Just look at Payton Manning. He is an all pro and he gives much of that credit to the fact that he has only had ONE OC his whole career. When you have to learn a whole new system and new looks every year thats going to stunt someone’s growth. And Smith did a good job last year and you can only expect that he’ll do even better this year. Calm down and quit saying what people need to do and just root for the niners and hope they do whats best for the team.

  7. By Horatio Harris on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Just want to see my team do better than they have been for the last ten years. So let me know the lates on my favoret team. sin yours Horatio Harris.

  8. By iBLEEDredANDgold on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    FRANK the TANK !!!!Go Niners best team in the world.

  9. By stilldiggin4gold510 on Jul 4, 2010 | Reply

    49ers Should Trade Micheal Lewis and Make S Taylor Mays the new #32 and Sign Ex-Eagle RG Shawn Andrews To Solidify Our O-Line.

  10. By K Taylor on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    Sure would like to see Finley get more reps! He is a stud and I think the coaches need to take a closer look. Also a Team player.

  11. By markanthony on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    all i know is this , if my team whom i have been fricken rooting for for twenty one seasons the niners , ends up with a zero and sixteen record or fifteen and one or anything in between, as long as you guys go out there and fight to get back to where we all were at one point flying high then i will be there until i am dead and gone , you all are the ones making all that money to play a sport that most of us only get to dream about , so get out there and get with it , man most of my life i have only made l;ike two or three hundred dollars a week, working like a dog , yeah i complain but i still do it , so lets get out there and work like we are millionaires , because guess what you are

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