Mike Singletary is scheduled to speak to the media prior to Tuesday’s only practice of the day.
New 49ers running back Brian Westbrook just trotted out to the practice fields wearing his red No. 20 jersey.
Singletary said Westbrook’s addition won’t change the team’s expectations for the upcoming season. They were already high before the talented runner signed a one-year contract, the head coach said.
Wide receiver Brandon Jones is out on the practice field for the first time in more than a week. Jones was hampered by a hamstring injury but is lining up to field kicks during the opening special teams period. Josh Morgan is also returning kicks today. Rookie wideout Kyle Williams is out with a sprained big toe suffered Sunday against the Colts.
I’m positioned by the running back individual drills taking a closer look at Westbrook. First thing I’ve noticed is how low he gets to the ground during cone drills.
Outside linebacker Travis LaBoy is back practicing for the first time since suffering a concussion at the team’s lone practice in Monterey.
Several plays into first 7-on-7 period and Westbrook has yet to jump in. Looks like he’s only getting mental reps. He’s standing right by running backs coach Tom Rathman going over each play call.
During the period, Joe Nedney works on field goals on the adjacent field. He didn’t suit up against the Colts, but Singletary explained he knows what Nedney can do already.
Highlights from first team period included: a one-handed catch by Anthony Dixon on a quick pass out of the backfield and Alex Smith’s 40-yard deep touchdown to Ted Ginn Jr. down the left sideline over Shawntae Spencer’s coverage.
Not a serious note, but Andy Lee is wearing a black hat today. It’s important to note because he’s worn the same red 49ers hat for the last five years every day at practice.
Team works on two-minute offense with the soothing sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire blaring from speakers lining the practice fields to simulate crowd noise. Smith connects on first four passes. Make that six passes. Smith hits Gore in the right flat then completes comeback to Ginn, who makes amazing one-handed grab. Less than 40 ticks on the clock, Smith lasers deep end zone pass to Jason Hill for a touchdown.
That’s it for practice.
Here’s some reaction in the locker room after the conclusion of practice.
Across the board, the 49ers were excited to welcome Westbrook into the locker room on Tuesday.
“He works hard on and off the field,” said 49ers safety Michael Lewis, Westbrook’s former teammate with the Philadelphia Eagles. “He’s going to make some plays for us out there.”
One of Westbrook’s teammates at the 2004 Pro Bowl also was pleased in finding out the news Monday afternoon.
“I was definitely excited about that because I know he’s a great player,” cornerback Nate Clements said. “Over the years, he’s been a very explosive player. He’s a talented player and I’m happy to have him on our team.”
One of the 49ers largely responsible for opening running holes for Westbrook, tackle Joe Staley, said the addition of Westbrook was “huge” for the 49ers.
But before Westbrook can make an immediate impact he has to learn the playbook . It’s the first time in eight seasons Westbrook will have to learn a new offense. That’s why he spent most of his time during team periods going over plays with running backs coach Tom Rathman and other members of the 49ers offense.
“I’m just trying to learn the offense and get a grasp of things,” Westbrook said after his first practice with the 49ers. “Really, the hardest thing to do is sit on the sidelines and watch, but that’s probably the best way to learn.”
Westbrook said he’s been instructed to take things slow and learn the playbook before he sees action on the field. As for playing this Sunday in the 49ers preseason home opener, that will also be a decision made by Singletary.
“If you don’t know the plays, you’re wasting your time out there on the field. You have to learn the plays first and then we’ll go from there,” Westbrook said.
It’s obvious that the 49ers offensive linemen have been working extremely hard on the practice fields during training camp. But what they’re not doing this year… is working over their rookie teammates to do countless amounts of chores.
“It’s training camp, their heads are spinning and we’ve eased off on them so they can learn that playbook,” Staley said. “But once the season comes, they’re definitely going to be doing chores.”
Staley didn’t have it as easy as a rookie in 2007. As the only newcomer to the offensive line, he was responsible for doing chores for the entire line, including random errands for former 49ers guard Larry Allen.
“I had to do everything, get Jamba Juices, go get snacks, food for the trips, breakfast in the morning, everything and anything they wanted – especially for Allen. He’d ask me for anything.
“He’d be like, ‘Hey rookie, I need this magazine, it’s only at this 7-11 and it’s 40 miles away. Go get it.’ And I’d be like, ‘OK…’ I would go get it, that’s the type of stuff we had to do. And I had to sing, which these guys haven’t had to do yet.”
Check out photos from Tuesday’s afternoon practice session.
Linebacker Parys Haralson has a laugh during stretching.
Offensive linemen work on snaps on the practice fields.
Vallejo native, wide receiver Bobby Guillory running a route at practice.
Head Coach Mike Singletary and VP of Player Personnel Trent Baalke chat during Tuesday’s practice.
Tags: Brian Westbrook, Joe Staley, Michael Lewis, Nate Clements
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