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Tight Ends Practice Crowded Catches

Posted by Taylor Price on June 7, 2012 – 10:32 AM



It looked like the San Francisco 49ers tight ends were stuck in “The Matrix” at Wednesday’s Organized Team Activity.

Here’s why:

Tight ends coach Reggie Davis implemented a pass-catching drill over the last three weeks that challenges his player’s focus and ability to track the football through a crowded area.

Considering the 49ers run numerous short and intermediate routes with tight ends, catching the football over-the-middle, remains an important aspect of the offensive attack. That’s where the drill comes into play.

Davis serves as the quarterback, Alex Smith, if you will.

In front of the 49ers tight ends coach are a pair of tight ends, lined up similarly to an “I-Formation” in the backfield. Behind the stacked players, you can find another tight end 10 yards away from Davis, awaiting a football to be thrown.

From afar, once Davis rifles the ball to the back of the line, the two other tight ends in front quickly move out of the way just like how Keanu Reeves famously ducked in the well-known movie trilogy.

“It’s a little rough,” admitted tight end Nate Byham. “You don’t get to see the ball until the last second, so you’re trying not to guess. If you guess, the drill is over; you’re going to mess up.”

The key to the competitive drill amongst the tight end group is to “stay patient and keep your hands up,” Byham said.

Calmness is a tough trait for tight ends to display in their line of work, but such portions of practice instill the much-needed characteristic for the position.

“Sometimes in the NFL, you’re not going to be able to see the ball coming at you, there’s going to be linebackers in the way, o-linemen and d-linemen with their hands up,” Byham said. “You’ve got to be able to react to the ball at the last second.”

For the past three weeks, the tight ends have utilized the drill every couple of days during the team’s individual period of OTA sessions.

Besides being difficult, the drill serves as a mini-competition for a position group that now includes defensive tackle Demarcus Dobbs working at a new position.

So far, Dobbs has impressed the 49ers tight ends with his natural athletic ability.

“I think he’s doing a great job,” Byham said. “He had a little bit of a learning curve the first few weeks, but he caught on really quickly and he’s really becoming a dual-threat: a legitimate tight end as well as an established d-lineman.

“I think it’s really good for him, it’s just a credit to him and his athleticism for him to be able to come over to offense and be able to put himself in a plausible role… It’s pretty cool to see.”


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Posted in Announcements | 16 Comments »


16 Responses to “Tight Ends Practice Crowded Catches”

  1. By Jesse Niners Forever on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    Vernon, Delanie and who ever they choose for our 3rd tight end will be a great tandem… This should be our year to win it all.. GO NINERS BABY!!!!

  2. By hazardrox on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    …pretty excited to find out what new tight ends make it to the starting roster :D

  3. By ELEVEN YEARS WITH ALEX on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    wow coach is going for versatility for every player …..man o man if alex can be anything but mediocre the things that coach want s to do to other teams will be rediculous and so unconventional …teams will fear us as to know what the heck we are goin to do next…..hot stuff …go niners keep on with the competition and learning extra rolls coach you are the future of football

  4. By rjdniner on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    Nice try 11 yrs you’re creditably is right back in the toilet ….were it was in the first place

  5. By rjdniner on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    And am getting ready to push the plunger ….

  6. By ftgambit on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    11yrs old, 13-3 buddy 13-3 hate all you want Alex was under center not Cam Newton, not Drew Brees, not Aaron Rodgers they were all at home watching Alex Smith play football from their couch

  7. By time2speakup on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    What happened? (test)

  8. By Abe on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    Dobbs reminds me of a younger Alge Crumpler.

  9. By time2speakup on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    Posts not showing – Why?

  10. By time2speakup on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    If you thought last year was something – grab a seat, hold on, and watch. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

  11. By ninerfan4life on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    why is everyone still giving Alex a hard time he is a awesome QB, he had a great season last year if your true 49er faithful you would believe

  12. By Vortex on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    Harbaugh offensive wizard, perhaps genius????? Staying ahead of tendencies and keeping the opposing coaches guessing. I wonder if the TE’s prepared by watching the Matrix, before doing the drill?

    Movie Night at Vernon’s?

  13. By Vortex on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply

    I was hoping last year that Harb’s would have used backup Qb Kap in some kind of Wildcat formation, but we will have to wait. With Josh Johnson too being able to do the same kinds of things as Kap.

  14. By rjdniner on Jun 8, 2012 | Reply

    The only time I would use the wild cat is if were up by 21 pts in the 4 qtr, all this spread formation that they use in the collage game is fine for collage, look at what’s happen to qbs coming out of collage their first year, granted it takes time to learn a new system, if C K had been in a Pro style out of NEV, and with his arm strength he would not have been setting on the side lines, look at Dalton with the BENGLES first year and look what he did . If Alex would have had Jim has his coach that first year. Think about. that one …..

  15. By Basil on Jun 8, 2012 | Reply

    sometime Post just show up the next day, where they hangout till then is unknown?
    Cam seems to be the exception to the rule?

  16. By AlexM32 on Jun 8, 2012 | Reply

    everyone…this isnt alex smith’s year to prove himself, this is a year to show how much more we as a team have improved and furthered our super bowl winning chances. we WILL win a super bowl soon and the 49ers will be a feared team. As far as i know we are 0-0 and need to win the division, then 3 more games after that.

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