No. 85 caught a lot of passes at Thursday’s minicamp finale at 49ers headquarters.
However, it wasn’t solely Vernon Davis hauling in throws from 49ers quarterbacks. Last year’s leading wideout, Michael Crabtree, also donned a No. 85 jersey for the last mandatory veteran minicamp of San Francisco’s offseason program.
It was all in good fun.
Davis couldn’t help but smile when first seeing Crabtree wear his number. The two walked out on to the practice field together at the start of the minicamp session and Crabtree stayed by Davis’ side for the duration of the opening special teams period. During that time, Davis worked one-on-one with tight ends coach Reggie Davis. The two went over routes and the steps needed to make the necessary breaks.
Crabtree even got a couple of reps. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman soon came over to check out his 85 duo and got a good laugh at seeing Crabtree’s jersey.
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A.J. Jenkins has only been a pro for about six weeks, but the first-round pick has learned plenty since joining the 49ers in late April.
Sure, there’s always an adjustment period for NFL rookies, but Jenkins has had some help along the way. Practicing against Pro Bowler Carlos Rogers and other skilled cornerbacks like Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Tramaine Brock and Perrish Cox has only elevated Jenkins’ game.
“Great athletes,” Jenkins said of the San Francisco secondary. “As far as from going from college and the NFL, you can see a difference. We have corners that are on you every single route – fast, big, strong. It’s very competitive.”
Tags: A.J. Jenkins
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One day, you’ll probably be able to find Justin Smith roaming around America in an RV. But that day isn’t coming up any time soon.
On the verge of his 12th season as a pro, Smith said he probably won’t be taking anymore vacations until his playing career is over. At the moment, he is part of one of the NFL’s most complete teams, featuring a talent-laden roster and respected coaching staff.
Throughout the offseason, Smith has tried to impart some wisdom on his fellow teammates as they embark on the 2012 campaign.
“Your team isn’t always stacked forever,” Smith said.
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The final day of San Francisco 49ers minicamp is here, and that means players will soon be on their own to stay fit and mentally sharp until training camp begins. But once practice concludes in the afternoon on Thursday, Jim Harbaugh will address the media on what he saw from his team in the offseason program.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the strides being made by his unit. According to Fangio, the squad can be even better than last season, but matching eye-popping statistics like 38 forced turnovers might be difficult to duplicate.
However, Fangio has raised the expectations for the defense, and second-year linebacker Aldon Smith, whom Fangio expects to become an every-down linebacker in 2012.
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Joe Staley, Michael Thomas, Nathan Palmer, Tramaine Brock, Vic Fangio
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Alex Smith had himself a day at the second of three mandatory minicamp sessions this offseason for the San Francisco 49ers.
The starting quarterback completed several deep, intermediate and short passes to a number of his intended receivers, including several perfectly thrown balls to Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Randy Moss, among others.
It wasn’t just the throws from Smith that stood out; it was more about the scenarios in which he was able to complete them that were most impressive.
First, in a first-team offense versus first-team defense period (both Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman were excused from practice to handle personal matters), Smith finished off the abbreviated, one-play period with a short touchdown throw to Crabtree. Prior to the play, coach Jim Harbaugh declared it to be a one-play period, where the 49ers only had one opportunity to score.
Smith later found Davis repeatedly over the middle during “move the ball” team periods where the offense’s goal was to pick up first downs and march down the field.
Later, in a two-minute drill period to close out practice, Smith led the first-team offense to a score after he completed a short touchdown to Moss in the back of the end zone.
Tags: Alex Smith, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Vernon Davis
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Vic Fangio has been coaching in the NFL long before the days of free agency and is well-versed on what it takes to be a successful linebacker in the professional ranks. In the late 80s and early 90s, Fangio benefitted from working with the same set of linebackers for seven straight seasons during his time with the New Orleans Saints.
The consistency developed by those Saints defenses were seldom seen in league history as four of his Saints linebackers were once named to the Pro Bowl in the same season.
These days, however, it appears as if Fangio might be experiencing flashbacks of his days working with “The Dome Patrol,” the moniker given to his dominant linebacking crew.
While Fangio is in the midst of his first offseason working on the field in OTAs and minicamps with 49ers players, he’s doing it largely with the same personnel he had in 2011.
So how does the 49ers coordinator react to having all 11 defensive starters from one of the league’s top defensive units back for 2012?
“We should be as good or better,” Fangio said on Wednesday.
Fangio also has similar expectations for last season’s first-round pick, outside linebacker Aldon Smith.
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Parys Haralson, Vic Fangio
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The road Steve Mariucci used to take to work every day doesn’t exist anymore. Centennial Blvd. has since been leveled out as the foundation is being laid for the new Santa Clara Stadium, within a stone’s throw of 49ers headquarters.
The former 49ers coach and current NFL Network analyst visited the veteran minicamp session on Tuesday, but he got a bit turned around as he tried to figure out the detour to his old workplace.
“It’s a whole new deal,” Mariucci said. “Just driving in here was an experience – I got lost over there by the soccer fields.”
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One down, two more to go.
After the remaining two days of 49ers mandatory minicamp passes, the team will be off until training camp. That means the next two days will be crucial for the team to continue developing in a fast-paced offseason tempo. But despite the days of the offseason program starting to dwindle, the 49ers coaching staff remains confident that the players inside the locker room will retain the information they’ve picked up this offseason.
In speaking exclusively with ESPN.com’s NFC West blogger Mike Sando, Jim Harbaugh detailed the intelligence of his team, referencing 14 offensive players by name.
“It’s early in the offseason for identities to take shape,” Sando wrote, “but Harbaugh said his team’s collective smarts would allow for great flexibility.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after jump.
Tags: Alex Smith, Chris Culliver, Donte Whitner, Greg Roman, Jim Harbaugh, Mario Manningham, Navorro Bowman, Randy Moss, Scott Tolzien
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Carlos Rogers was a full participant at Tuesday’s opening three-day minicamp session for the San Francisco 49ers.
Rogers’ presence has been felt throughout San Francisco’s offseason program; however, the veteran cornerback who signed a new four-year contract with the 49ers did not recently participate in Organized Team Activities.
Rogers told The San Francisco Chronicle a right calf strain, suffered last month, has kept him out of action.
Tuesday, however, Rogers was back on the field wearing a gold 49ers helmet along with the rest of his teammates.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Anthony Dixon, Anthony Mosley, Carlos Rogers, Chris Owusu, Colin Kaepernick, Curtis Holcomb, Deante' Purvis, Joe Hastings, Konrad Reuland, Kourtnei Brown, Larry Grant, Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Scott Tolzien, Tramaine Brock
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After seeing former pitching coach Tom House this offseason thanks to a suggestion from New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Drew Brees, Alex Smith has continued to pay close attention to his form during 49ers workouts.
The 49ers quarterback has taken advantage of the team’s “QB cam,” which gives 49ers signal callers an isolated look at their mechanics during drills.
Tags: Alex Smith
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