San Francisco 49ers Training Camp presented by HP officially got underway on Friday. But before the team hit the practice fields together for the first time, Jim Harbaugh, Randy Moss and Alex Smith met with the media. Hours later, Smith and Moss connected several times at their first training camp practice working together.
Let’s take a look at some of the top highlights from the afternoon session.
-Special teams period started out practice, signaling the continued value on special teams coordinator Brad Seely’s phase of the game. Off to the side, wide receivers like Moss, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree worked on short perimeter routes along with tight end Vernon Davis.
-On the opposite practice field, Kyle Williams and LaMichael James took turns fielding punts. By that point, Ted Ginn Jr. had joined the other wideouts who were catching passes from Smith and the 49ers quarterbacks.
-Perhaps the most interesting sight of special teams period was seeing Harbaugh holding a blocking pad during the gunner get-off drills.
-During individual work, safety Dashon Goldson showed no signs of rust. Although he was away from the team this offseason, the Pro Bowler looked solid while tracking the ball and catching it at its highest point during drill work. At one point, Goldson blocked the sun with his right hand, then reached up to snatch the ball out of the air with both hands.
-During 1-on-1 drills, cornerback Perrish Cox had a nice pass breakup on an out route intended for Ben Hannula. A couple of plays later, first-round pick A.J. Jenkins made a strong cut on a dig route that made cornerback Curtis Holcomb slip. Jenkins made the catch. Moss also gave Manningham tips throughout drill, and told him not to stand up at the top of his route so opposing cornerback don’t read his initial break.
-The best catch of the opening 7-on-7 period went to Williams, who made a diving 1-yard catch on a quick out. Williams stabbed it out of the air in front of NaVorro Bowman and Carlos Rogers who were in the area.
-In the same 7-on-7 period, Smith connected with Moss 35 yards down the field, cornerback Tramaine Brock had the coverage.
-During the first team period, reserve quarterback Josh Johnson completed a nice dig route to Manningham through a pair of defenders. There was lots of zip on the pass from the Oakland native. Johnson later hooked up with undrafted wideout Nathan Palmer on a similar play during another 7-on-7 period.
-New 49ers guard Leonard Davis rotated in and saw action at right guard during team periods.
-In the final team period: Smith hit Vernon Davis deep down the right sideline, safety Donte Whitner had tight coverage, but the throw and catch were just too good.
-Play of the day honors went to defensive tackle Ray McDonald, who did a Justin Smith impersonation, sprinting downfield to strip wide receiver Brett Swain from behind. McDonald hopped on the loose ball, too.
-Two interceptions took place in the final team period. First, a short pass from Johnson was bobbled by his receiver and intercepted by Cox. Later, C.J. Spillman stepped in front of a pass thrown by Scott Tolzien to record an interception.
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