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Training Camp Report: July 28

Posted by Taylor Price on July 28, 2012 – 5:35 PM

On the walk out to the practice fields for day two of 49ers Training Camp presented by HP, one couldn’t ignore the bright gold cleats being worn by Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers.

The custom Nike cleats were reminiscent of Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson, a talented sprinter who became a household name after winning two gold medals in the 1996 summer games, and did so by wearing gold track cleats, of course.

The 49ers themselves weren’t at a meet of any sorts, but several players dashed away from teammates to make big plays in the second camp session of 2012. Pads will make their debuts on Sunday, but before we can examine one-on-one blocking matchups, let’s take a look at Saturday’s top highlights.

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Smith Duo Aims to Fortify Defense

Posted by Alex Espinoza on July 28, 2012 – 2:37 PM

Ready or not, the NFL is going to be receiving a full dose of Aldon Smith this season. Together with Justin Smith, arguably the cornerstone of the vaunted 49ers defense, the young pass-rusher formed a tenacious tandem on the right side of the defense in 2011.

Much of the rookie’s success came from the attention Justin Smith received at the line of scrimmage. The veteran defensive end often commanded double teams from the opposition, freeing up Aldon Smith to use his pursuit skills on the quarterback.

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Morning Tailgate: July 28

Posted by Alex Espinoza on July 28, 2012 – 11:02 AM

The Forty Niner Way is in full effect at 4949 Centennial Blvd. The 49ers had a crisp and effective start to 2012 training camp on Friday, putting together a high energy practice session with coach Jim Harbaugh in the middle of the action.

Veteran receiver Randy Moss was at the center of the media spotlight on Friday as he spoke in a press conference for the first time since signing his free-agent deal with the 49ers in March. Harbaugh and Alex Smith also took to the podium and sounded eager to begin working towards a sixth Lombardi Trophy for the organization.

#Camp49 is back in action and today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up the best comments, practice notes and observations from the field. Those stories and more after the jump.

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Training Camp Report: July 27

Posted by Taylor Price on July 27, 2012 – 6:12 PM

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.

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Colin Kaepernick Visits Camp Taylor

Posted by Alex Espinoza on July 27, 2012 – 11:42 AM

Camp Taylor received a special visitor recently when Colin Kaepernick joined the free camp for local children with heart disease for a day full of fun in the pool, singing and more. Camp Taylor holds a special place in Kaepernick’s heart, as his parents lost two children to heart disease at a young age.

It was hard to tell who had more fun at the recent camp session: Kaepernick or the kids.

“He truly has a heart of gold,” Camp Taylor Executive Director and Founder Kimberlie Gamino said. “He was supposed to come for three hours but he stayed for seven. He has this unique ability to connect with kids and they just loved him back.”

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49ers Host Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman

Posted by Taylor Price on July 27, 2012 – 11:30 AM

The San Francisco 49ers welcomed and honored a special guest at Thursday night’s team meeting: General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serves as the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.

The avid sports fan reached out to the team about visiting the facility, to which Jim Harbaugh immediately accepted and asked Dempsey to speak to his players. The players, in turn, responded with a standing ovation before his speech even began.

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Morning Tailgate: July 27

Posted by Taylor Price on July 27, 2012 – 9:01 AM

Finally, football has come back to the 49ers training facility in Santa Clara. Camp is here. Position battles, non-stop competition, and the smell of fresh-cut grass all signal the start of an exciting time of the year.

The 49ers, 87-men strong (with three players placed on the 90-men roster on the Physically Unable to Perform List), will hit the fields Friday afternoon. But first, select veterans like Alex Smith and Randy Moss, plus coach Jim Harbaugh will address the media from 12-1. The first training camp practice runs from 2:30-5:10 p.m.

All eyes and ears will be on Moss according to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. Many want to know what the future Hall of Fame wide receiver has left in the tank at the age of 35. We’ll find out Moss’ outlook on training camp when he meets the press later today.

Without even taking a training camp rep, 49ers camp got off to an interesting start. Dashon Goldson signed his one-year franchise tender Thursday morning, calling the decision a “no-brainer.” Shortly after, the team announced the signing of three-time Pro Bowl guard Leonard Davis to compete for the starting right guard position.

If that’s any indication of what’s to come, we should all be in for an entertaining ride.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 11 Comments »

Vernon Davis Learns Lessons from 2011

Posted by Alex Espinoza on July 26, 2012 – 4:19 PM

In his first NFL postseason appearance, Vernon Davis didn’t disappoint. His 14-yard, last-second, game-winning touchdown against the Saints in the NFC Divisional Round will forever be remembered as one of the greatest plays in football history.

As well as Davis recalls that momentous evening at Candlestick Park, the sting of defeat from the NFC Championship game lives just as strong. Speaking to the media on Thursday, reporting day for 49ers veterans, Davis reflected on the 2011 season while looking forward to this year’s campaign.

“I have high hopes for this team, high expectations. It’s something that we all have to live up to as a team,” Davis said. “We’ve got a lot of talent; we’ve got a lot of guys around here that are very capable. At this point, all I can do is keep my belief and faith and let the chips fall where they fall. But I will not doubt anybody on this team; I will not doubt this team. I will continue to have faith.”

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Morning Tailgate: July 26

Posted by Taylor Price on July 26, 2012 – 10:19 AM

Jim Harbaugh certainly has a way of getting the most out of people. It’s not just on the football field, it can take place off of it, too.

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee recently spoke with the 49ers coach about his philanthropic work in Piura, Peru. Harbaugh discussed his role in Piura and why the commitment is so important to him, so much so, that he missed a week of rookie minicamp.

“Harbaugh first visited Piura in 2009 after hearing a friend describe his own experience with the Most Blessed Sacrament Parrish there,” Barrows wrote. “The 49ers coach has been going back ever since, and he even missed a rookie minicamp — gasp-worthy when it comes to control-freak NFL coaches — to go this year. He used the word ‘transformational’ three times in a recent interview in describing the effect of the visits.”

Harbaugh has continued his positive messaging back home with the 49ers and has transformed the team’s walkway from the locker room to the field. Harbaugh recently had a street sign placed along the walkway that simply reads, “Forty Niner Way.”

Rookies and select veterans have seen the sign in person. The entire team (including Dashon Goldson, who signed his one-year franchise tender this morning), will get to see it today as it’s veteran check-in day at camp. Practices begin on Friday.

More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 11 Comments »

Josh Johnson Growing with Offense

Posted by Alex Espinoza on July 25, 2012 – 3:51 PM

For Josh Johnson and the quartet of 49ers quarterbacks, the 2012 season has already started. It’s no secret that offensive coordinator Greg Roman has put together one of the NFL’s most creative playbooks in his brief time in the league, so Johnson has appreciated the offseason time to hammer out the details.

“With G-Ro’s offense, I’m getting a feel for how he does things,” Johnson said. “Having this warmup period, or as the quarterbacks like to call it, ‘the oil-up period,’ it’s been great for me because now I’m a lot more comfortable within the offense, playing a lot faster, getting things quicker and understanding my teammates a lot more now.”

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