Alex Smith remains one of the hottest players at 49ers Training Camp presented by HP. After he led the 49ers on a 92-yard scoring drive to close out Sunday’s Fan Fest and connected on several deep sideline throws the following day, San Francisco’s starting quarterback put together his best practice of camp on Tuesday.
Smith threw several passes throughout the day and about two hours into it, you could count his incompletions on one hand. Highlights of the day included several deep throws to his longest-tenured target, tight end Vernon Davis, and several to new wide receiver Mario Manningham. Smith also hit back-to-back red zone touchdowns to Randy Moss.
Colin Kaepernick, who’s strengthened his chances of being the team’s No. 2 quarterback, also connected on several deep balls and red zone touchdowns to Moss.
Score this day for the 49ers offense.
Let’s take a look at the offensive explosion from Tuesday’s camp session.
-49ers general manager Trent Baalke visited with a colleague to start practice, it just happened to be one from a different sport. Baalke spoke with Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers for about 20 minutes.
-In a team period to start the practice, Smith started his hot day with a deep middle seem route to Davis. The 49ers tight end made a tough catch in traffic on a route the duo has mastered in recent seasons. With the third-team defense facing the starting unit, safety Colin Jones almost recorded his first interception of camp, but couldn’t corral the incoming pass and settled for a quality pass breakup on a Kaepernick pass. The first-team defense, with Ricky Jean Francois lining up at nose tackle, recorded an interception thanks to the fourth-year lineman’s agility. Jean Francois tipped a Scott Tolzien pass at the line and stuck with it long enough to record the interception – the first of any defensive linemen in camp. Kaepernick tossed the other takeaway of the period when undrafted rookie cornerback Deante’ Purvis came up with a deep sideline interception.
-In a red zone 7-on-7 period, Smith found Moss on consecutive skinny post touchdowns against Purvis. Michael Crabtree added a touchdown catch on a Kaepernick back right corner pass against Carlos Rogers’ coverage.
-In a move the ball period with 1:38 left on the clock, Smith led a six-play scoring drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Manningham. It was a perfectly thrown pass for the new 49ers wideout to run under past Purvis’ coverage. In the same period, the second-team offense, led by Josh Johnson, settled for a 45-yard field goal from David Akers.
-In another midfield team period, Kaepernick and Manningham hooked up on a 50-yard touchdown against Anthony Mosley and Michael Thomas’ coverage. Manningham got behind both young defenders to easily catch Kaepernick’s long pass.
-In a red zone team period, Smith found Davis in the back of the end zone for an impressive score. Davis displayed amazing leaping ability to stab Smith’s pass out of the air, while tight-rope walking his landing in the back of the end zone.
-In a later midfield team period, Smith connected with Manningham on a 40-yard deep ball down the right sideline. Chris Culliver, a steady contributor in camp, broke up a Johnson pass intended for Chris Owusu.
-Following a punt period, the team was once again together at midfield. And once more, Smith connected on a deep seem route to Davis on the first play of the period. It also stood as play of the day thanks to Davis’ ability to catch the ball over safety Darcel McBath, who had his back turned to Smith. Moss recorded a 40-yard touchdown pass from Kaepernick. Somehow the respected veteran wideout was left wide open by the third-team defense.
-In a split-team period that saw the first-team offense face the second-team defense and the first-team defense face the second-team offense, NaVorro Bowman stripped Kyle Nelson in the open field for the only takeaway of the period. Nelson later caught a touchdown on a red zone pass from Tolzien.
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