The San Francisco 49ers have signed DT Lamar Divens and S Curtis Taylor to the practice squad.
Tags: Curtis Taylor
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The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have placed S Curtis Taylor on the Injured Reserve List. The team has promoted S Chris Maragos from the practice squad to the active roster. Taylor suffered a torn quadriceps muscle against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 10.
Tags: Chris Maragos, Curtis Taylor
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What’s the best thing about being a rookie in the National Football League? The fact that there’s never just one on a team.
Fortunately for the 2010 class, each incoming 49ers rookie has a handful of teammates dealing with similar eye-opening experiences this week at the team’s four days of voluntary organized team activities. The rookies will have to adapt to their new surroundings and build bonds with one another quickly as they go through their first experiences in the game of professional football.
But after talking with some of the rookies on Tuesday, it sounds like they’re already leaning on each other just fine.
For 49ers first-round pick Anthony Davis, having a fellow first-round pick in guard Mike Iupati around has been extremely helpful as the two face similar challenges.
“Mike’s my boy,” Davis said when I asked him about spending time with Iupati off the field. “We would go over our plays and just talk about the daily things we go through just being a rookie, like getting the Gatorade for the guys and stuff like that.”
The two offensive linemen have their work cut out for them this week at OTAs as they try to learn an NFL playbook as quickly as possible. Davis said he already feels better with each workout amongst his new teammates.
“It’s going well, every day I’m getting a little better at it,” the No. 11 overall pick said. “Every day you have to give it all you got and then the next day you’ll be able to give it a little more.”
Davis instantly picked up on one of the major differences between the pro game and the college game – the concentration needed to be successful.
“Every play is like… if you’re not giving it everything than it won’t be enough,” he said.
Good thing for Davis is that he’s got a solid group of veteran linemen to learn from. He’s even picked up a training tip or two from right guard Chilo Rachal.
“Chilo has been helping me out a lot, just how to operate at this level basically. He’s always doing extra work (after practice) trying to be the best.”
Likewise, undrafted linebacker Mike Balogun is relishing the opportunity to work with the talented defensive players on the 49ers roster.
“I’m fortunate with this whole situation,” Balogun said. “I’m very grateful to come in and play with guys like Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis. Those are guys who you can definitely learn from. Takeo’s been in the game for years and Pat’s probably the best one in the league right now. It’s a pleasure and I’m grateful.”
And just like Davis and Iupati’s relationship has blossomed, so has Balogun’s bond with 49ers third-round pick Navorro Bowman. The two inside linebackers were roommates at the team’s first rookie minicamp and have continued to build on their friendship since.
“We’re constantly talking,” Balogun said. “After meetings, on the field, when we’re in the hotel, we’re constantly talking because we’re together. We’re always asking each other ‘What’s this?’ or ‘What did you have on that play?’ We have to communicate if we want to get better.”
Notes and Quotes
Greg Manusky wore a microphone at practice today for TV49. Check out 49ers.com next week to relive the practice through the eyes of the 49ers defensive coordinator. It’s guaranteed to have some quality sound bites as well.
Keith Smith came up with the first turnover of the day, intercepting a deep Alex Smith pass intended for Michael Crabtree 35 yards down the center of the field. The veteran cornerback timed his jump perfectly and beat the second-year wideout to the ball.
Vernon Davis always looks fast after the catch, but it seems like he’s running with even more of a purpose once the balls in his hands this year. After a nice deep drag over the middle for a 10-yard gain, Davis flashed his Pro Bowl-caliber explosiveness, darting past multiple defenders as he took off 50 yards down the field. I remember Gary Plummer once telling me how Jerry Rice would run to the opposite end zone after every catch in practice to replicate doing it in a game. It appears as if Davis is trying a similar approach this year. He’s already taken off down the field a couple of times this week, should be interesting to see if it continues.
Reggie Smith became the second player with his namesake to come up with a turnover on Tuesday. Smith was the was the lucky recipient of an overthrown pass from backup quarterback David Carr to wide receiver Josh Morgan during 7-on-7 work.
Later in skelly (7-on-7) work, Morgan made an impressive catch on a flag route thrown by third-string quarterback Nate Davis. The second-year signal caller showed nice pocket presence, stepping up and to his left to make the deep sideline throw to Morgan, who used his big body to shield safety Curtis Taylor away from the ball.
Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye spoke with the media after practice on the state of the 49ers offense. Asked what are some of the things the unit can do this year that they couldn’t do 365 days before, Raye responded: “We’ve come almost 180 degrees from a year ago in terms of the basic, fundamental understanding of the words and the nomenclature of the system and trying to get passed that point. We’ve expedited that part of it so we don’t have to spend as much time on the rudiments of what we are doing, that we can review that and get onto the basic things. This is the first time that they would have had an opportunity to see cut-ups going into the next year. The work they did a year ago, we use that as teaching tools to advance and go forward as we install. So, we have some things that we identify that they are doing good and bad, and so it helps us tremendously where we are starting point-wise from when we walked in here February a year ago.” (Watch Raye’s press conference by clicking HERE).
The 49ers received a special visit on Tuesday from 15-year-old Brandon Dale of Santa Clara, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer. Brandon and his family spent the day watching practice, touring the facility and even met with players and coaches after practice. Brandon also spent time with his favorite player, linebacker Patrick Willis. TV49 caught up with the Dale’s after their visit and we’ll have much more on their experience.
Tags: Alex Smith, Anthony Davis, Curtis Taylor, David Carr, Greg Manusky, jimmy Raye, Keith Smith, Mike Balogun, Mike Iupati, Nate Davis, Navorro Bowman, Reggie Smith, Vernon Davis
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On Saturday, head coach Mike Singletary held a conference call with the media to discuss the decision behind releasing 20 players to get down to the mandatory 53-man roster.
The 49ers will keep only two tight ends in Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker, but Singletary said the possibility remained open that the team could still add a blocking tight end.
After a good preseason, the 49ers released running back Kory Sheets. On the decision, Singletary simply said, “We wanted to have the 53 guys that give us the best opportunity to win.”
Linebacker Diyral Briggs was the only undrafted free agent from this year’s draft class to win a roster spot.
“He’s young, he has talent and going foward we wanted to see it develop,” Singletary said of Briggs.
Micheal Spurlock also impressed during the preseason and his ability on special teams and at wide receiver make him a valuable addition to the roster.
“Spurlock has just continued to show up,” Singletary said. “He’s a versatile guy and he can help you in the special teams area. It was a good opportunity and a good fit.”
The 49ers also kept its two seventh-round draft picks out of LSU, DE Ricky Jean Francois and S Curtis Taylor.
“[Jean-Francois] is a big guy who is talented,” Singletary said. “He studies and the maturity he has is important to him. When you look at [Taylor], with his size alone, you’re hoping he can play. He has nice range and good speed. He’s become more physical since he’s been here.”
The overarching theme behind the roster decisions for Singletary and his coaching staff was work ethic.
“You want guys on the team that have a common denominator – that football is important to them and they have a great work ethic,” Singletary said. “As a coach, I was pleasantly surprised that all of these guys had a great work ethic. Certain guys just stepped up in certain areas and did things that made you look twice. Whether it be Spurlock, Jean Francois or Curtis [Taylor], I just think they did a good job. As we sat down as a staff, their names just kept coming up.”
Going forward, Singletary said, “We’ll keep one eye on the roster and we’re thankful that the season is about to start.”
Tags: Curtis Taylor, Micheal Spurlock, Ricky Jean-Francois
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Earlier in the week, Mike Singletary promised his team would be in pads come Saturday. And he meant it.
Once the 49ers wrapped up stretches and individual position drills at their first training camp practice of the 2009 season at team headquarters in Santa Clara, it was time to put the pads to use.
Singletary did so, by introducing a drill he dubbed “The nutcracker.”
His pad-thumbing drill featured seven groups of players pitted at different stations. Some of which saw cornerbacks vs. receivers, offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen, running backs vs. linebackers and tight ends vs. linebackers.
Only quarterbacks and specialists were spared from the drill.
“I think we got some good work out of that (drill),” Singletary said after the first of two Saturday practices. “The fundamental part of what we’re trying to achieve, I think we took a step today in that area. And we’re going to do that a few times. I just think it’s important we understand contact, but even more importantly, it’s not just coming out here and hitting people. It’s coming out here and learning how to engage and win in a competitive environment. And that’s really what we did in that drill.”
The players got more out of than just fundamentals. They understand that it’s a mentality that their head coach is trying to instill.
“There is just a mindset Coach Sing wanted us to get out of that (drill),” Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis said. “Not only is it about being tough, but it’s about the mindset he wants our team to have – and that is we are going to go through people. No matter who stands in our way, we are going to go through them. That drill helps with that mentality.”
After the leverage drill, the team went on to work on special teams drills. The rest of the morning practice rounded out with various team work: 11-on-11, 9-on-7 and 7-on-7 scrimmages.
Some quick highlights of the first practice:
-A fan wearing a Tony Romo jersey was escorted out of the bleachers by 49ers mascot Sourdough Sam.
-Wide receiver Arnaz Battle, cornerback Shawntae Spencer and tackle Marvel Smith practiced for the first time this offseason.
-Alex Smith completed a deep pass to wide receiver Dominique Zeigler over the middle on a seam route after Smith faked a reverse handoff to wide receiver Brandon Jones.
-Seventh-round draft pick Curtis Taylor intercepted a pass from fellow rookie Nate Davis to end the morning practice.
MVP of the morning practice honors goes to defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga, who made several plays behind the line of scrimmage. The best was when he batted down a pass from Smith.
Stay tuned to our Twitter page for more updates and photos from the practice field. The players are just about to head back on the field for the second practice which will begin a little after 4pm.
Tags: Alex Smith, Arnaz Battle, Curtis Taylor, Dominique Zeigler, Marvel Smith, Patrick Willis, Shawntae Spencer
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