Minicamp Day 2: 49ers Offense Improves But Defense Wins the Day

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The San Francisco 49ers are officially on summer vacation. Well, almost officially. They will have a family day tomorrow but minicamp wrapped today.

Offensive Improvements

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that yesterday’s practice was the worst for the offense this year. Today was an improved day, but as was the case yesterday, the defense out-shined the offense.

Yesterday, the offense had a lot of trouble with cadence, which led a number of false start penalties.

“It sucked,” said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “I mean, it wasn’t any fun. When that goes wrong it just screws up the rest of the play. So, first and foremost we’ve got to get that corrected. But, we were trying some different things yesterday. We’ll keep working at those. You’d rather those happen in practice than in the game.”

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For his part, Garoppolo kept the offense on the field after practice to get in some extra cadence work. Music to a coach’s ears.

“It’s always nice when you don’t demand anything,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “You hope it’s their standard, not ours. Like I say, that’s really what makes it real and I think those guys worked as hard as they could yesterday. It wasn’t a lack of effort. But, we weren’t good on the cadence so you want to ask why. Maybe it’s because there’s two more days of school left and we had four days off right before the last two days of school and they came out and worked hard, but they weren’t totally locked in and it showed…It bothers them, just like it bothers us. When things bother people, you usually fix it and that’s what I think our guys stayed out and tried to do yesterday.”

Shanahan said the coaches bear responsibility for not emphasizing cadence enough, but Garoppolo is not passing off the blame.

“It’s all on the quarterback,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, I’m the one doing the cadence. I have to make sure that me and all of the other quarterbacks are saying it the same way and sounding similar to one another. Just getting everyone on the same page

For the record, the offense did not have a single penalty today. Marquise Goodwin was out again with a sore back, Dante Pettis was out with an unknown injury, and Trent Taylor continues to recover from a back procedure.

Garoppolo was somewhat limited with his weapons, but he hit Jerick McKinnon for a huge gain and what would have been a touchdown to start the day in team drills. QB1 also connected with wide receiver Kendrick Bourne during that period. With so many guys out, Aldrick Robinson was a favorite Garoppolo target, connecting twice. Garoppolo finished his final period 3-of-5.

Still not pleased with the day overall, Garoppolo stayed late again with Bourne and tight end George Kittle for some extra work. Practice makes perfect.

Stay in Shape

Even though the Niners are off for six weeks, that doesn’t mean guys can let themselves go before training camp. It doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help the team. In football, you can’t rely on playing catchup.

“We had 90 guys work as hard as they could for these past two months…but we’re not going to be around them for a month,” Shanahan said. “…[Y]ou come to training camp thinking you’re going to get into shape in training camp and you usually pull a hamstring on the first couple days, then you’re out for three weeks, then you come in for the last preseason game and you don’t totally feel right and then you either don’t make the team, you don’t make practice squad or you make it because of your history but you don’t look the same in Week One because you haven’t gone through it all. It’s a trickle-down effect throughout the whole year…If you don’t come to training camp right, it will affect how you play in Week 16.”

Garoppolo, who held a number of Saturday throwing sessions to work with his receivers, plans to keep working throughout the break.

“I think there’s going to be a good amount of guys here, so, we’ll have plenty of time to get together,” said QB1. “We don’t get the same type of ability to use the facility as we would now, but we’ll figure out a way to get it done.

And also

The inside linebacker duo of Reuben Foster and Malcolm Smith is a balanced one.

Malcolm’s great,” Shanahan said. “He knows the scheme very well. He’s very smart. He’s an extremely hard player to go against, especially in the pass game, and they both feed off of each other very well. Malcolm is very controlled and has a lot of experience and Reuben, I always tell him that he’s like ‘The Waterboy’ out there. He’s just flying around ready to hit someone. They balance each other out very well so I think it’s a good tandem.”

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Third-round linebacker Fred Warner, who signed his rookie contract today, loves that Foster energy.

“Reuben, he’s just a ball of energy as a person, so when he’s on the field, he’s the same exact way,” Warner said. “He’s very smart football player. That’s something I learned very fast. He has a good memory…We all just feed off of his energy out there on the field,”

  • Shanahan said Dekoda Watson suffered a calf strain in Tuesday’s practice but it should not affect training camp.
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Tracy Sandler

Bleeding gold and staying Niner faithful, I bring you the latest news features & commentary on my beloved San Francisco 49ers.

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