49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

June 8, 2007
Welcome to the 49ers gun show

There are two members of the 49ers who like to practice with their sleeves rolled up: tight end Vernon Davis and rookie running back Thomas Clayton. And why not? Those two have arguably the two best physiques on the team, including arms that are anaconda-esque in thickness.

Keeping in mind that practices are non-contact and that a player is considered "down" when he is touched by a defender, Clayton has looked good so far in organized team activities (OTAs). Today he showed excellent burst during a run up the middle, which he finished with an impressive dash into the end zone.

Davis, meanwhile, is emerging as Alex Smith's favorite target. Part of that is because Smith's top wide receivers have been sidelined with injuries. But Davis also seems even more aggressive than he was last season, if that's possible. Today linebacker Manny Lawson had a hard time keeping up with Davis on a couple of pass patterns. At one point, the 49ers' quarterback forced a throw to Davis in traffic. The tight end not only caught it, he bowled over Lawson in the process and then scampered into the end zone

Nice snag - The coaching staff had mixed reactions when tight end Delanie Walker reached out with his right arm and made a circus-like one-handed grab. It was a beautiful catch, and one reminiscent of Walker's feats last season. But the 49ers also are wary of their second-year tight end re-injuring his right shoulder, which he separated last year and which required surgery this offseason. Walker is one of only four tight ends on the roster.

Take a look - At least one member of the 49ers' scouting staff will be on hand for Georgia cornerback Paul Oliver's June 20 workout in Athens, Ga. So far, Oliver is the only player to declare for the supplemental draft that will be held July 12.

Injuries - Arnaz Battle worked out with a team trainer but did not practice for the third straight day. Nolan said he thought Battle would be back Monday. The team is hoping that right tackle Kwame Harris (back) returns to practice by the middle of next week. Rookie Joe Staley has been filling in in Harris' absence.
- Matthew Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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