49ers Blog and Q&A

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

May 3, 2008
Saturday afternoon practice

A year ago, several 30-something veterans like Larry Allen, Bryant Young and Walt Harris had the privilege of sitting out the afternoon practice. It seems this year that option will be given to Isaac Bruce who sat out the today's late practice. Jonas Jennings (ankle) also did not participate.

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One of the more interesting drills this afternoon pitted linebackers against tight ends and running backs in pass coverage. On one play, Jeff Ulbrich had such excellent coverage on Vernon Davis that it drew hoots and hollers from the linebacking group, including position coach Mike Singletary. Davis, however, caught the ball cleanly the next time they faced each other.

Another matchup also got the blood pumping. Fullback Moran Norris smacked linebacker Lance Brandenburgh at the end of one drill, then gave him a shove the next time they lined up. The only other bit of rough play came when rookie guard Chilo Rachal knocked Isaac Sopoaga to the ground during team drills. It's extremely early and the team has yet to practice in pads, but Rachal has looked good through two days and seems to excel at making blocks downfield.

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The 49ers defense practiced their dime coverage quite a bit. The team uses six defensive backs in the scheme: Nate Clements, Walt Harris, Shawntae Spencer, Michael Lewis, Mark Roman and Dashon Goldson.

-- Matt 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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