49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 4, 2008
49ers, Raiders rumble in wine country

The 49ers and Raiders practiced togther for the first time *since 1982* and as you might expect, there were some heated tempers between the Bay Area cousins. No doubt you'll see plenty of footage on the evening news, but to be honest, the rough stuff was a minor distraction in an otherwise smooth practice. The biggest fracas occurred during 7 on 7 drills and involved several players, including Vernon Davis and Frank Gore, who at one point had his hands around Raiders safety Jarrod Cooper's throat. At the end other end of the practice field, 49ers rookie guard Chilo Rachal and defensive tackle William Joseph took a few swings at each other's heads.

As for the quarterback battle, all three 49ers' passers saw significant action. If you had to pick one guy as the "starter" today, it would be Shaun Hill, who saw the most work with the first-team offense, although J.T. O'Sullivan worked with the ones as well. Alex Smith mostly worked with the second team.

The 49ers are becoming thin on receivers. Isaac Bruce didn't take part in the practice while the other would-be starter, Bryant Johnson, went down with a hamstring injury on the first play of 7 on 7 drills. Johnson was on the ground for several minutes while trainers tended to the hamstring. He watched the rest of practice while standing on the sideline. Mike Nolan called it a "tweak" and said he didn't think it was serious. With Bruce and Johnson out, undrafted rookie Cam Colvin saw plenty of action and looked good in the offense. "It's getting easier," Colvin said of learning the offense. "Just in terms of going out there and having those double (practices) every day. ... It's starting to slow down."

Lelie, meanwhile, emerged from the 49ers' locker room - actually the boys locker room at an adjacent middle school -- with an ice pack on his left calf. Lelie injured the calf on the third day of camp and only returned to action yesterday. "I think it just got fatigued," he said. "It was a little tender before." There's no word yet on whether he will take part in the 7 p.m. practice, which won't be in full pads.

During the first "team" session, led by Hill, the 49ers ran the ball exclusively and did most of their running on the inside. Frank Gore did not take part in team drills, giving way to DeShaun Foster. Gore did participate in the rest of practice. There was no live tackling on the day, but it seemed like the Raiders had everything bottled up. My notes are peppered with "Thomas Clayton, no room to run." During the second team session of the morning, O'Sullivan came out with the first-string offense. His first pass three passes to Josh Morgan, Billy Bajema and Colvin were dropped before he connected on a quick slant to Colvin. Alex Smith, who mostly lined up with the second team, saw his first pass go off Ashley Lelie's fingertips.

The third team session was the best for the 49ers. Hill connected twice on intermediate sideline routes, first to Morgan and then again to Colvin. Hill was 4 of 5 in the third session; Smith, leading the second-team, also was 4 of 5.

I took copious notes during the one-on-one blocking drills. Jonas Jennings looked good - very good - against the Raiders' top rusher, Derrick Burgess, mirroring Burgess' every move. Here's how the other 49ers offensive linemen held up against the Oakland defensive line.

49er offensive lineman vs. Raider opponent = Winner

-Tony Wragge vs. Tommy Kelly = Kelly
-Eric Heitmann vs. Gerard Warren = Heitmann
rematch = Warren
- Adam Snyder vs. Josh Shaw = Shaw
rematch = Shaw
-Joe Staley vs. Kalimba Edwards = Staley
rematch = Staley
- Barry Sims vs. Greg Spires = Sims
rematch = draw
- Chilo Rachal vs. William Joseph = Joseph
rematch = Rachal
- Cody Wallace vs. Terdell Sands = Sands
rematch = Sands
- Brian De La Puente vs. Derrick Gray = Gray
rematch = De La Puente
- Damane Duckett vs. Jay Richardson = Duckett
rematch = Richardson
- Alan Reuber vs. Greyson Gunheim = draw
Rematch = Gunheim
- Wallace vs. Mauricio Lopez (int'l player) = Wallace
Rematch = Wallace
- John Booker vs. Tommy Kelly = draw
Rematch = Kelly
- Joe Toledo vs. Trevor Scott = Toledo
Rematch = draw
- Jonas Jennings vs. Derrick Burgess = Jennings
- Wragge vs. Josh Shaw = Shaw
- Snyder vs. Gray = Snyder
- Heitmann vs. Warren = Heitmann
- Sims vs. Greg Spires = Sims
- Rachal vs. Joseph = Rachal
- Duckett vs. Scott = Duckett

-- Matt 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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