There will be no grandiose predictions from Frank Gore this season. A year after shooting for Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record - and falling 1,000 yards short -- Gore says he doesn't have a goal this season. "I don't want to talk numbers, nothing," he said. "I'm just going to go out there, try to stay healthy, try to play hard and just give it all I have, you know?" Gore is slimmed down this season in anticipation of his more varied role in Mike Martz's offense. Check out today's story on Gore for more on his transformation.
I heard the first "BRUUUUUUCE!" chant of the season when WR Isaac Bruce caught a 20-yard pass from J.T. O'Sullivan during the afternoon practice. O'Sullivan ran the first-team offense after Shaun Hill had that role this morning. Most of the practice was run at half speed, except for the team drills midway through. O'Sullivan's best pass was a 28 yarder down the middle of the field to Gore, who had a step on Patrick Willis. It was a play that smacked of Marshall Faulk circa 2000 and one that also drew a chorus of cheers from the crowd.
As for O'Sullivan, he's intriguing because 1. He knows the offense and 2. He has that quick release that seems to be a common trait in Martz's quarterbacks. He also has that shaggy dog story that Martz tends to admire. You may have read this already, but it might be a good time to refresh your memory on what Martz finds intriguing about O'Sullivan.
The one-on-one blocking drills this morning had some highlights. One of them was when rookie Louis Holmes knocked Barry Sims on his backside. The veteran tackle recovered on the next play and it was Holmes who found himself on the ground. The toughest shot, however, was absorbed by Tully Banta-Cain, who took a punch to the face from tackle Alan Reuber just as he was getting off the line of scrimmage. The inadvertent uppercut staggered Banta-Cain and he slowly walked back to the defensive side of the line.
Jonas Jennings sat out the afternoon practice as he has all week. Sims filled in at right tackle. Arnaz Battle and Walt Harris also sat out. There were no new injuries from the a.m. practice.
The team will only practice once -- at 3 p.m. -- on Sunday in anticipation of their intrasquad
scrimmage practice with the Raiders on Monday
-- Matt Barrows