49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 3, 2008
Quarterbacks will divide snaps equally from here on out

Mike Nolan today lifted some of the fog from his quarterback rotation. He said the team has roughly 15 practices left until they break camp, and the goal is for each of his three quarterbacks to lead the first-team offense in practice five more times. He also said he hopes to have Alex Smith, J.T. O'Sullivan and Shaun Hill go against the Raiders' first-string defense at various times during tomorrows inter-squad practice. If the 49ers stick to the five "starts" in practice, they could still decide on an ultimate starter by the third preseason game Aug. 21 in Chicago. Camp ends on Aug. 20.

Smith got the "start" today while Hill led the second team. There wasn't a lot of pass plays. The team mostly worked on goal-line offense (lots of running) during the first team drill. In the second session, Smith tried a deep pass to Arnaz Battle, but he was well covered by safety Michael Lewis. Hill went deep to Robert Ortiz. His pass was held up by the wind and easily knocked down by the defensive back.

For their goal line offense, the 49ers have been using Barry Sims as an extra tight end. Sims lined up next to Joe Staley on the left side of the line.

Undrafted rookie Louis Holmes got quite a bit of work with the first-team defense today. Holmes lined up with a hand on the ground on the left side in the team's 4-3 defense. Holmes also had a nice showing during one-on-one blocking drills. He beat Jonas Jennings to the outside on one rush, then slipped past Barry Sims on another. Oddly enough, he struggled with the lesser of his three opponents - Alan Reuber - during his final rotation.

The other guy who stood out was guard Adam Snyder, who had been inconsistent the last few days. Snyder looked good against Justin Smith on one play, then locked up Walter Curry on the next.

As for tomorrow's practice in Napa, no one can seem to remember the two Bay Area teams ever having practiced together in the past. Nolan said he called up Lane Kiffin to talk about it and that GM Scot McCloughan contacted Al Davis. "Because, obviously, if Al's not in favor of it, it doesn't matter if I talk to Lane." Nolan said Davis was concerned about injuries, and the teams agreed there would be no "live" tackling. "I think that's sometimes when it gets heated," Nolan said. He said he hoped that all three of his quarterbacks would be pitted against the Raiders' first-team defense tomorrow.

Injured guard David Baas said he's begun doing "light" bench press work and said his rehab from a torn pectoral ligament is going well. He would not share what he considered a "light" bench press. "In my mind, I'm definitely going to be back for the (regular) season," he said. "And anything before that is a blessing."

Delanie Walker was held out of practice today after complaining of headaches. He said they probably were related to not drinking enough water.

Six players will not make the trip to Napa tomorrow. They are Baas, Mark Roman (hamstring), Michael Robinson (knee), receiver Jerard Rabb (groin), safety Lewis Baker (leg) and lb Parys Haralson, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

Isaac Bruce wore No. 80 in practice. No one asked him about it ....

-- 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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