49ers Blog and Q&A

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

May 24, 2011
No team-wide practices imminent for 49ers

Some of you may have woken up this morning and read how Rams quarterback Sam Bradford led a group of 30 or so teammates through a player-organized workout at a college campus in St. Charles, Mo. Or about how 35 Raiders players met and practiced in Georgia. Or how nearly 40 Redskins players, including 10 rookies, practiced today in Northern Virginia.

And you may have wondered how, exactly, that compares with what the 49ers are doing in the Bay Area.

The 49ers group has been much smaller. Today, for example, the players on hand included offensive linemen Joe Staley and Adam Snyder; defensive linemen Justin Smith, Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald, cornerback Nate Clements, receiver Kevin Jurovich and quarterback Alex Smith.

And for the most part, the sessions have been more about conditioning and building strength than rehearsing the plays in the playbook, which is what Bradford and the Rams are doing this week in Missouri and the Raiders are doing in Georgia.

The exception has been Smith and his receivers. Smith has been arriving at the sessions with notes from the playbook, which he refers to from time to time between throws. Jurovich and Josh Morgan have been his most constant receivers during the offseason, but he also has thrown to Ted Ginn and to rookie Ronald Johnson. Michael Crabtree recently arrived in the Bay Area, but he has yet to take part in any of the player-led workouts.

On Tuesday, Jurovich, who played collegiately at San Jose State, was the only 49ers receiver on hand. But four San Jose State receivers also took part in the session, giving Smith plenty of targets and plenty of work.

The 49ers players say that they plan to hold more extensive practices sessions like the Rams, Raiders and Redskins are having as the offseason goes on. But there is nothing imminent. One of the obstacles is that the Bay Area is an expensive place to live and that many of the players choose to live elsewhere in the offseason.

Another is that the two players in the most prominent leadership positions -- the starting quarterback and the players' representative -- technically aren't part of the team. Alex Smith and Takeo Spikes are both likely to re-sign with the 49ers when the lockout is lifted, but both are currently unrestricted free agents. Furthermore, Spikes lives in the Atlanta area.

-- 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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