49ers Blog and Q&A

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

June 3, 2011
At least five rookies to attend next week's practices

The 49ers' player-led practices next week will include nearly every offensive rookie from the team's 10-man draft class. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, running back Kendall Hunter, receiver Ronald Johnson and offensive linemen Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person are currently making travel arrangements to attend, according to various sources. Bruce Miller, a seventh-round pick who will compete at fullback, will not attend, his agent said.


The so-called minicamp will be led by quarterback Alex Smith and will focus on offense, which is why few, if any, defensive rookies are expected to show up. One of the reasons Miller will not take part, his agent said, is the risk of injury.

Some rookies have taken out disability policies on their own, but those are only for career-ending injuries, not the twists and sprains that are more likely to occur during an offseason practice and that could affect a rookie's initial contract. The 49ers veteran players will help with accommodations and transportation to and from the practice site, but it appears as if the players' agents are footing the travel costs.

Smith said on Wednesday that the minicamp is likely to be rudimentary as he goes over basic tenets of Jim Harbaugh's new playbook. He said there probably wouldn't be any offense-vs.-defense scenarios and that the offensive players would be running plays "against air." Kaepernick, the team's second-round pick, has been attending 49ers workouts for the last week and a half but will be limited next week due to a recent surgical procedure.

Center Eric Heitmann also is not expected to attend. Heitmann, who is dealing with a neck injury that knocked him out of the 2010 season, has not yet been cleared to practice.

-- 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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