Despite progress on the labor front, 49ers offensive players plan to assemble for their second, four-day "minicamp" this month, players said Tuesday. Like the sessions that were held June 6-9, next week's practices will be led by quarterback Alex Smith, a free agent who is expected to re-sign with the team when the lockout is lifted.
Smith noted that even if a deal is reached in principle between owners and players, it may still take several weeks to iron out the deatils that will officially end the lockout and allow players to meet -- and practice -- with their coaches. Smith began installing the base offense earlier this month.
One difference from the earlier camp may be the involvement of defensive players. Although a half dozen or so defensive players were on site earlier this month, they worked out on their own while the offensive players ran plays on the Spartan Stadium turf.
Unlike the 49ers offensive players, the defensive players do not have a playbook and therefore have not planned a minicamp of their own. If they do take part next week, it mainly will be to give the offensive players an opponent so that they are not running plays against air.
Attendance at the minicamp is expected to be similar to the first one. About 25 players were on hand, including six rookies: OLB Aldon Smith (he arrived late in the week), QB Colin Kaepernick, RB Kendall Hunter, OG Daniel Kilgore, WR Ronald Johnson and OG Mike Person. Aldon Smith, Kaepernick, Johnson and Person have continued to work out with veterans at San Jose State this week.
The group, in fact, did a stadium workout - bleacher runs, etc. - Tuesday with temperatures approaching 95 degrees. And before you ask ... no, I don't know if Michael Crabtree is planning to attend. On June 6, Crabtree mentioned he would be returning to Texas to work out with receivers there.
-- Matt Barrows