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

July 27, 2012
Day 1 recap: Cox continues to impress at cornerback


The 49ers' first training camp practice is in the books, and it ended 20 minutes early.

There were no surprises as far as the depth chart. Dashon Goldson, who missed all of the spring drills, was with starting defense at free safety. Alex Boone was still lining up at right guard with the first-team offensive line depite yesetrday's signing of Leonard Davis. Jim Harbaugh said the plan was to give Davis practice repetitions at both right and left tackle.

The two-way players today were defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, who moonlighted as a tight end and inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite, who tried his hand at fullback. Wilhoite, who spent part of last year on the practice squad, is 6-0, 240 and doesn't lack for strength.

Cornerback Perrish Cox, who stood out throughout the spring sessions, carried that momentum into training camp. Cox looked very good in the seven-on-seven drills. Then in team drills, he picked off a pass from Josh Johnson that was bobbled and tipped by rookie tight end Garrett Celek. Cox has been playing both cornerback and nickel back with the second-team defense

The other interception of the day was turned in by C.J. Spillman on a pass from Scott Tolzien that also was intended for Celek. Spillman mostly played alongside rookie safety Trenton Robinson with the second-team defense.

Randy Moss caught two nice-looking over-the-shoulder catches during one-on-one drills. Both of the came against Tramaine Brock and one was on a pass - slightly underthrown - by Alex Smith. Brock got revenge during 11-on-11 drills when he broke up a sidline pass intended for Moss.

Undrafted rookie Nathan Palmer also looked good after consistently standing out during the spring sessions. Palmer is not very big - 5-11, 195 pounds - but he is aggressive in going after the football. He caught an over-the-middle pass from Johnson that was thrown on a rope. Johnson definitely has the nicest motion and throws the tightest spirals of all the quarterbacks.

Michael Crabtree went down in traffic after catching a short pass over the middle. He did not appear to be seriously injured as he walked off the field after practice.

The only players not on the practice field were rookies OLB Darius Fleming (ACL), G Joe Looney (foot) and RB Jewel Hampton (unknown). Fleming has a sleeve on his knee but no longer needs crutches. Looney was observed firing out of a three-point stance and sprinting on a side field. Rookie Cam Johnson (knee) took part in practice but clearly is not 100 percent yet.

Newcomer Darcel McBath lined up at safety with the third-team defense. ... With Ryan Pontbriand no longer on the team, Kyle Nelson has assumed backup snapping duties behind Brian Jennings.

-- 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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