49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 13, 2012
Day 13 recap: Defense missing three starters; Alex Smith looks solid


There were more absentees today than in any other day of 49ers training camp. Defensive starters Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith and Isaac Sopoaga sat out the session. Books and Sopoaga walked onto the field midway through the session, and neither injury appears serious.

Parys Haralson lined up in Brooks' spot at left outside linebacker while Eric Bakhtiari stepped in at right outside linebacker; Ricky Jean Francois took over at nose tackle. The others who were missing were tight ends Nate Byham and Delanie Walker, inside linebacker Tavares Gooden and outside linebackers Darius Fleming and Cam Johnson.

The 49ers signed Kenny Rowe to add some numbers at outside linebacker. However, the new collective bargaining agreement says players signed off the street must wait three days before donning pads and practicing with their new team. That also was the case for tight end Joe Sawyer, who was signed today. Another new tight end, Gijon Robinson, had already taken park in Jacksonville's training camp and was able to participate.

In addition, nose tackle Ian Williams went down early in practice after what appeared to be a blow to the head. Williams did not return.

A day after he was dubbed "Baby Drew Brees" by safety Donte Whitner, Scott Tolzien had an up-and-down afternoon. His main scourge was cornerback Chris Culliver, who knocked away three passes, including one in the end zone. Perrish Cox, meanwhile, intercepted an over-the-middle attempt by Tolzien to A.J. Jenkins. Tolzien also had a few nice throws as well, including one deep down the sideline to Jenkins and another to rookie Brian Tyms.

Alex Smith was the best-looking quarterback today. He hooked up with Vernon Davis deep along the left sideline. On the next play, he found Randy Moss even deeper along the same sideline. Both passes hit the receiver in stride.

Smith also feathered in a perfect pass to Kendall Hunter who had beaten - barely -- rookie linebacker Joe Holland along the opposite sideline. Holland, a one-time safety, has been good in pass coverage and Hunter only had him beaten by a step. Smith's pass snuck in ahead of the linebacker, and Hunter caught it on the run.

Colin Kaepernick today completed a pass to Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback's pass was batted back to him at the line of scrimmage. So Kaepernick took off around the left side of the line for a modest gain.

One of Josh Johnson's over-the-middle passes went through the hands of new tight end Robinson and was picked off by Dashon Goldson. Johnson hooked up twice with Chris Owusu.

-- 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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