49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 2, 2012
Day 6 recap: Bowman nicked, quarterbacks picked


Score Day 6 for the defense.

That unit, which had a league-high 38 takeaways last season, picked on their own quarterbacks all afternoon Thursday. Each of the passers threw at least one pick, and Scott Tolzien and Alex Smith had multiple turnovers, though one of Smith's was off a deflections from his own receiver.

The 49ers are focusing on improving their red-zone offense this season after routinely settling for field goals last year. Today they showed there's still plenty of work to be done over the next month or so. The unit scored on a couple of occasions during today's drills, but most of the throws were batted down, intercepted or the quarterback couldn't find an open receiver.

"Were we as good as we wanted to be?" offensive coordinator Greg Roman said of last year's red-zoning output. "Heck no, heck no. We didn't have enough time on task last year to be where we wanted to be in the red zone. It was a matter of execution more than anything."

One of Tolzien's interceptions was a throw to Brett Swain that was picked off by third-string safety Colin Jones. Another occurred when an unknown cornerback - the 49ers practiced on the far field today where it's difficult for reporters to see the action - on a pass to A.J. Jenkins. The ball was grabbed by safety Michael Thomas.

Jenkins couldn't hang onto a Josh Johnson pass later in practice and the deflection was grabbed by Michael Wilhoite. Jenkins wasn't alone, though. Smith threw a perfect pass to Mario Manningham that slipped through his hands into safety Darcel McBath's. Another of Smith's red-zone throws was picked off by inside linebacker Wilhoite.

It wasn't all bad. Smith looked up at one point and saw Randy Moss 10 yards beyond the third-string defense for an easy, 40-yard hookup. ... Tolzien threw a nice misdirection pass to Will Tukuafu, who was a fullback today, for a red-zone touchdown.

NaVorro Bowman came up gimpy early in practice and was replaced by Larry Grant. Bowman walked off the field after practice under his own power. ... Kyle Williams seemed to injure himself late in practice and did not participate the rest of the day. He also doesn't not appear to be seriously hurt.

Michael Crabtree missed his fifth straight practice. ... Justin Smith appeared to get a veteran's day off. ... Cornerback Curtis Holcomb and receiver Joe Hastings did not 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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