The San Francisco 49ers are a couple weeks(!) away from entering the 2012 regular season, a season that brings with it the fewest number of questions in years. Mostly we’re talking about the last 10 names on the roster, or how the order will shake out on the lower end of the depth chart.
For example, even though he has a lot of personality and gave his all on special teams, this guy probably won’t make the team (especially since Jim Harbaugh said today that Brandon Jacobs had done enough to make the roster before injuring his knee):
The photo above is of Anthony Dixon warming up his body (and perhaps his adrenaline) before practice on Wednesday.
Long story short … Greg Roman, Alex Smith and Mike Iupati talked to the media yesterday but didn’t really provide much to go on for what we’ll see from the 49ers’ roster this season. While Jim Harbaugh was a gracious locker room host to about a half dozen of us media folks, he wasn’t giving any clues as to whether Perrish Cox will get more time than Tramaine Brock or who’ll back up Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson at safety. Since earth-shattering, we-have-a-breaking-story info was scarce yesterday, here are some photos I took instead.
As the rest of the players warmed up, Harbaugh walked out of the outdoor weight room talking to Scott Tolzein. He made his way through a gaggle of stretching players, and I took this photo of Harbaugh talking to Frank Gore a split second after Harbaugh was pumping his fist to “Tony Montana,” which was booming over the speakers.
After positional drills started, the linebackers were the closest group to the sideline where we were stationed, and Vic Fangio was throwing passes at different angles to the LBs as they ran from right to left. Larry Grant has decent hands:
Patrick Willis isn’t bad either. He’s generally the first linebacker to go through any drill the first time, and this was the first time Fangio had the backers catch a floating “INT” over their left shoulders.
Then Harbaugh blew the whistle and switched things up. Now the closest group were the quarterbacks and a select group of receivers (starting receivers?) catching passes in the corner of the end zone.Before they pitched in with some one-on-one coverage on the receivers, Tarell Brown and Dashon Goldson went out for a few passes:
Here’s Michael Crabtree with his arms outstretched, making the play:
Another reason why I went over to this area was because Mario Manningham, who had changed his number from 14 to 82 that day, was running end zone fades. Here he is looking the ball in, while Randy Moss looks on.
This looks like the same play, but it was another catch that I shot from a slightly different angle (the way he looks the ball in is why I liked this photo — that’s how he made that catch during the Super Bowl, I would assume):
Randy Moss was going up against Goldson on one particular pass where I shot six or seven frames. On this play, Moss tips the ball with his right hand and juggles it while trying to stay in. However, he wasn’t able to maintain possession until after he stepped out of bounds, leading to a couple angry words you won’t hear on network television or terrestrial radio.
You know how the 49ers coaching staff always talks about how Moss loves football, is an excellent teammate, and is always focused in practice? He was legitimately pissed at himself after this play, which took place at the beginning of practice before the team even started going 7-on-7 or 11-on-11. I always thought of Moss as someone who was blessed with better athleticism than any other receiver in history, and that’s why he’s been so great. Sure, Moss has been known to give up early on games, seasons and teams in the past. But the guy definitely cares quite a bit about his craft, at least in this stage of his career.