2010 TC X: Stick a Fork in It

The 2010 49ers Training Camp ends today and here are some observations on what was accomplished during the past two weeks.

Moving our two number one draft picks into the starting lineup was a fervent wish and it was granted. Both Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis played as well as one could hope to expect, and now have the next four weeks to improve to the point that they are solid when the season begins. Iupati is getting a tremendous crash course into NFL life by having to play against Justin Smith day after relentless day. If he can hold his own against Smith, he can hang with anybody in the league. A. Davis is already better than Adam Snyder and seems to improve with each passing day.

The rookies were expected to be the big question mark on the O-line when the season started, but when Eric Heitmann broke his leg, that upside down handicap marker was transferred to David Baas’ ability to hold down the center spot for the first two to four weeks until Heitmann returns. Baas said the most difficult task would involve the techniques, not the mentality, and summarily drove that point home by throwing grounders and air balls back toward the QB in his early hiking efforts. He has four weeks to refine these errant heaves, which does not seem like a severely daunting task.

Another significant goal of the camp was to see Smith develop some chemistry with his receivers, so we don’t see so many plays like last year where the ball goes one way and the receiver goes another, or the ball stays in Smith’s hands as he heads toward the sidelines. Beyond that fairly obvious need lay the fine aspect of Smith getting a sure feel for each receiver’s quirks and speed, enabling him to throw the ball earlier and lead the receivers more accurately. His chemistry with Vernon Davis is becoming insanely good, but reports out of camp indicate that Smith has also synced up with Ted Ginn’s downfield speed. We did not hear much about Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan, but whenever someone asked about them, the response was they were looking good. This group is ready to roll and should keep improving as the year unfolds. Whether they become a dynamic passing attack or not seems more in the mind of Jimmy Raye and the stoutness of the O-line than anything else. This is the best set of receivers the 49ers have had since Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens were both on the field in the year 2000.

Among the other receivers battling for the 4th and 5th roster spots, 6th round pick Kyle Williams and Dominique Zeigler seem to have a surprising lead. This might not be so if it weren’t for Brandon Jones again coming up lame and sitting out with a hamstring strain. Jason Hill has also remained his inconsistent self, always nursing some kind of nick or bruise. The exhibition games might change this picture, but this site hopes not. Williams is a dynamic speed guy, like Ginn, and both will upgrade the punt and kick return game that was such an off season priority. Zeigler just has to make the squad. End of the BS with Jones and Hill. Zeigler would be a tremendous 3rd down option and red zone terror. His height, jumping ability, and catching prowess border on surreal. A QB’s dream. If they throw it anywhere near him, he will catch it.

On the defensive side of the field, not much change was expected and not much did, other than Ricky Francois nailing down the backup NT job and Kentwan Balmer nailing down a ticket to Palookasville. This group remains pretty much intact from last year and has moved into that level of continuity Justin Smith described as non-verbal communication between teammates. The old wink-wink, hand wiggle deal. NaVorro Bowman has looked very good, which is quite fortunate given the season ending injury to Scott McKillop. Second round pick Taylor Mays has not shown much yet, which is not that surprising given his lack of fundamentals coming out of USC. We have yet to see him on special teams, which might occur during the exhibition games. Regardless, Reggie Smith has taken over Mark Roman’s old spot as first safety off the bench and he has performed well so far. One could say he’s an improvement over Roman, but that would be like saying sunshine is brighter than darkness.

The blogosphere chatter about ditching Nate Clements has disappeared and he has had a good camp. The coaches have moved him into the nickel back role with Tarell Brown playing the corner during passing downs. This is an intriguing switch that seems like a good idea, given Nate’s physical nature at the LOS and Brown’s superior speed on the outside. We shall see. Shawntae Spencer continued to play well, and both Karl Paymah and Will James seem like solid reserve CBs.

The team has a lot of players nursing various minor injuries at the moment, but opening game is four weeks off, which is plenty of time to heal. Saturday morning, the team travels to Indy and we outsiders will finally get to watch the team play on Sunday and start making our own judgments about the news that has twittered its way out of camp via the beat guys.

Halleluja, baby. Come Monday, we’ll be talking about what we saw, not what we heard.

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24 comments on “2010 TC X: Stick a Fork in It
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    It is only pre-season but it is still football!

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:


  3. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Damn you, Berger, you’re first once again. Gotta get up pretty early in the morning to beat the Bergermeister to the wire. Breakfast burritos on the menu this morning? That’s sounding pretty tasty to me right a ’bout now.
    The Baas/Smith “relationship” is starting to worry me. Way too many snaps are going awry. They need to get that fixed pronto. Can’t be having problems with something that should be very simple that is the center-quarterback exchange. Get it fixed, guys.
    Agree about the Alex/Vernon connection. They seem to be in perfect harmony once again. All the FF gurus think VD can’t reproduce his great numbers from last year. I dunno, looks like Alex seeks out #85 quite a bit, especially in the red zone. Another big year for “Click Clack” is on the horizon.
    Skeebs, another fine TC report this morning. You’re detailed accounts have been exemplary. Nice job.

  4. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, Dennis. You’ve been doing a nice job keeping the Insider up to date, too. That site isn’t used to having current news. Has Lynch sent you a thank you note?

  5. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    “Your” this damn new medication is turning me into a dumb blonde.
    A guy decides to bring his new blonde girlfriend to a football game. After the game is over, he asks her if she liked the game.

    She replies: “Oh it was great, I loved watching those men in tight clothes, but there is one thing I don’t understand.”

    “What did you not understand ?”

    And the blonde says: “Well, at the beginning of the game, both teams flipped a quarter to see who would kick off first. Then the rest of the game everybody was yelling get the quarter back, get the quarter back, get the quarter back. So I thought to myself, gosh it’s just a quarter!”

    Buh dum dum.

  6. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    A thank you note from Lynch? Surely you jest.
    “No, I’m not jesting. And don’t call me Shirley.”

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Jeez. Now Coffee is MIA.

  8. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Ya beat me to it, Skeebs. WTF is going on? First Balmer, now Coffee. Another McCloughan pick. I honestly believe that those two don’t measure up to Sing’s standards and have received the message since his ascension. I think the word might be “soft.” Well, go squeeze the goddamn Charmin if that’s the case. See ya.

  9. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. Coffee just retired!

  10. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I gotta go take a nap. The blogs are going to go nuts.

  11. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    While the blogs cool off, here’s a humorous tidbit from Washington:
    “Sal Paolantonio just reported that Albert Haynesworth was the last Redskin to arrive at tonight’s game, pulling up in his Rolls Royce.”

  12. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Haynesworth the last to arrive? That’s a shocker. Another shocker; sounds like Coffee is quitting to enter the ministry.
    Brother Coffee?
    Reverend Coffee?
    Rabbi Coffee?
    Father Coffee?
    Jesus H. Christ. He shoulda went the Joe DiMaggio route and just stuck with Mr. Coffee.

  13. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I liked Coffee, but starting your ministry life by walking out on your teammates and ignoring a contractual commitment you just signed last year is not exactly impressing me.

  14. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I was wondering why didn’t the 49ers ask Coffee before they drafted him if he had any other plans other than football. Team has to cover all its bases when investing money into a player for 4 or 5 yrs. I blame McCloughan and Co. for not investigating far enough into his background/psyche Most guys just don’t wake up one morning and decide they’re gonna give their life to God. That’s a long process one thinks about early in life and shares his thoughts with friends and family about whether should he or shouldn’t he. Bottom line; another wasted goddamn pick from the McCloughan era. I hope to hell we beat that no good drunken, sorry excuse for a husband and his Seahawks Week 1. I’m getting really pissed now.

  15. robNo Gravatar says:

    man , i gotta lay off the drugs ! i swear i posted this earlier this morning , but now it ‘s nowhere to be found ! what happened to it ? ok , so i’ll repeat it …
    in all the 40 years i’ve been following niner football religiously i’ve never seen anything like this !
    the good news is this . singletary takes such good care of his players … like giving his established starters ‘veteran courtesy ‘ and knowing just when to lighten up on the practices etc ,

    that the only thing the players have to do is run with it !

    this tells me that the players who are dropping out are the ones who didn’t really have the commitment and determination needed to succeed in the NFL anyway !

  16. robNo Gravatar says:

    here’s a possible take on recent the odd happenings here …

    in all the 40 years i’ve been religiously following niner football i’ve never seen anything like this !
    the good news is singletary runs such a good camp and pre season and still takes care of his players better than almost all of the ‘hard nosed’ head coaches … like giving his established starters ‘veteran courtesy ‘ and knowing just when to lighten up on the practices etc !
    imo things are being done in such a way that
    the only thing the players really have to worry about is taking the ball and running with it (if you’ll pardon the expression) and doing the right things !

    this tells me that the players who are dropping out are the ones who didn’t really have the determination and commitment needed to succeed in the NFL !

    maybe this answers the question ( at least in the case of these two ) of why some high round draft choices with seemingly limitless potential never manage to make an impact in the league , and end up washing out !
    on the bright side , if there is one , maybe now we’ll bring in a back to replace coffee on the roster who could be a real change of pace back for us , with the speed to get outside and who can catch passes out of the backfield !

  17. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I have not watched any of the exhibition games yet, so tomorrow’s game will be the first football game of the year for me. Hot diggity!

  18. robNo Gravatar says:

    skeebs , me too !

  19. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rob- Got some drugs?

  20. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I hate Democrats!

  21. robNo Gravatar says:

    yes !
    it’s 1:30 a.m. here in fla ! when morning rolls around so does the first niner action of 2010 !

  22. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, Berger. How ya feel ’bout Democrats?
    C’mon over, I’m having a party. How does a spot of tea sound? Lemme go check if I have enough bags.

  23. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    dennis- Sounds good. I’ve retired the coffee.

  24. robNo Gravatar says:

    dennis , one lump or two ?
    i know , time for the niners to give out lots of lumps !!!

    someone on one of the blogs ( either here , on chuck’s or the insider ) asked what we’ll be looking for in today’s game !

    with me it’s the 0-line first and foremost ! davis , iupati and rachal will have my full attention ! baas and how he transitions back to center is also big !
    we’ll no doubt get to see how much impact having mike solari as 0-line coach has had so far !

    on defense it’s the safeties , reggie smith was starting to make some noise last year , and bears watching and of course taylor mays (and how quick he catches on ) will be of interest here !

    special teams in the return game , in the person of kyle williams , will be of interest … this and the battle for the 3rd , 4th and 5th WR spots !

    williams , ginn , brandon jones and jason hill are the main men to watch here !

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 路 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 路 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 路 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 路 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 路 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17