Sunday provided the final, full slate of 49ers practices before things shorten up before their first preseason game on Friday. It was not a superb performance from starter Trey Lance, following a day he closed out strong.
There were plenty of nuggets to glean from the past couple of days, including Bryant Young’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bryant Young gets inducted
On Saturday night, 49ers great Bryant Young was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The 14-year veteran spent the entirety of his career with the 49ers, becoming their all-time sack leader with 89.5 career sacks.
He delivered a brutal, but beautiful speech upon his induction to his late son, Colby, who he revealed died of brain cancer.
With the 49ers honoring the late, great Dwight Clark on Sunday, it was another reminder of the respect the franchise gives to history and family.
Kyle Shanahan spoke fondly of Young on Saturday, saying that he’d tried to get Young to join the 49ers’ coaching staff a few years back:
“I love B.Y., I was a ball boy when he got drafted. And talk about a rookie who comes in who doesn’t act like a rookie. That guy was a man from day one. And for me to even know that as a seventh grader, it shows how unusual it was and how much he stuck out. I think that was our Super Bowl year.
And then just how long of a career he had. I got to see him in Atlanta. He’d come out and he was tight with [Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn] Q, so he got to work with us a little bit. And he was a guy I tried to bring here a few years ago. Just the situation wasn’t right at the time. But B.Y. is so deserving as a player and one of the most impressive people too.”
Asked if there are any other players on the current roster who came in as rookies and didn’t seem like rookies, Shanahan chuckled.
“Bosa,” Shanahan said. “Yep. Bosa’s been a professional since three years old.”
Practice Report: A day to forget for Lance
This was the worst day of training camp for Trey Lance. It was the first “yikes”-eliciting performance when he had some consistent moments of disappointment.
After starting out 3-for-3, hitting Deebo Samuel, layering a nice ball over Oren Burks to Brandon Aiyuk, then hitting Tyler Kroft under pressure, Lance sturggled.
He overthrew Deebo Samuel, was let down by a Ray-Ray McCloud drop, then waited a tick too late, allowing for a Ka’Dar Hollman pass breakup on a ball intended for Aiyuk.
On his next set, he had a bad overthrow down the left sideline, then had to try and force a ball to the flat to Trey Sermon. There was tight coverage and not much time.
On the first of two move-the-ball drills, he hit Tyler Kroft on a checkdown, his last completion of the day. Then he threw a near interception. The fault was unclear, as Charvarius Ward locked down Aiyuk, then pulled off him and dropped the would-be pick.
Lance’s last set was rough. He threw a hospital pass to Brandon Aiyuk high over the middle, with Jimmie Ward clobbering Aiyuk at about two-thirds speed. Then he threw a confounding ball to a receiver I could not identify.
There were so many white jerseys in the area that whoever Lance was trying to connect with was difficult to see. It provided a maddeningly straightforward interception for Fred Warner.
After the rough day, Aiyuk said the encouraging thing was that Lance’s demeanor remained level. He said he had the same temperament that he maintains after an explosive play.
There were two highlight plays that didn’t feature Lance. One was a Nate Sudfeld dime deep down the right sideline to McCloud in the move-the-ball period. The other was an outstanding, back shoulder grab by Danny Gray. He was covered by Deommodore Lenoir and adjusted to a slightly underthrown ball by Brock Purdy and secured it.
In addition to Williams, McGlinchey and Kittle, Samson Ebukam, Dre Greenlaw, Azeez Al-Shaair and Emmanuel Moseley got the day off.
Other notes: Shanahan’s tough love and expectations for Jason Verrett
- Shanahan’s tough love for WRs:
- No one knows the perils of Kyle Shanahan’s standards like Brandon Aiyuk. He was in Shanahan’s doghouse at the start of last season. We all remember what happened with Dante Pettis.
- But Aiyuk’s been outstanding in training camp thus far, with Shanahan crediting the “violent” intention in his route-running. That means Aiyuk’s getting less of that classic Shanahan pestering… at the expense of Danny Gray.
- Shanahan said Saturday that, “It’s pretty much guaranteed that a rookie, especially a rookie receiver, is going to do something to bother me in every practice.”
- Aiyuk appreciates the shift in focus, saying lightheartedly: “It’s nice to have another receiver that Kyle can annoy and leave me alone.”
- Jason Verrett’s return:
- For someone who so easily could have retired at multiple points in his career, and is recovering from a second torn ACL (after a torn ACL led to a torn Achilles), Jason Verrett perseveres and is on the road to recovery.
- He was spotted out running at full speed at 49ers practice a few days ago and Kyle Shanahan said Verrett’s intention is to be ready for Week 1. He acknowledged, though, that he probably came back too early in 2019 against the Steelers, and the 49ers will be patient with him.
- While Shanahan said the 49ers would “love” to get him into camp, they’ll make sure he’s fully prepared for that burden: “We definitely don’t want to do anything too soon and give him the time to get back to being Jason.”
- Spencer Burford can dance: There have been plenty of solid rookie hype performances. All rookies are required, at some point, to go entertain the fans before practice. Nick Zakelj’s Stone Cold Stunner was excellent, but Spencer Burford getting down to Hernan Crespo’s iconic merengue jam, “Suavemente,” takes the cake. You gotta feel for Dohnovan West (#61). He just turned into a spectator at that point.
- Shanahan’s recall: The subject of Bryant Young’s induction led into Shanahan’s time as a 49ers ball boy. Asked about the 1994 training camp, he waxed poetic, demonstrating that elite recall: