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Here's the full list of all the veterans who took part in the opening day of the rookie minicamp Friday. A few of the guys who jumped out to me were Dashon Goldson, Kentwan Balmer and Josh Morgan. Goldson goes into training camp as the starter at free safety, but it never hurts to get additional practice at one of the most mentally demanding positions on the field. Balmer didn't wow anybody as a rookie and needs to hold off newcomers Demetric Evans and, perhaps, Ricky Jean-Francois for playing time. Morgan, meanwhile, will have a hard time fending off top draft pick Michael Crabtree for the right to be the starting X receiver. The other vets:

S Lewis Baker, OT Jacob Bender, WR Mark Bradford LB Ahmad Brooks, LB Marques Harris, WR Jason Hill, QB Shaun Hill, CB Marcus Hudson, FB Zak Keasey, LB Jay Moore, WR Maurice Price, G Chilo Rachal, LB Justin Roland, QB Alex Smith, CB Reggie Smith, WR Michael Spurlock, OT Joe Toledo, TE Delanie Walker, C Cody Wallace, LB Mark Washington, S Jimmy Williams, WR Dominique Zeigler

Some observations:

Smith and Hill shared all the snaps. Hill was given the first snaps. Damon Huard is not attending the minicamp. Nate Davis was nursing what appeared to be a hamstring strain. Smith's passes had nice zip, though some were off target. His best pass was a frozen rope to Spurlock down the middle of the field.

Reggie Smith is still at safety. With Michael Lewis absent, Smith was the de facto strong safety while Goldson was the free safety. Seventh-round draft pick Curtis Taylor was playing free safety. Newcomer Jimmy Williams was behind Smith at strong safety. Williams is so big, you wonder if he could play linebacker.

Where did the other rookies play? Scott McKillop was at "Ted" opposite Justin Roland, who was running the defense from the "Mike" position. Glen Coffee was in a rotation at running back along with Thomas Clayton and Kory Sheets. Tight end Bear Pascoe caught a couple of passes and looked good. Ricky Jean-Francois played exclusively at right defensive end while Pannel Egboh lined up on the left. Undrafted rookie Khalif Mitchell (6-5, 318 pounds) played nose tackle. Michael Crabtree was on a stationary bike.

Undrafted cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels picked off a Smith-to-Morgan sideline pass that hung up in the air. Word-Daniels later left practice with a calf cramp.

Cal linebacker Worrell Williams was at camp today on a try-out basis. Williams, however, is hurt and did not work out. No word yet on the injury.

Joe Staley watched practice in street clothes. As Shaun Hill said earlier in the day, when veterans show up at the rookie minicamp it shows good leadership. Staley's a good example.

-- Matt Barrows

MATTHEW 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.

June 2009

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