49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 10, 2008
P.M. practice: O'Sullivan runs the first team

First off - nothing new to report on the Takeo Spikes watch. In fact, it doesn't seem as if Spikes even has arrived for his physical. An announcement could be made later tonight, so keep hitting this blog (over and over and over ...) throughout the evening.

And sorry, there's nothing dramatic to report on the quarterback front either. Mike Nolan said it might be a couple of days before he and his assistants decide on the quarterback rotation for the Green Bay game. Today was "just a rotation day," according to Nolan, although there didn't seem to be much rotating going on. J.T. O'Sullivan got all of the first-team repetitions during team drills. Alex Smith worked with the second team. Shaun Hill did not make an appearance in team situations.

The most riveting part of practice came at the end during a two-minute situation. O'Sullivan began his drive at his own 40 and got the first-team offense into the end zone in seven plays. His nicest pass was a long out to Arnaz Battle, who was going against Nate Clements. He also hit Josh Morgan on a nicely thrown lob over Shawntae Spencer for the touchdown. O'Sullivan was 5-6 on the drive and there was good energy and urgency throughout.

Smith started the second-team offense from his own 36. There didn't seem to be as much urgency - on either side of the ball - and Smith didn't get the offense into the end zone. In fact, the drive probably should have ended on fourth and 5 at the opposition's 34 when Smith was "sacked" and his eventual pass was completed at the 30. Smith got five more chances from that point but his final attempt to Jerard Rabb fell incomplete in the back of the end zone after Rabb was held up in coverage. Smith was 7-11 on the drive.

Safety Mark Roman was back in practice, and several of the players nicked in the Raiders game also were on the field. They were Eric Heitmann, Allen Rossum and Chilo Rachal. Jason Hill and Marcus Hudson did not practice. Bryant Johnson (hamstring) also will be out a while longer. Isaac Bruce practiced ... in his No. 80 jersey.

The team signed guard Chris Patrick to fill Damane Duckett's (IR) roster spot. Patrick is from Nebraska and spent time last season on Green Bay's practice squad.

Here's how O'Sullivan and Smith handles the first two team sessions:

JTO (first-team offense vs. first-team defense). Nice crossing route to Isac Bruce. 1-1.
JTO (1st, 1st). Pass over Billy Bajema's head; picked off by Michael Lewis. 1-2

Alex Smith (second-team offense vs. first-team defense). Tight pass to Dominique Zeigler. 1-1.
AS (2nd, 1st). 18-yard pass down the middle to Bajema. 2-2.

JTO (1st, 1st). Pass slightly behind Bruce is dropped. 1-3.
JTO (1st, 2nd). Quick dump of to Frank Gore 2-4.

AS (2nd, 2nd). Crossing pattern to Zeigler 3-3.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Nothing deep, goes short to Thomas Clayton. 4-4.

JTO (1st, 1st). Pass to Bruce. 3-5.
JTO (1st, 1st). Throws the ball away. 3-6.
JTO (1st, 1st). Deep sideline throw to Morgan is on target but dropped. 3-7.
JTO (1st, 1st). Out to Battle. 4-8.

AS (2nd, 2nd). Quick pass to Moran Norris. 5-5.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Too deep for Zeigler. 5-6.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Nothing open, throws ball away (Int. grounding?) 5-7.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Quick out to Delanie Walker. 6-8.

Second "team" session:

JTO (1st, 1st). Dump to Gore. 1-1.
JTO (1st, 1st). Handoff to Gore
JTO (1st, 1st). Stiff rush; throws ball away. 1-2.

AS (2nd, 2nd). Quick, over the middle pass off Zeigler's hands. Too hot? 0-1.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Handoff to DeShaun Foster.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Intermediate over-the-middle bullet to Zeigler. 1-2.

JTO (1st, 1st). Nice pass over LB Jeff Ulbrich to Vernon Davis. 2-3.
JTO (1st, 1st). Handoff to Gore.
JTO (1st, 1st). Out pattern to Gore. 3-4.

AS (2nd, 2nd). Rollout right, nice throw to Rabb. 2-3.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Handoff to Foster.
AS (2nd, 2nd). No one open, tucks and runs.

JTO (1st, 1st). Looks right, throws left to Gore. 4-5.
JTO (1st-1st). Over middle to Walker (should have been sacked by Justin Smith). 5-6.
JTO (1st, 1st). Handoff Gore

AS (2nd, 2nd). Fake end around, screen to Foster. 3-4.
AS (2nd, 2nd). Handoff to Foster
AS (2nd, 2nd). Delayed dump to Billy Bajema. 4-5.

-- Matt Barrows

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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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