49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 3, 2009
Jay Moore makes splash at p.m. practice

The MVP of the p.m. practice? You've got to go with outside linebacker Jay Moore, who turned one tipped pass at the line of scrimmage into an interception and batted down another later in the session. That play landed Moore in the trainer's room with a cut to his finger, but he should be ok. Moore definitely needed a practice like this. In two and a half offseasons, he has yet to make a splash with the 49ers. Truth be told, he likely would have been cut last season if he hadn't landed on injured reserve with a biceps injury. Moore had been running with the third-team defense (never a good sign) at Sam outside linebacker behind Manny Lawson and Marques Harris. The hip injury to Parys Haralson, however, has caused the 49ers to shuffle the lineup a bit, and Moore has seen more playing time. Today he made the most of it.

Funniest moment of training camp? It came courtesy of tight ends coach Pete Hoener, one of the more animated assistants on the team. Two of Hoener's young pupils, JJ Finley and Bear Pascoe, were taking part in pass-blocking drills with the outside linebackers and Hoener, to put it lightly, didn't care for their technique. When Pascoe whiffed on blocking Moore, it sounded like we were in the first row at AT&T Park. "Steeeee-RIKE one!" Hoener roared. Pascoe wasn't any better against Marques Harris. "Steeee-RIKE two!." Finally, Manny Lawson easily got past the rookie. Hoener, with all the theatrics of an ump: "YOU'RE OUT OF THERE!"

That whole episode likely was rough for Pascoe. But he should know this: Hoener was just as critical of Vernon Davis' and Delanie Walker's blocking skills when they were rookies. Now Davis is the best blocking tight end in the NFL (just ask him) while Walker is, shall we say, much improved. In other words, the ends justify the means ....

Shaun Hill again ran the first-team offense in the afternoon. The team mostly concentrated on passes of 10 yards or less and quick outs to the tight ends and running backs. As a result, the completion percentage was high, the yardage generally low. Hill completed all but four of his attempts. Smith's first pass in team sessions was batted in the air and intercepted by Moore. Smith did not throw an incompletion from that point forth, although most were short tosses. He did complete a 20 yarder to Jason Hill.

There was a brief scare when receiver Brandon Jones ran an end around to the left side. Defensive end Demetric Evans snuffed out the play, but it continued on (no tackling in these practices) and Jones ended up colliding with cornerback Marcus Hudson. Both went down hard but neither seemed to any worse for wear.

Linebacker Takeo Spikes and tackle Marvel Smith were afforded "veteran courtesy" and did not practice. With Patrick Willis (ankle) and Haralson (hip) already out, the starting linebacking corps consisted of: Manny Lawson, Scott McKillop, Jeff Ulbrich and Ahmad Brooks.

When the team practiced punt returns, the four players who fielded punts were Allen Rossum, Micheal Spurlock, Arnaz Battle and Dominique Zeigler. You'll notice Nate Clements was not part of that group. I have a feeling the $80-million man's days of returning punts are over.

Congratulations to Amir Carlisle, who made an early commitment to play football at Stanford. Carlisle, who is a rising junior at The King's Academy in Sunnyvale, is the son of 49ers strength and conditioning coach Duane Carlisle. The elder Carlisle specializes in speed training. So it only makes sense that son Amir is known for his wheels. First rounder in 2015?

-- 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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