49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 7, 2009
Jones is out. So who is in?

The 49ers were back at it with the 2-minute drill this afternoon. Starting at his own 38-yard line, Shaun Hill was three for three to start out. His third pass went to Vernon Davis, who turned to run up field. Nate Clements, however, went to his signature move and whacked the ball out from behind. Safety Reggie Smith recovered the loose ball and Hill's drive was over. (No, they didn't have to run gassers because of the fumble).

Smith, meanwhile, hit tight end J.J. Finley and Dominique Zeigler - twice - downfield to move his unit to the 19 yard line. He threw an incompletion to Finley and the field-goal unit came in for the short attempt.

The 49ers have been rotating their receivers during training camp in an effort to keep everyone fresh, so pinning down the pecking order at the position has been an inexact science. The top two receivers, it's pretty safe to say, are Josh Morgan and Isaac Bruce. Brandon Jones, meanwhile, appeared to be the No. 3 option until he went down. After that? The 49ers ran 30 11-on-11 plays prior to the two-minute drill. I jotted down the receivers on each of those plays. Keeping in mind that Bruce took the afternoon off and that there were a number of three-receiver sets, here are the results:

Josh Morgan: 15 plays
Arnaz Battle: 14 plays
Micheal Spurlock: 14 plays (many in the slot)
Jason Hill: 12 plays
Dominique Zeigler: 10 plays
Maurice Price: three plays
Mark Bradford: three plays
Dobson Collins: two plays

During the two-minute drill, the first-team receivers were Morgan, Spurlock and Hill. The second-team receivers were Zeigler, Battle and Hill. All of which is just another way of saying that Battle, Hill, Spurlock and Zeigler all are in the mix for a bigger role until you know who shows up.

By the way, the 49ers had their first non-padded practice of training camp. Good thing -- some guys are walking around rather gingerly.

-- 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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