49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 1, 2009
Smith chases away the boo birds

The morning crowd booed him. The afternoon crowd loved him. I'm talking, of course about Alex Smith, who came back from a middle-of-the-road morning practice with a couple of big plays in the afternoon, both of them to Brandon Jones. The first went about 35 yards, and Smith hit Jones with a nicely thrown pass along the right sideline over Allen Rossum. The second was even better because it came against the first-team secondary. The offense ran a flea flicker and Smith saw that Jones had a step on cornerback Nate Clements. Smith hit him in stride and Jones stepped into the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown.

As was the case in the morning practice, Shaun Hill got all of the work with the first-team offense in 11 on 11 situations. I'm guessing that Smith will have that honor tomorrow, but I don't know that for sure. Smith did look a bit ragged in eight-on-eight (no linemen) drills and there was a smattering of frustration from the crowd. But he came on strong in the team setting. Once again, Smith starts slowly, finished well.

Nate Davis continued to show off his arm strength. On one pass in 11 on 11, he hit Delanie Walker over the middle. The next one, a quick sideline toss to WR Maurice Price, was intercepted by CB Marcus Hudson. But the ball arrived so quickly that Price never even raised his hands. In fact, that Hudson was able to snag it -- it was a diving catch, pretty impressive -- was a bit miraculous.

Parys Haralson (hip) sat out the afternoon session, as did CB Tarell Brown, who sprained his left big toe. Both are day to day. Marvel Smith was given veteran consideration and did not practice. The MVPs of the afternoon session were A. Smith, Jones and Vernon Davis, who seemed to catch a lot of short- to mid-range passes. That bodes well for Davis in the regular season.

Taking into account that the team is subsituting all the time and that they are alternating at starting quarterback and that some guys got injured and that Moran Norris was absent today, here's how the 49ers looked to start the day ...

First team
QB: Shaun Hill
RB: Frank Gore
FB: Michael Robinson
WR: Isaac Bruce
WR: Josh Morgan
TE: Vernon Davis
LT: Joe Staley
LG: David Baas
C: Eric Heitmann
RG: Chilo Rachal
RT: Adam Snyder

LDE: Isaac Sopoaga
NT: Aubrayo Franklin
RDE: Justin Smith
MILB: Patrick Willis
TILB: Takeo Spikes
WOLB: Parys Haralson
SOLB: Manny Lawson
SS: Michael Lewis
FS: Dashon Goldson
CB: Nate Clements
CB: Tarell Brown

Second team
QB: Alex Smith
RB: Glen Coffee
FB: Zak Keasey
WR: Brandon Jones
WR: Dominique Zeigler
TE: Delanie Walker
LT: Barry Sims
LG: Joe Toledo
C: Cody Wallace
RG: Tony Wragge
RT: Marvel Smith (Alex Boone also lined up w/ 2nd team)

LDE: Kentwan Balmer
NT: Isaac Sopoaga
RDE: Demetric Evans
MILB: Jeff Ulbrich
TILB: Scott McKillop
WOLB: Ahmad Brooks
SOLB: Marques Harris
SS: Mark Roman
FS: Reggie Smith
CB: Shawntae Spencer
CB: Dre Bly

K: Joe Nedney, Alex Romero
P: Andy Lee, Alex Romero
KR: Allen Rossum, Kory Sheets
PR: Allen Rossum, Michael Spurlock.

There's no morning practice tomorrow. The afternoon session begins at 4:20 p.m. See you then ....

-- 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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