The 49ers' presumed starting cornerbacks - Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer - have not attended any of the team's offseason practices, including today's, which was the start of a four-day session. And while coach Mike Singletary said he'd like to have everyone on hand, he seemed content that Clements and Spencer were putting in the necessary work on their own. He said he spoke to both cornerbacks last week.
"I told them, go ahead and do what you have to do," Singletary said. "But they know that when we bring it in and get ready to go, they've got to be ready to go. So I don't worry about that at all. ... "Obviously, as a coach, you always want to see your guys. But it was just like last year. There were some guys that were not here last year. And I told Nate, I told Shawntae, 'Hey, look. You're men. Do what you have to do. You know what we're trying to get done here, and I trust that.'"
Safety Michael Lewis, meanwhile, said no one should be worried about Clements' absence. He says he gets a text or a phone call from the cornerback every other day. "He's working. I think you guys are going to be surprised when Nate shows back up and you see the work he's put in in Arizona," Lewis said. Clements is working out privately in Arizona; Spencer is working out in his native Pittsburgh.
Singletary said he has not spoken with another absentee, linebacker Manny Lawson. "I have not heard from him," he said. "It's been a while since I talked to him, but it's the same thing. I know Manny is a guy that I'm not concerned about as far as what kind of shape he's in. He's a very bright guy. He knows the defense. ... It's the same with Aubrayo (Franklin) - when he has to be here, they'll be here and be ready to go."
The other absences Monday included running back Michael Robinson, who missed the March OTA, and rookie linebacker Keaton Kristick, who was ineligible to attend because his school year is still in session. Patrick Willis (knee) and Kentwan Balmer (shoulder) did not take part in practice. Willis is here; Balmer is not. Rookie WR Jared Perry had travel complications but is expected tomorrow.
Karl Paymah and Tarell Brown were the starting cornerbacks today. Ahmad Brooks started at outside linebacker alongside Parys Haralson.
In other news, seventh-round draft pick Phillip Adams is the first draft pick to ink a deal. The team announced it had signed Adams to a four-year deal. With a shortage of cornerbacks, Adams ran with the second-team defense today and intercepted an Alex Smith that glanced off of Ted Ginn's hands.
-- Matt Barrows