San Francisco 49ers

49ers notes: Sacks and interceptions mark final OTA session

NaVorro Bowman and his first-string defense stymied their offensive counterparts during the team’s final OTA session of 2016.
NaVorro Bowman and his first-string defense stymied their offensive counterparts during the team’s final OTA session of 2016. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Asked what has stood out to him about the 49ers defense so far this spring, receiver Pierre Garcon on Thursday gave a very broad answer.

“Apparently we can’t run the ball or throw the ball against our defense, so everything’s standing out,” he said.

Garcon’s glum answer came an hour after the conclusion of the team’s final OTA session, one that was won decisively by inside linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Malcolm Smith and the rest of the first-string defense.

That group came away with two interceptions and at least four “sacks,” which in a no-tackling practice like Thursday’s involve plays in which a defender reaches the quarterback and the sequence is blown dead. Smith and cornerback Dontae Johnson had the interceptions, both of which came off of bobbles by receivers, including one by Garcon.

First-string defensive linemen Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Tank Carradine were among those credited with sacks.

Defenses typically are ahead of their offensive counterparts at this point in the offseason because the defensive playbook usually isn’t as dense as the offense’s and because the defensive players have become accustomed to what the offense is running.

Garcon insisted the offense has won its share of sessions, too, so far in June.

“It goes back and forth,” he said. “And some of these periods are scripted so some people are scripted for success.”

Dumervil officially a 49er – The 49ers officially signed veteran pass rusher Elvis Dumervil to a two-year deal. Dumervil agreed to terms with the team on Monday, and he’s expected to join the 49ers for next week’s mandatory minicamp.

“Elvis is a proven pass rusher in this league whose credentials speak for themselves,” general manager John Lynch said. “We are ecstatic to add another piece to what we feel is shaping up to be a formidable defensive front.”

To make room on the roster, the team waived rookie offensive lineman Evan Goodman.

Et cetera – One of the 49ers’ strong-side linebackers, Eli Harold, missed practice due to a personal matter while another, Ahmad Brooks, limped off after injuring his leg. That left only Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert at the position.

▪ Outside cornerback Rashard Robinson and nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams, both of whom have been practicing with the first-string defense, sat out Thursday’s session with minor injuries. In nickel situations, the first-string group was Johnson, Keith Reaser and nickel cornerback Will Redmond.

▪ Center Jeremy Zuttah, receiver Bruce Ellington and running back Raheem Mostert are being eased into practice after missing most of the OTA sessions. Zuttah, who is a candidate to start this year, has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

▪ Stanford coach David Shaw and some of his assistants were guests at practice Thursday. One of Shaw’s former players, Solomon Thomas, will be permitted to join the 49ers for their mandatory minicamp next week.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

  Comments