Video: 49ers linebackers and defensive backs run drills
SANTA CLARA -- Jarryd Hayne’s first padded practice was perhaps a tad overhyped.
The event brought two crews of Australian television reporters as well as plenty of questions and stories over the past two days. Guilty. There were even 400 or so corporate sponsors who were lined up along the sidelines to watch the rough stuff.
But the 49ers did not do any live tackling, and the biggest collision Hayne -- or anyone -- encountered was during a blitz pick-up drill when he and linebacker Nick Moody were matched up. The 245-pound Moody did not let up on Hayne, who had never taken part in a full-contact practice, but Hayne stood his ground. He didn’t do as well with a swim move from Philip Wheeler, who got past Hayne on a subsequent drill.
It was a busy afternoon for the newcomer even if there wasn’t a lot of hitting. With veteran runners Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter being held out of practice, Hayne was part of the rotation at tailback along with Carlos Hyde, Mike Davis and Kendall Gaskins.
He had a nice run up the middle midway through practice. On the next play, however, he was caught up in the wash and knocked to the ground. His top highlight came when he caught a short pass in the flat and then turned up field for a 15-yard gain.
It was another rough to very rough outing for the offense. A microcosm of the last three sessions occurred during a two-minute drill late in practice. Going against the first-team defense, the first-team offense was given this scenario: 1st & 10 with the ball on the offense's 25-yard line, the defense leading 24-21 with 1:46 remaining.
Here's how it went:
* 1st & 10: Up-the-middle defensive pressure from nose tackle Ian Williams forces Colin Kaepernick to throw the ball away.
* 2nd & 10: Kaepernick intercepted by cornerback Shareece Wright, who runs in for a touchdown. Facing an all-out blitz, the quarterback tried to hit Quinton Patton to his right, but Wright jumped the route.
The second-team offense's drive lasted longer than two plays. But it petered out when Blaine Gabbert's fourth-down pass, which was short of the first-down marker, was dropped by rookie wideout DeAndrew White.
The theme so far in training camp is that the quarterbacks simply aren't comfortable behind the 49ers offensive line. Part of that is because the line has been reshuffled more than at any point in the last 10 years. Another factor is that the defensive line and outside linebackers are pretty good.
Sacks -- essentially a defensive player touching the quarterback, thereby ending the play -- were common. Darnell Dockett had one. Ahmad Brooks had another on one play; Aldon Smith and Moody seemed to share a sack on the very next snap.
That dominance also could be seen in the one-on-one pass-rush drills, which were a little bit livelier in full pads. Several players stood out, especially Dockett, Brooks and Eli Harold. Arik Armstead also has consistently been a handful for offensive linemen one on one.
Dockett looked quick and explosive and otherwise unlike someone who tore his ACL a year ago. He blew past guard Marcus Martin early in the drill. Harold, meanwhile, easily slipped past tackle Trent Brown with an inside move. Even Joe Staley struggled when Smith whipped past him with an inside swim move.
NaVorro Bowman was given a "vet's day" off. Moody and Shayne Skov were the first two inside linebackers on the field although Desmond Bishop also rotated in with the first-string defense opposite Moody. With Michael Wilhoite (leg) and Nick Bellore (illness) already missing, the only other inside linebacker is Philip Wheeler.
Skov nearly picked off a Kaepernick pass on a crossing-route pass intended for receiver Chuck Jacobs.
* Receiver Bruce Ellington did not practice after straining a leg muscle in Monday's session. The team already has been without rookie receiver Isaac Blakeney, who also is battling a muscle strain, and veteran Jerome Simpson, who was given the day off due to personal reasons. Simpson is expected back Wednesday.
* Second-round pick Jacquiski Tartt has been lining up next to Craig Dahl with the second-string defense Tartt, however, did not take part in team drills. Instead second-year player L.J. McCray was playing next to Dahl.
* Offensive highlights? Davis, one of the team’s fourth-round draft picks, looked good and is a stout and trustworthy pass protector. ... Tight ends Derek Carrier, Vance McDonald and Blake Bell all caught mid-range passes, although Carrier also had a drop.
* Aldon Smith’s agents were on hand for practice and to take him to dinner. Smith is entering the final year of his contract and the team likely will make an offer to him at some point.
“We’re going to work hard to make sure that he remains here,” general manager Trent Baalke said after practice. “We don’t talk about what we’re doing within negotiations. I think he understands, his agent understands, what we would like to do, and we’re going to work hard at it. Now when that gets done, if it gets done during the season, I can’t answer that. He knows where we stand and my understanding is he would love to be here, and we would certainly love to keep him here.”