And we’re back. The San Francisco 49ers reported to training camp on Tuesday, and they did so with over 90% of the team vaccinated, per general manger John Lynch.
“…It really speaks to our players,” Lynch said. “We didn’t enforce anything. What we tried to do is just communicate with our guys and rely on the professionals to educate them as much as possible. So, our guys really arrived at this individually and as a team and we’re proud of them for that.”
For the first time in a long time, the media spoke with Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan and various players in person. Reunited and it feels so good.
A Little Quarterback Fire
As of this moment in time, Jimmy Garoppolo is the 49ers’ starting quarterback and Shanahan was very clear that there is no quarterback competition. Garoppolo is QB1, with Shanahan calling him the best quarterback on the 49ers’ roster “right now.”
“There’s no open competition right now in terms of they’re getting equal reps with the same group,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy’s coming in as the one and Trey’s coming in as the two.”
— CAA Football (@CAA_Football) July 28, 2021
Shanahan later said, “…[W]hen we made this trade, I told Jimmy I know this is discouraging and I’m sure frustrating for you, but you’ve also got to know, Jimmy is a very good player. And if Jimmy’s at the top of his game, I told him this back, whenever we made the trade, there’s no rookie who is going to just come in here right away and be able to take your job if you’re at the top of your game and what I’ve seen so far is him getting there. And that’s very exciting for me. It’s very exciting for the Niners and it’s early those were OTAs, we’ll see how training camp goes and we’ll deal with it accordingly.”
While Shanahan feels Garoppolo had his best OTAs as a 49er, tight end George Kittle also saw something a little bit different in his quarterback.
“These OTAs, he looked like he had a little bit of a fire in him,” Kittle said. “I think he’s always had that, but I think he was just a little bit more intense. I’m fully expecting Jimmy to come out the gates firing this camp.”
Left tackle Trent Williams said inside the building the 49ers’ tale of two quarterbacks is not nearly the story it is outside the building.
“…Jimmy has always been a fierce competitor,” Williams said. “His ankle was damn near less than an inch away from just snapping. So just watching him even fight through and try to play. A guy who has accomplished so much, got a lot of money, went to a Super Bowl, he didn’t have to press forward like he did and try to play hurt. And the guys respect that.”
The Return of Nick Bosa, Jalen Hurd and Dee Ford
DE Nick Bosa, DE Dee Ford and WR Jalen Hurd are also active to start training camp, which is excellent news for a team that is not used to excellent news on the injury front.
“They’re all starting out, I believe, with individual…,” Shanahan said. “…[W]e’re not going to put any of them in team situations for a little bit. I’d say at least this first block of days. I think we’ve got four practices, a day off, and then I believe we’ve got three more again and then a day off. I think we’ll look into it about a week. It’s the first time they’ll be out there with the D-Line and stuff and doing things like that. Jalen with the receivers. I’d be surprised if they got into team drills within a week. But as soon as they’re ready, they’ll be out there.”
“He looked great in person,” Shanahan said. “I saw him yesterday. I got to talk to him for about a half an hour, just to catch up. He feels good. Obviously we’re going to ease him in and stuff and we’ll get to see him move a little bit tomorrow for the first time in person, but looked great and felt a lot better having him back in the building.”
Kittle, who got a FaceTime call from Bosa as he was leaving his media session, is very happy to have the NFL’s 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year back in the building.
“I love Nicky, he’s incredible,” Kittle said. “He looks great. I told him cut blocks are live first day he’s back, so he better be ready for those. Kyle didn’t like that joke…He’s going to play at a very high level. I have zero worries about Nick Bosa. He’s an incredible football player that trains at a very, very high level…I’ve got no worries about what he’s going to do this year. Just leave it to the imagination, but he’s going to be a hell of a football player again.”
“…[T]he challenge with him is that it has been kind of a moving target,” Lynch said. “And I think that’s not abnormal when you’re dealing with the core of your body…in your spine. So we feel like we have a good handle on it now he does, but I think it’s kind of a cautiously optimistic approach. Kind of wait and see. You always have to advance it along and see how he does. We’re hopeful. But we’re also cautious. Those things are touchy and we’ll kind of be cautiously optimistic as he tries to advance and reach new goals and put them out there with his teammates.”
News and Notes
- As expected, Tarvarius Moore (Achilles) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (knee) were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
- CB Emmanuel Moseley was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.