49ers upshift into Week Two of training camp
SANTA CLARA – As the 49ers enter Week Two of training camp Tuesday morning, the team is looking forward to a quiet and productive four days ahead.
Tarell Brown’s contract mix-up, Aldon Smith’s intention of breaking Michael Strahan’s 22-1/2 sack record, and a serious left knee injury to linebacker Darius Fleming headlined San Francisco’s first week.
Fleming – a 2012 fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame – was hurt on a kickoff drill Sunday after missing his entire rookie season with a torn ACL in the same knee. He remained positive, tweeting later:
"Adversity not only builds character but it reveals it"
— Darius Fleming (@dfleming58) July 28, 2013
Meanwhile, Fleming’s college teammate, nose tackle Ian Williams, remains first on the depth chart after impressing everyone with his form and hustle; Williams signed a two-year contract extension in March.
There’s no reason to doubt Williams would start the regular-season opener despite the off-season addition of free agent Glenn Dorsey. Williams has been in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s system since they both arrived in 2011.
Expect defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to continue keeping British understudy Lawrence Okoye “cooped” up. “Coop” being a gridiron mechanism designed to keep the player low — a key for developing defensive ends.
The 21-year-old Okoye — a former discus thrower and rugby winger — told Matthew Barrows of the Sacramento Bee:
“They keep me in there all the time, the guys watch me (and are) laughing – they watch me struggle. They all realize what I’m doing and are watching my development.”
Offensively, the receiving corps is banged up with Ricardo Lockette experiencing discomfort in his hip while minor injuries will limit Kyle Williams (hamstring) and Quinton Patton (fingers).
Marlon Moore, Chad Hall and Vernon Davis — practicing as a wide receiver — looked in sync with Colin Kaepernick, and versatile rookie tight end Vance McDonald working on his blocking was another good sign.
However. second-year man A.J. Jenkins dropped several passes and needs a strong week before fans ramp up the bust talk. Austin Collie is not en route, though.
On a technological note, the 49ers’ use of iPad playbooks in place of thick binders has gone over well with rookie linebacker and special teamer Nick Moody. The Florida State sixth-rounder embraced the technology, telling 49ers.com:
“It makes it easier to watch film. You don’t have to be in the facility to watch it and I feel like it makes me want to watch film more. When you’re watching the film and you have a question, say I wanted to ask Pat (Willis) a question, I go to the play, I go to the message and I type it to him and he gets it. You can ask someone a specific question about a play, it’s helpful.”