49ers shift into stealth mode

SANTA CLARA — The legendary secretiveness of Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers is about to tighten up a notch.

The 49ers held their last practice open to members of the press Wednesday afternoon, and will lock out the media from practices for the rest of training camp.

The team practiced without pads, with a highlight of the day coming on a touchdown during 11-on-11 drills from Colt McCoy to Chad Hall. A crossing route against Dontae Whitner drew loud cheers from the sideline.

Whitner stressed to teammates that Hall had stepped out of bounds, but no one seemed to listen as most were focused on congratulating Hall.

Converted tight end MarQueis Gray had five nice grabs while A.J. Jenkins caught a well-thrown ball from McCoy with Tarell Brown defending.

Austin Collie had seven catches, while Colin Kaepernick seemed to be on point with Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.

There wasn’t  much pressure from the defensive line today as all four quarterbacks had a plethora of time in the pocket, but Tramaine Brock deflected two passes and C.J. Spillman had the only interception of the afternoon.

There was no visible tension from yesterday’s scuffle between Spillman and fellow safety Michael Thomas. Head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke about the incident saying:

“I think it’s something that has no place in practice. It’s been handled, it’s been addressed.”

With punter/place kicker Colton Schmidt nailing back-to-back 40-plus yard field goals, one has to wonder if he’ll get a chance to attempt one in a game.

Known for blasting and booming kicks and punts, Harbaugh praised the undrafted rookie at today’s press conference:

49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh

“He’s done a heck of a job. He’s opened up a lot of eyes. Very talented young punter/kicker. I saw him boom a couple the other night. He made a tackle on one of the fastest men in the world. He’s caught the attention of everybody.”

Quinton Patton again donned a blue non-contact jersey while Patrick Willis and Michael Crabtree were present, but not practicing.

The 49ers now travel to Kansas City where they’ll play Alex Smith and the Chiefs on Friday at 6 p.m. in their second preseason game.


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