The 49ers sped through an abbreviated practice beneath cloudy, damp skies Saturday morning as a…
Friday's kaleidoscope view
--- Starting left cornerback Ahmed Plummer wore a boot to protect his injured left ankle and watched practice from the sidelines, standing not far from starting right cornerback Jason Webster, who has yet to practice in training camp because of his injured left ankle. --- Replacing that duo with the first team defense were Mike Rumph and Rashad Holman. That would be a rough sell in the regular season. --- Holman was dusted by Terrell Owens on a sideline pattern, and quarterback Jeff Garcia placed a tight spiral right on T.O.'s hands from 40 yards away. That's as pretty a sight as you'll see anywhere in the NFL. --- Owens has become practically uncoverable in training camp. His moves and cuts are so precise that he often leaves defenders in his wake even when they are bumping him in coverage. He had cornerback Keith Heyward-Johnson burned by more than two steps on a hitch-and-go post route but, alas, quarterback Tim Rattay couldn't get him the ball, bouncing it near his feet instead. --- Quarterback Brandon Doman isn't nearly as comfortable rolling to his left as he is to his right. --- Rookie receiver Brandon Lloyd has made an impression with his sticky hands, but the guy also has shown that he can catch balls in traffic, even with an injured right groin. --- John Engelberger is providing some good push in the pass rush from left defensive end. He has a firm grip on the starting role at that position, and will be complemented in passing situations by Andrew Williams and Julian Peterson. --- Garrison Hearst is hitting the hole as quick as ever. That's one of the several reasons he still is holding off the hard-charging Kevan Barlow at tailback. --- Jeremy Newberry was back in uniform in a limited fashion, and just seeing the guy out there on the practice field gives you a fuzzy feeling about the offensive line. --- The Niners signed third-year center Rob Murphy after he tried out with the team on Thursday. Murphy played for the Indianapolis Colts last year. Rookie center Ben Nowland was released to take his place on the roster. --- Jed Weaver is locking down the No. 2 role at tight end. The versatile veteran is solid as both a receiver and blocker. He'll be a nice outlet option on short passing patterns. --- Though coaches won't say so, rookie Ken Dorsey appears to be moving ahead of Doman. Dorsey has a bigger arm and is displaying a fine grasp of the system and almost daily improvement. --- Dorsey took the team right down the field during two-minute drills. Doman could hardly get the team past midfield under the same conditions. --- Jamie Winborn has to slam on the brakes practically every time he blitzes during team drills, because he usually beats his man and is getting in the quarterback's face before he releases the ball. And hitting the quarterback in practice is a no-no. --- Tony Parrish and Zack Bronson are as fine a pair of safeties as they come. They work together extremely well and are the quarterbacks of the defense, barking changes in coverage on the go whenever necessary, then sliding effortlessly into the appropriate position. --- Dorsey, under a heavy blitz, split two defenders with a perfect pass to Fred Coleman that would have went for a touchdown on the final play of team drills in the morning practice. Alas, coaches whistled the play dead as Dorsey released the pass, saying he would have been sacked. --- Rookie defensive tackle Anthony Adams, getting better by the day. "He's really jumped out in the last couple of practices with his quickness, his speed and his explosiveness," coach Dennis Erickson said. "When you're six-foot, you have to have those things, and that's why we drafted him. He's a high-intensity player, there is no question about that. He explodes." Explodes like a 300-pound bowling ball, that is. --- Arland Bruce had better hold onto punts better than he did in the afternoon practice, when he looked like a kid on an Easter egg hunt going after bobbled balls he'd let loose on the ground. --- Webster, Fred Beasley, Terry Jackson and Jimmy Williams all looked close to returning to practice while they worked out with physical development coordinator Jerry Attaway on the sidelines and sprinted underneath Attaway's hanging passes. --- That's a lot of talent sitting on the sidelines. Get back quickly, guys.
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