On the second full day of training camp, the San Francisco 49ers went back to the nutcracker drill. But not everyone was there to take part in the man-against-man exercise.
Guard David Baas, recovering from a mild concussion he suffered in practice Monday, attended the morning session but is still undergoing tests and is listed as day to day. Tackle Joe Staley also sat out after reporting in sick with an undisclosed ailment. And three others – linebackers Takeo Spikes and Travis LaBoy and safety Michael Lewis – were off for what the team called “veteran courtesy.” Seniority has its benefits.
Baas’ absence gave rookie guard Mike Iupati a lengthy opportunity to work with the first unit, while veteran Barry Sims got most of the snaps at left tackle for Staley.
Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye had been hoping that Iupati and tackle Anthony Davis would get some work with the first team and both are getting their chance. Davis was worked into several plays in place of Adam Snyder at right tackle but struggled at times against linebackers Diyral Briggs and Ahmad Brooks, both of whom beat him during 11-on-11 drills.
Today’s nutcracker included two offensive players lined up against two defensive players, and it was clear that tight end Vernon Davis enjoyed himself. He got the best of Brooks during one matchup, then turned to the defense and yelled, “Come get some.”
Later, when he was stripped of the ball by linebacker Patrick Willis after a short reception, he heard a chorus of “whoos” from the defense.
The defense had the better performance, although quarterback Alex Smith threw a couple of long balls to speedy wideout Ted Ginn Jr. that went for touchdowns. But Smith was also intercepted by Curtis Taylor on a pass intended for Michael Crabtree, and backup David Carr had one taken away by Shawntae Spencer.