The 49ers have a big start to the 2017 season. Not only are fans getting a chance to see this new look team, but they’re getting a taste of what the new regime has in store for them.
Reuben Foster is having a sensational start to training camp
Experts have been saying that Foster is a draft steal ever since the 49ers picked him 31st overall. He’s proven this in just the first four days.
Not only is he showing his exceptional technique and play recognition, but he’s intercepted three passes in the first four days. It’s something otherworldly with his play.
People have labeled him as one of the next big things at his position. With his performance in just his first week of training camp, it’s easy to see why.
All of the rookies are signed
As of July 28th, all of the rookies have signed their rookie deals.
The final contract that fans were waiting for was for Solomon Thomas. It took some time as the Stanford product had to wait until the end of his Spring semester until negotiations could start.
Solomon Thomas is impressing
Speaking of the final rookie signee, he’s impressed some of the coaches and veterans. One notable player, he’s impressed is Elvis Dumervil.
There is a reason why he was the No. 3 pick. So I want to make sure we understand that. He’s a dominant player. He will be dominant this year. But I made a commitment to him that anything I see that can help him – I’ll be there if he has any questions. But it’s like I explained to him: “You were the third pick for a reason.”
He’s a great player. It’s just a matter of him realizing … If you dominate high school, you’ll dominate college. If you dominate college, you dominate in the NFL. As long as he understands that it’s the same guys. Once he gets that, it will be easier for him.
Some high praise is coming from the five-time Pro Bowler. Not hard to believe with all of the hard work Thomas put in during his time away from minicamp.
Bad News: Safeties are falling like flies
The first safety to go down was Jimmie Ward. He is placed on the PUP list with a hamstring injury. It’s not a big deal, but he will miss some time.
Eric Reid went down with an ankle injury. It’s not serious, and the former first-rounder is labeled as day-to-day.
The most recent safety to be bitten by the injury bug is Jaquiski Tartt. He re-injured a rib and is likely to miss some time much like Ward.
With these injuries, many guys that are low on the depth chart are getting chances to take over. Guys like the undrafted rookie, Lorenzo Jerome, and veteran Vinnie Sunseri are stepping in for these guys.
However, if this keeps up, then John Lynch might have to come out of retirement to put the pads back on as free safety of the 49ers.
Marquise Goodwin is flourishing
Switching to the offensive side of the ball, one player that’s making a splash is former Longhorn, Marquise Goodwin.
The former track star is utilizing his talents as a deep threat in Shanahan’s offense. The highlights from camp continue to show Goodwin’s ability to burn defenders with his speed.
He’s somebody that Shanahan emphasized during the offseason, and now it’s paying off.
Carlos Hyde is gaining praise
In a time when Hyde is fighting for his job, it’s nice to see him get some recognition. Here’s what Shanahan had to say.
You know, not just for the coaches, I think his teammates also. He started making a move, just his work ethic and just his attention to detail, about halfway through OTAs which we were really excited about when we broke and left camp earlier on in the offseason. And then, coming back five weeks later and being able to see him, he’s even taken it to another level. I can tell he’s put in the work and has given himself a chance to have a good season.
Hyde is beginning to flip the script. Many believe that he would be a trade or release before the season starts. However, he’s turning into a natural fit in Shanahan’s system.
Training Camp Battles to Watch (Leaders in Bold)
Running back: Hyde vs Williams
Slot Receiver: Jeremy Kerley vs. Trent Taylor vs. Bruce Ellington
Tight End: Vance McDonald vs. George Kittle
Center: Jeremy Zuttah vs. Daniel Kilgore
Right Tackle: Trent Brown vs. Garry Gilliam
LEO: Arik Armstead vs. Elvis Dumervil vs. Aaron Lynch
Right Cornerback: Keith Reaser vs. Dontae Johnson vs. Ahkello Witherspoon (they’re sharing time with the first team)