Why 49ers delay first camp practice

Steve from Napa, Calif., writes: Why would the Niners want to open up camp on Aug. 2 if the Rams can open two days earlier? Are the teams limited to a certain number of practices? I would think any coach would want as many sessions as possible.

Mike Sando: Good question. Coach Mike Singletary likes to spend meeting time early to get players on the same page before hitting the practice fields, as when he had rookies watch veterans at the postdraft camp. The 49ers hold physical practices -- Singletary knows no other way -- so it might be a bonus if they miss a session or two.

According to NFL rules, "No veteran player other than quarterbacks and injured players will be required to report to a club's official preseason training camp earlier than 15 days (including one day for physical examinations) prior to its first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later. The July 15 date will not apply to clubs participating in the Canton Hall of Fame Game or any American Bowl game scheduled around the Canton Hall of Fame Game date."

The 49ers play their first game Aug. 15, one day later than the Rams play their first game. The 49ers could conceivably report for physicals July 31 and then practice Aug. 1.