SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Levi’s Stadium grass, while coming up in certain areas of the field, was not as big an issue as it had been the night prior for the San Francisco 49ers as they conducted their second practice of training camp.
Here are a few notes from Sunday afternoon's practice.
Bruce Ellington dazzled, both as the 49ers' No. 3 receiver and in returning kicks, flashing the speed that projects him to be such a dangerous weapon. Afer catching a long TD pass from Colin Kaepernick, Ellington finger-rolled the football over the goal post's crossbar and later had an acrobatic catch down the left sideline. Ellington vs. Quinton Patton and Jerome Simpson, who had a diving catch while fully extended across the middle, for the No. 3 WR spot behind Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith will be fun to watch. Ellington was slowed during offseason workouts with a leg issue. That seems to be in the past now, though.
I go into it in more detail in this story about Kurt Warner praising the 49ers QB, but after starting practice looking sharp, Kaepernick seemed to struggle. He was picked off by Tramaine Brock on a floating pass to Boldin on the left sideline -- he threw against his body while rolling out -- after he had already been "sacked" by Aldon Smith. Kaepernick was also under constant duress in 11-on-11s in the helmets and shorts practice, getting "sacked" by first-round draft pick Arik Armstead on one play.
After going primarily with their base defense Saturday night, the 49ers sprinkled in some nickel defense Sunday. Brock slid into the slot and Dontae Johnson came on as a cornerback. Also, Tank Carradine came in on the D-line next to Quinton Dial, with Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams coming off the field.
Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who seemed a likely candidate to be dealt or cut this offseason, continued his impressive offseason. He appears to be in much better shape and has been around the ball during team drills. It was in helmets and shorts, but you get the point.
The 49ers practice at Levi's Stadium again Monday at 4:15 p.m. PT with pads on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. PT.