SANTA CLARA, Calif . -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of San Francisco 49ers training camp:
The post-Aldon Smith era for the 49ers began with "shock," according to receiver Anquan Boldin, and practice commenced in a somber mood. The "awe" then came with the show Colin Kaepernick put on early in team drills. The 49ers quarterback was as sharp and as accurate as he has been all camp, perhaps sensing the team needed his leadership on such a tough day. He was leading receivers, rather than firing fastballs at them. It was Blaine Gabbert, though, who had a particularly pretty touchdown pass to Jerome Simpson, a 75-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline that resembled his 80-yard TD pass to Brandon Lloyd at the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football last October. Alas, Kaepenrick cooled off and he threw an interception for the fifth straight practice, again getting victimized by cornerback Shareece Wright on a deep ball he forced to Quinton Patton down the right sideline.
The Niners were in pads for the third straight practice, though they had a day off Thursday, and the loudest hit of the day came on a blitz pickup drill when NaVorro Bowman, who puts his left knee brace on for team drills, drilled rookie running back Mike Davis.
In this story about players' reaction to Smith being released, I mention that Corey Lemonier received the lion's share of first-team snaps at Smith's old position, right outside linebacker, in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme. But rookie Eli Harold, a third-round draft pick, also saw snaps there, as did veteran Ahmad Brooks, who slid over from his customary left outside linebacker spot.
Reggie Bush still has yet to take part in team drills, but he saw his most action of camp yet when he fielded punts and sprinted up field. He did trip over himself once, though, losing his balance mid-run.
Sixth-rounder Ian Silberman, trying to make a name for himself as a backup center, had a rough go of it in shotgun as at least four of his snaps hit the ground and eluded backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who had a hard time covering the ball in team drills.
The 49ers practice at 4:15 p.m. PT Saturday.
Nearly lost in the shuffle of the 49ers cutting Smith was this tidbit: the team signed another linebacker in Steve Beauharnais. A seventh-round pick of the New England Patriots out of Rutgers in 2013, Beauharnais played in two games for the Patriots as a rookie and appeared in three games last season for Washington. He has two career tackles and three assisted tackles.
A few pics I Tweeted out Friday:
NaVorro Bowman and Antoine Bethea 0tep for first #49ers practice sans Aldon Smith. pic.twitter.com/quxY9g350p— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 7, 2015
Antoine Bethea addresses media #49ers pic.twitter.com/OwnBNIxb7E— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 8, 2015
Is rookie Eli Harold, here about to "tackle" Nick Moody, the heir apparent to Aldon Smith at ROLB for #49ers? pic.twitter.com/hzDPTLYA0R— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 8, 2015