49ers rookie DL Arik Armstead praised for penalty.. ... sort of

Arik Armstead played 46 defensive snaps (55 percent) against Houston in the exhibition opener. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Arik Armstead has been playing catch-up in training camp after missing most of the San Francisco 49ers' offseason training program because of school still being in session at Oregon.

The 49ers' first-round draft pick, No. 17 overall, seemingly made up for lost time in their 23-10 exhibition-opening road loss against the Houston Texans on Saturday night. Armstead played 46 defensive snaps (55 percent) for the 49ers.

He appeared late in the first half and played at both left defensive end (his natural spot) and right defensive end.

So what did coach Jim Tomsula see in Armstead’s preseason debut?

"There’s the clich√©," Tomsula said, "some really good things and some really bad things. Not so good things.

"We see what we know about Arik ... some power, length and he can bend. He knows how to use his leverage. He got a lot of reps in a row."

Armstead was credited with two tackles and was also called for holding when he spun around Texans rookie running back Kenny Hilliard, who was attempting to leave the backfield on a pass play early in the fourth quarter.

Tomsula actually praised Armstead for recognizing the play developing in front of him.

"Penalty? Dadgummit, you don’t want that, but my point to the guys was, 'Hey, he saw it, he felt it, he was on it," Tomsula said. "Now we’ll just clean him up."