SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- By his own admission, San Francisco 49ers receiver Torrey Smith was the reason that any attempt he, his fellow receivers and 49ers quarterbacks made this offseason to get together for pitch-and-catch sessions went by the wayside.
"We didn’t have any of those getaway things," Smith said. "We were actually set to have one earlier in the year and I kind of messed it up with the baby and stuff because I was helping organize it. I couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t leave Maryland."
Smith's role as one of the lead planners took a hit as he understandably tended to the birth of his son Kameron in June. That meant a lot of daddy duty rather than running routes with the other wideouts and quarterbacks in a more informal setting. Such sessions have become common around the NFL, with quarterbacks organizing a chance for receivers to get some extra work with the guy who will be throwing them the ball when training camp arrives.
But just because Smith, quarterback Blaine Gabbert and Co. couldn't set up a specific time and place to get together doesn't mean they haven't been in touch. In fact, Smith said Saturday that about "six or seven" players got together at San Jose State recently to get some timing down before the start of camp.
"We got together a few days before hand and threw a little bit," Smith said. "It wasn’t like we rallied everyone together. It was like ‘Who’s in town?’ OK, let’s go."
According to Smith, Gabbert handled the quarterback job while fellow quarterback Colin Kaepernick was tending to business elsewhere, presumably ensuring he was getting medical clearance on his surgically repaired shoulder, thumb and knee so he could participate at the start of camp.
The 49ers are set to have their first training practice on Sunday morning, with the battle between Gabbert and Kaepernick for the starting quarterback job likely to become the dominant storyline.