Jul 28, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers players huddle before practice during the San Francisco 49ers training camp at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

 

A lot went down at the open practice that took place on Saturday August 5th. Instead of inundating you with a plethora of information and long winded details, I will provide just a few keynotes and my thoughts on what they mean going forward!

THE DAY:
What a success!!! Over 25,000 faithfuls were in attendance and from what I understand, every single one of them enjoyed the live practice! Free food (nachos, burgers and hot dogs) and lots of water!

But more importantly, a lot of action on the field as well as the sidelines. I can’t begin to tell you how many videos I saw of random fans getting up close and personal with their favorite players on the team. I saw beat-writers interacting with fans, as well as the face(s) of 49ers.com taking a minute to chit chat with various people along the way (way to go Joe Fann and Keiana Martin)

THE PLAYERS:
Multiple players posted on their social media sites about how they received the turnout!


The players wanted to put on a show for the multitude, and they did indeed. Fan interaction before and after practice just shows you that the players were touched by the turnout. Towards the end of last season, I’m not sure there were 22k fans showing up for games. And yes, I know this isn’t standard ticket sales or a real game, but this is still an excellent way to kickoff the NFL season for us!

THE VENUE:
The 49ers are going to make Levi’s feel less like a business and more like the stadium to our favorite team! The have started installing the ring of honor as well as putting up large posters of some of the players on the team! This is going to make the place feel more like “home” than it’s felt in the last few seasons.


We are well aware of all the complaints fans previously had about the heat and being in the sun, but that didn’t seem to be an issue. As of this moment, the organization hasn’t done anything to rectify the need for shade, however, we do know that those plans are in the works. In the meantime, fans enjoyed some fun in the sun!


THE HEADLINES:
Brian Hoyer – Brian Hoyer showed why he is the 49ers starters. The stage didn’t seem too big for him at all and he isn’t folding under the pressure of a new team and assignment to carry out. All reports from practice are that Hoyer is by far and away the best option the 49ers have on their roster. Between throwing with anticipation and timing, picking apart the opposing defense and flat out being the best pocket-QB we’ve seen in the last 7 or more seasons.

Malcolm Smith- Early reports were that Smith left the field with some kind of chest injury but it was unclear the extent. Following practice, coach Shanahan said that he even though it didn’t sound/look good, he was hoping that Smith would be able to contribute to the team later in the season. As it turns out, Smith is done for the year.

Joshua Garnett- The team also lost the starting left guard and the team now has to do some shuffling. I was honestly surprised that he was able to maintain his status as a starter all this time, but I was even more surprised to hear about his injury on Saturday. You may have been asking yourself why this portion is listed in the news from Saturday’s practice, but the truth is, that’s when we all learned that Josh was sitting out. The worst fear was that he wouldn’t be available for the entirety of the season, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. How will this make things look for the new offensive line? We can only guess and speculate at this point. (More on that from another post)

Defensive Line- The only reason this position group is making this piece is because I am now a believer. Not that I believe we can win more than 9 games, but that I am a believer in the idea of: If our defensive line cannot generate pass rush, it’s going to be a very long season for all of us. The secondary cannot seem to make adjustments. Every practice we hear about Goodwin and Hoyer connecting for 60+ yarders! So I don’t have a lot of faith in the secondary. Instead, I fully believe that this season is in the hands of our from 7 or 8 defensive players!

This season there is going to be a lot to look forward to. I think the games will be close, I think we will win more that Vegas’ 4.5 and I think people will grow to love Hoyer. But what excites me most is the attitude amongst the faithfuls! I. CAN’T WAIT!

Faithful, unite!
Mike A.