Time To Get Pass Happy
May 29 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers begin their third mini-camp today. After a full team camp after the draft, and rookie and selected veteran camp just last week, this latest full squad camp will focus on the pass. It will be the teamís second last full squad meeting before training camp begins.
The passing camp will give both sides of ball lots of work. On offense, Jeff Garcia along with the other quarterbacks will be given lots of repetitions to get on pace with the receivers on the team. Garcia will test his timing and chemistry with his best weapon, Terrell Owens, and will continue to try and develop a rapport with JJ Stokes. Garcia will see the most action of the off-season to date, in this camp.
Meanwhile running backs and tight ends will work on their hands and ability to catch out of the backfield. All offenses skill players will work on route running, and ball control. While the offensive lineman will focus on pass blocking.
Defensively, the team will naturally work on defending the pass. The defensive backfield will get its biggest workout of the season trying to cover, and break up the efficient offense the 49ers are known for. This will be a huge test for rookie Mike Rumph, and will also be a good indicator as to the chemistry of this group of players. Linebackers will focus on covering running backs and linebackers, testing and working on their speed. The defensive line will naturally focus on the pass rush, and getting pressure on the quarterback. This will be a great opportunity to see the development of Andre Carter and John Engelberger.
This passing camp will be very important to the teamsí development. It will be a great opportunity for the team to build some unity, and Coach Steve Mariucci may even begin implementing some more complex schemes to the team, including passing patterns out of the split back formation. The camp should most certainly be a good indicator of where the team has improved, and where it still needs to improve. It should give Terry Donahue a good idea of what areas, if any he should spend money on after June first in free agency.