What Happened On Day 1
July 23 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Day one of training camp practices were filled with positive news. Aside from the great new look the team was sporting, new surrounding the players was extremely positive. Terrell Owens and Steve Mariucci were on their best behavior, repeatedly brushing questions about their relationship aside, stating their differences are long behind them.
The first day of camp focused greatly on the fundamentals and the implementation of nickel and dime defensive coverage. Unfortunately Mike Rumph was not in camp to take advantage of this key learning experience.
Terrell Owens looked to be in excellent shape. He spent the off-season working out with Kevan Barlow. The two have reportedly become pretty good friends this off-season. That’s especially good news, considering Owens was a bit of a ‘loner’ last season. Receiver Cedrick Wilson was also finding open spots in our defense.
Jason Webster was running full speed ahead. His ankle, which was taped up, did not present him any difficulties in coverage. Fellow cornerback, Jimmy Williams received lots of practice times in the 49ers first nickel and dime coverage. Anthony Parker stole the show though, intercepting a pass meant for Terrell Owens. Parker looked like he may finally be ready for the NFL. Perhaps drafting Rumph was a good wake up call.
JJ Stokes was much more noticeable than he was in this off-season’s mini-camps. The 49ers are hoping that Stokes, who is finally healthy, can really get on the same page of Jeff Garcia. Speaking of whom, Garcia was rocketing the ball around camp with no apparent signs of pain in his arm he was however wearing a light brace around his right knee.
Running back Garrison Hearst looked extremely determined. Hearst looked quick and ready for camp. Paul Smith looked much stronger at camp, a little slower but still fast enough. Kevan Barlow though, was just awesome. He lead stretches for the running backs and looks like really quick. Similarly Bryant Young lead the defensive line through drills in which Andre Carter looked impressive.
Ted Tollner was handling the quarterbacks quite nicely. He was offering lots of help to Doman and McNown. Mora spent a fair bit of time with the defensive backs. Gill Byrd spent some extra time in the afternoon working with Webster and Plummer on foot and jamming mechanics.
The team signed offensive lineman David Moreno (San Diego State) after a morning workout, he practiced with the team in the afternoon…The team also worked out offensive lineman Brian Polak (UCLA), but did not sign him.
It was an overall, encouraging day of practice for the first day of training camp. The 49ers will continue on their ‘two-a-day’ practice schedule tomorrow. The team looks very determined this year, I hope the confidence continues.