49ers camp observations: Fred Warner, linebackers shine once again

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Warner, linebackers shine at 49ers camp as offense struggles originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers offense struggled during their Dwight Clark Day practice Sunday while the defense walked away with a hat trick of interceptions.

The linebackers were the stars of the day as they racked up three interceptions in the span of eight plays. During 11-on-11 work, Marcelino McCrary-Ball picked off a Nate Sudfeld pass intended for tight end Troy Fumagalli. Two plays later Jeremiah Gemmel intercepted a Brock Purdy pass intended for running back Ty Davis-Price.

When the team segued to move-the-ball drills, the offense was able to run five plays before linebacker Fred Warner read the action, jumped the route and snagged Trey Lance’s pass intended for tight end Tyler Kroft.

Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans spoke after practice, his face lighting up when asked about the takeaways his group was able to manage in such a short amount of time.

“I think it’s reflective of coach Johnny Holland and Nick Sorensen just working with those guys daily,” Ryans said on Sunday. “Working the ball drills, work keys with their eyes, being in the proper position.

“It’s just a credit to the coaches and a credit to the players for putting in the work and going out there and making plays.”

Lance completed four of his 12 pass attempts on the day but still appeared calm throughout the session. The young quarterback was on the field without a few of key players including George Kittle, Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey who all contribute to pass protection.

More practice notes from Day 10:

-- Biggest hit of the day was when Jimmie Ward collided with Brandon Aiyuk in the air as the wideout went up to catch a pass from Lance. The pass was broken up and the Arizona State product quickly popped up off the ground without injury.

-- Best run of the day was made by Jeff Wilson Jr. after taking a handoff from Brock Purdy. The fifth-year ball carrier stuck a move that stunned safety Tayler Hawkins, putting him on skates. Wilson hit the gas and ran down the sidelines until cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields was able to make the stop.

-- Best deep pass of the day was made by Purdy to speedster Danny Gray who had gotten separation from Deommodore Lenoir 25 yards down the right sideline.

-- Most eye-catching play of the day was Deebo Samuel who ran the ball out of the backfield around the left side of the line for a nice gain. Consider the "wide-back" back in action.

-- Nick Bosa was suited up and was seen working in position drills with the defensive line but did not participate in team drills on the field. Instead, the star pass rusher worked with a coach on his get off and bend around a quarterback dummy away from the action.

-- Offensive guard Aaron Banks and defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw have been regularly matched up at the line of scrimmage during team drills, and there has been a solid back-and-forth between the two. Kinlaw did get pressure on Lance during a play that caused the quarterback to misfire on pass that was almost intercepted by cornerback Charvarius Ward.

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-- Jake Brendel and Daniel Brunskill continued their rotation at center. Aaron Banks seems to be solidly entrenched at left guard while Spencer Burford has been holding down the right guard spot.

-- With both starting tackles getting a rest day, Colton McKivitz was seen on the left side and Justin Skule stepped in on the right.

The team has a day off on Monday before returning to the practice field on Tuesday. 

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