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The 49ers opened up their first day Training Camp under much different circumstances than years past. Gone were the swaths of fans cheering from makeshift seating areas, the "rookie hype machine" which saw rookies run towards the fan areas to do whatever they could to get the crowd excited for what they were going to see.
No, this was all business.
The first thing that became very apparent as we entered the back entrance to the practice field was just how large Javon Kinlaw is. He makes WWE's The Big Show look like a svelte husky at best. He is a mountain of a man and will be a nightmare for offensive lineman just based on his size alone. His movement looked good though. Light on his feet (or as light as someone that size can be) while seeming comfortable with the drills he was given.
The next thing that stood out was How efficient Richard Sherman was being with his time and his energy. Every movement was intentional, and he was always talking with coaches and other players. You can tell that even with the breadth of knowledge he already has, he still is trying to learn.
LB Kwon Alexander seemed as cool and loose as ever with the linebacker corps. After last season the prevailing theory was that rookie LB Dre Greenlaw may supplant Alexander as the starting WILL linebacker, but Head Coach Kyle Shanahan indicated that there was no competition.
"I don't see that as open competition right now," Shanahan said. "We brought Kwon here for a reason. He did exactly what we wanted when he was out there and did even more than we anticipated from a leadership standpoint. Kwon has been great here."
WR Trent Taylor made perhaps the play of the day with a diving one-handed catch along the right sideline off a pass from QB CJ Beathard. Questions seemed to quickly be answered after the foot injury and infections kept him off the field for the entirety of last year.
"He looks like the same guy," Shanahan said. "I know how hard he's worked and I know how excited he is. He's not a guy you want to go up to and baby right now or ask him how his foot's feeling. He'll be very irritated with that question. He's ready to move on. He's ready to play some football and that's the guy you see out there."
TE Jordan Reed was limited in drills as he eased back into playing along with WR Jalen Hurd, who never played a snap during the regular season due to a stress fracture in his back.
"We were being smart with Jordan, very similar to Hurd." Shanahan said. "Jordan hasn't been here very long. We do know his history and he just hasn't been here as long as the other guys, so we eased him in today, routes on air, did all the individual work, but we didn't want him going against anyone yet. We'll reassess that each day and we'll get him in there when we're comfortable with it.”
Reed could be seen running drills and catching balls with a coach. His route running was impeccable and catching passes seemed like second nature to him.
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