After two days of dominance by the 49ers defense, the offense picked up its game in Saturday’s evening practice.
Although the unit still didn’t look like it was ready to break any scoring records, it was able to string together longer drives during the 11-on-11 portions of practice -- especially when it was QB Alex Smith’s turn.
For the most part, Smith was accurate with his throws and got rid of the ball quickly. The same couldn’t be said for Colin Kaepernick and Josh Johnson, both of whom would check down quickly before trying to scramble.
The defense was still clearly the better unit, but it was a much-needed bounce back day for the offense, which was plagued by inconsistency the previous two practices.
Slip of the coach: Coach Jim Harbaugh called for the field-goal unit on the final practice of the day then proceeded to line up as the kicker himself. He dialed up a fake field goal in which in the holder flipped the ball over his head back to Harbaugh, who was running behind him. Harbaugh caught the ball, took one step and tried to cut, but without cleats it was an ill-advised move. He slipped to the ground and the team erupted in laughter.
Still no Crabtree: WR Michael Crabtree missed his seventh-straight practice with an apparent calf injury. He was seen running sprints on a side field on Friday.
Byham misses second practice: TE Nate Byham missed his second straight practice due to an unknown injury. He said after practice Thursday his surgically repaired knee was sore, but that it hadn’t been affecting his play.
Dobbs switches numbers: DL Demarcus Dobbs ditched his usual No. 96 to wear No. 40 as he practiced as a tight end. With Byham out for the second straight day, Dobbs was able to get more reps. Both players are are vying for roles in run-heavy formations.
LB Wilhoite working with offense: LB Michael Wilhoite spends the majority of his time with the offense, but practiced at full back Saturday.
Hastings, Holcomb rehabbing: WR Joe Hastings (hamstring) and CB Curtis Holcomb (leg) remain sidelined due to injury. Both players spent practice rehabbing on a side field with a team trainer.