SANTA CLARA -- Head coach Kyle Shanahan made sure his San Francisco 49ers saw the clip.
Yes, the clip. The one of wide receiver Marquise Goodwin badly beating cornerback Richard Sherman, less than a year removed from tearing his Achilles, in a 1-on-1 drill.
Shanahan didn’t do so to embarrass San Francisco’s prized free agent, but to teach Sherman’s new teammates a lesson.
“I’ve been around a lot of successful corners who have a name that everyone knows, and they get beat on a go route and they hold their hamstring, or they just ease up a little bit,” Shanahan said.
“I respect Sherman because he doesn’t care. He’s out there working on his craft, trying to get better, and not caring what people say… That’s a good example to show young guys -- to show everyone -- that stuff doesn’t matter, and you getting better is what matters.”
Shanahan said he worries players will become too concerned with “trying to survive the day” rather than truly improving, since they know their mistakes have the potential to go viral at any moment. His message seemed to resonate with running back Matt Breida.
San Francisco 49ers
Breida said that last year, as a rookie, Shanahan’s playbook was “crazy to learn” and initially overwhelming. Much more secure in the offense, he said he told the rookies this year to heed the head coach’s words, and not fear making a mistake.
“I just tell them play as hard as you can,” Breida said. “If you make a mistake one play, get it out of your head because you’ve got another play coming right up. They’re more so evaluating how hard you work, and how hard you play on the football field.
“If you go out there and you know you mess up, they understand that you’re a rookie. But, what are you going to do to bounce back from that? Are you going to keep making the same mistakes, or are you going to learn from them and get better?”
It’s all Goodwin
The 49ers gave wide receiver Marquise Goodwin the day off on Wednesday. That doesn’t mean they kept him away from the field.
Goodwin hovered throughout the practice, chatted with teammates, and danced to the music blasting over the team’s loudspeakers. He worked on his footwork, too.
“Everywhere you look, he’s in the background, working on his feet, doing little things,” Shanahan said. “It’s slow-motion… but that’s how he’s developing his routes.”
Shanahan cited that example when praising Goodwin’s work ethic, and told reporters that’s why the 27-year-old started to emerge as more than just a deep threat for the 49ers last season. Goodwin’s 56 catches for 962 yards in 2017 were both career highs, and Shanahan said he expects Goodwin to take another step in 2018.
“We’re excited about his year, and I expect him to get a lot of opportunities,” he said. “And if he doesn’t, that’s because he’s pulling coverage to him and he can give a lot of other guys opportunities. So, I expect him to be a big part of our success this year.”
Offensive Play of the Day
Dante Pettis closed practice, and his standout day, with a walk-off, 40-yard touchdown reception from Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo called the rookie receiver’s number on each of the final three plays of practice.
Defensive Play(s) of the Day
Pettis may have gotten the best of cornerback Akhello Witherspoon, but the second-year corner had a couple of highlights of his own. He shut down Aldrick Robinson during a red-zone drill, then broke up a pass to tight end George Kittle minutes later. Witherspoon was a man of the people, too, and found some time to sign autographs.
The 49ers signed former top-10 pick Jonathan Cooper to compete for playing time for either guard spot along the offensive line. So far, San Francisco hasn’t been able to see much of Cooper, or Josh Garnett, his primary competition at right guard.
Shanahan said he was “a little surprised” Garnett (knee) didn’t practice on Wednesday, and would be “more surprised” if he didn’t practice on Thursday.
Arik Armstead (hamstring) is still “week-to-week,” and seventh-round pick Jullian Taylor once again took his spot at the “big end” position at times on Wednesday. Taylor, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 280 pounds, is happy with his performance versus the first-team offense.
“Going against someone like Joe Staley is of course going to be a test, but at the end of the day it’s just going to help my game get better,” Taylor said. “I love the competition. That’s something that I think pushes me when it comes to football is wanting to be the best. I just think that’s going to take my game to the next level.”
Cornerback Jimmie Ward (hamstring) and linebacker Brock Coyle (knee) left practice with “tightness” on Tuesday, and neither player practiced on Wednesday. The 49ers listed each as “day-to-day.” while Coyle will rest the remainder of the week.
So, too, will tight end Cole Hikutini (groin). Undrafted rookie offensive lineman JP Flynn (knee) did not practice Wednesday and will receive further evaluation.
This ’n that
During early 11-on-11 work, Kittle followed up a leaping catch across the middle with a one-handed snag along the sideline… Jaquiski Tartt channeled Sherman and broke up a Garropolo pass intended to a No. 15 (Pierre Garcon) With Goodwin out, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne took advantage of some first-team reps and scored a touchdown during a red-zone drill…Rookie offensive lineman Najee Toran had “Rookie Hype Machine” duties, pumping up the crowd by dancing to the Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache.” The song came out in 1981, 14 years before he was born… Some 49ers defenders briefly danced to Drake’s “In My Feelings,” but the song played after the periods of practice media was allowed to record.