Training Camp 2023

Maiocco's 49ers camp observations: Purdy-to-Deebo on repeat mode

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SANTA CLARA — The Brock Purdy-to-Deebo Samuel connection is a thing.

That combination showed up early and often on the 49ers’ practice field as the team returned to work on Monday afternoon.

Purdy and Samuel picked up where they left off from their brief time together in the 49ers’ preseason game Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium.

In practice, Purdy completed 16 of 19 pass attempts on the day with seven of his throws landing in the hands of Samuel. In Purdy’s final two sets of plays, he hit Samuel on three passes that gained more than 20 yards apiece.

After the 49ers’ preseason win against the Denver Broncos, Purdy discussed the new-look Samuel this season.

“I think Deebo has obviously taken last year's film and everything and has been real with himself, and man, you've seen a different mindset with him all throughout camp,” Purdy said.

Samuel offered a harsh self-assessment of his play from the 2022 season in June. He referred to himself as “awful” and “sluggish.”

“I’ll never put anything like that on tape again,” Samuel promised.

And he appears to be living up to his own challenge.

Purdy and Samuel made their preseason debuts against the Broncos. Purdy played nine snaps. Samuel played seven. Samuel caught two of the three passes Purdy threw his way for a total of 39 yards, including a determined 25-yard catch and run on the first play of the game.

Quarterback update

Brandon Allen, the team’s fourth quarterback, was throwing passes to tight end George Kittle on a side field. Kittle is nearing a return to practice after missing time with a groin condition.

Purdy, Sam Darnold and Trey Lance took all of the practice snaps on Monday. Purdy had a sharp day on the practice field, though he did throw an interception.

Defensive end Drake Jackson, returning to practice after sitting out with a hamstring strain, made a nice play to pick off Purdy’s dump-off pass for fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Jackson returned it for a pick-six. It was the ninth interception Purdy has thrown this summer in 11-on-11 drills.

Darnold was on the field for 13 reps of team work. He was six of eight on his pass attempts, including back-to-back deep completions to running back Elijah Mitchell and wide receiver Tay Martin.

Trey Lance also threw the ball well. He had 10 practice snaps and completed four of seven attempts with Willie Snead dropping one of his passes.

Quick slants

— Mitchell returned to practice after missing more than two weeks with a groin strain. He had an active first day back with four rushing attempts and two pass receptions.

-- Defensive linemen Jackson (hamstring), Javon Kinlaw (illness) and Kalia Davis (hamstring) were also back on the practice field.

— The 49ers signed running back Brian Hill to a one-year deal and waived defensive lineman Tomasi Laulile. Hill saw action in three games with the 49ers in 2021 but did not touch the ball. In his six-year NFL career, mostly with the Atlanta Falcons, Hill has 209 rushing attempts for 982 yards and three touchdowns.

— Cornerback Tre Swilling made a nice break-up of an intermediate throw across the middle of the field from Lance intended for Tay Martin.

— Rookie kicker Jake Moody attempted one field goal, and he made it from 43 yards out.

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