Training Camp 2023

Chan's 49ers camp observations: Garoppolo faces familiar defense

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HENDERSON, Nev. — Jimmy Garoppolo has spent much of his NFL career practicing against the 49ers' defense, and Thursday was no different in the club’s first joint practice with the Las Vegas Raiders. 

The former 49ers quarterback had a productive session, looking much like he did when he wore red and gold. Garoppolo connected with his receivers on everything from screen passes to go routes throughout practice, but it wasn’t without a few hiccups provided by linebacker Fred Warner and Co., who know their former teammate’s tendencies.

“Obviously some new guys here and there but for the most part it’s the same guys I was going against last year,” Garoppolo said. “You have Fred running the show, and the D-line is still damn good. It’s a talented group but I thought we held our own today.”

The former 49ers play-caller did have passes tipped by both Warner and Arik Armstead during 11-on-11 drills and saw pressure by defensive tackle Javon Hargrave that caused an incomplete pass.

Garoppolo still ran an efficient two-minute drill for a touchdown at the end of the practice session. The Eastern Illinois product connected with receiver Jakobi Meyers more than once and capped the drive with a completion to tight end Austin Hooper in the end zone.

When Garoppolo was on the field, Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir were both seen in coverage. The younger defensive back has been working on refining his game, and Garoppolo did take notice.

“I saw DeMo changed his number,” Garoppolo said with a smile. “Whenever you move to a single digit, you must be doing something right. Seems like he had a good offseason. He looked good out there.” 

Other defensive notes from Thursday’s practice:

-- After Dre Greenlaw left practice early with a hamstring issue, Marcelino McCrary-Ball was seen on the field paired up with Warner.

-- Ambry Thomas did get some first-team reps covering Raiders receiver Davante Adams. Garoppolo threw a deep pass to the wideout, who was called out of bounds on a reception when Thomas was defending.

-- Drake Jackson sat out of practice due to a hamstring issue, but was seen on the field watching one-on-one drills while wearing a compression sleeve on his left leg. Clelin Ferrell was seen on the line with the “first team” lineup that included Arik Armstead, Hargrave and Kerry Hyder.

-- Tayler Hawkins picked off Raiders quarterback Brian Hoyer in one of the final two-minute drill snaps near the end of practice.

-- DL Kalia Davis (hamstring), DL Robert Beal (hamstring), S George Odum (AC joint sprain), CB Anthony Averett (quad) all sat out of Thursday’s session.

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