The 49ers’ straight-shooting defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke to the media prior to Tuesday’s practice.
Initially focusing on the corners, Fangio said that Tramaine Brock is doing okay since stepping in as the No. 3 and veteran Nnamdi Asomugha “looked good” the past few days. Fangio added that CB Marcus Cooper has caught his eye among the rookie trio that includes Darryl Morris and Lowell Rose:
“[Marcus] Coop, the seventh round pick, he’s been doing fine, and lately here, he’s been picking it up and you can tell that he feels a little more comfortable in his assignments and his techniques. We’ll look to, hopefully, see how he does Thursday night. … The other two guys are fighting through. They’re learning as undrafted rookies.”
Craig Dahl will start Thursday’s preseason opener opposite Dontae Whitner, but first-rounder Eric Reid, C.J. Spillman, and Trenton Robinson will also rotate in.
The 49ers look to keep nine or 10 defensive backs on the 53-man roster.
The unproven inside linebacker quartet of Nick Moody, Michael Wilhoite, Nate Stupar, and Travis Johnson continue to split reps with Patrick Willis (broken hand), who is out until Week One.
Fangio also alluded that outside linebacker and special teamer Dan Skuta is not expected to be tried inside yet, and that pass rusher Parys Haralson has no lingering effects from an arm injury that cause him to miss last season.
Defensive end project Lawrence Okoye will also make his gridiron debut Thursday night at the ‘Stick.
On the offensive side, Kaepernick talked about his pass catchers, expressing his thoughts on A.J. Jenkins’ recent touchdowns in camp he said:
“Yeah he has looked good. We expect more though. We need him to step up.”
Kaepernick also said rookie tight end Vance McDonald has big shoes to fill with Delanie Walker gone, and that the team needs Kyle Williams to be the x-factor out of the slot.
On his chemistry with Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, Kaepernick expressed confidence:
“[Boldin] I think it’s going great. He makes it very easy on quarterbacks. He’s a savvy guy. … He knows where the weak spots in the defense are and where he wants to get to. [Davis] I think everybody knows why Vernon is different. He’s a matchup nightmare, he’s a physical freak. You can do just about anything with him.”
When asked what tips he continues to use from the Manning Passing Academy that he attended prior to his senior year at Nevada, Kaepernick simply said:
“All of them.”
The 49ers made one roster move today, waiving wide receiver Charly Martin and re-signing punter/place kicker Colton Schmidt.