SANTA CLARA – Everything changes on Tuesday for the 49ers.
On the eve of the 49ers’ first padded practice of training camp, it was almost as if the team was caught looking ahead a day. After all, the first three days of practices were just a carryover from the offseason program.
On Tuesday, it’s real football again. And a lot of the players were excited about that.
“Somebody’s got to pay for the work I’ve been putting in,” 49ers defensive tackle Quinton Dial said. “Can’t wait.”
Dial had another strong showing on the practice field before the contact is ratcheted up a notch or two. Dial, who is lining up as a starting defensive end, has regularly been getting into the 49ers’ backfield.
Defensive play of the day: Cornerback Tramaine Brock had his second interception in two days, as he latched onto a short Colin Kaepernick pass that deflected off Anquan Boldin. Kaepernick had to move to avoid blitzing linebacker Nick Moody on the play.
Catch of the day: Boldin made the top grab when he lurched back to catch a Kaepernick throw behind him for a touchdown in a 7-on-7 red-zone drill.
Ellington limping: Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who has gotten off to a strong start in training camp, appeared in some discomfort after running a red-zone pattern that fell incomplete late in practice. Ellington did not take part in punt-catching work several minutes later. It is not known if Ellington’s condition is related to the hamstring strain that kept him out of the bulk of the team’s offseason program.
Depth chart: Rookie Trent Brown saw reps at left tackle with Joe Staley being held out of action. Brown had seen almost all of his action at right tackle since the offseason program. The 49ers would like to see if Brown has a chance to handle duties as the swing tackle – the backup on both sides of the line. . . The 49ers’ second offensive line consisted of left tackle Patrick Miller, left guard Andrew Tiller, center Dillon Farrell, right guard Brandon Thomas and right tackle Justin Renfrow.
Rookie report: Undrafted rookie Marcus Rush has opened some eyes with his pass-rush prowess in one-on-one drills. In a teamwork session, Rush intercepted a pass from fellow rookie Dylan Thompson on an intended screen. . . Trent Brown had a good showing against Aldon Smith in a one-on-one pass-rush drill. But Tank Carradine also beat him for a would-be sack.
This ‘n’ that: Former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci watched the practice from the sideline in his role as an analyst for the NFL Network. Mariucci has gotten to know 49ers coach Jim Tomsula well through the years. Tomsula has helped Mariucci with his involvement in Camp for the Stars, a football event for athletes with Down Syndrome. Tomsula has since taken that idea and started his own camp in his hometown of Pittsburgh. . . Veteran defensive lineman Darnell Dockett made his first appearance in 11-on-11 drills as part of the 49ers’ nickel package. Tomsula is being cautious with Dockett, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. Dockett had a strong pass-rush move against Marcus Martin in one-on-one drills. . . Kaepernick had a nice three-play sequence in 11-on-11 work when he showed perhaps his best touch of camp when he dropped a 20-yard pass into tight end Vernon Davis at the left sideline, then followed it up with nice intermediate throws to Quinton Patton and Boldin. . . Running back Carlos Hyde bounced back strong with a good day with his hands as he caught a handful of passes out of the backfield. . . Nose tackle Mike Purcell batted down a Kaepernick pass at the line of scrimmage. . . Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who has gotten off to a strong camp, steamrolled offensive lineman Sean Hooey in a pass-rush drill, knocking him on his back. . . Cornerback Chris Cook had a nice breakup of a Blaine Gabbert pass intended for rookie tight end Blake Bell. . . The potentially longest play of the day fell harmlessly to the ground, as Kaepernick’s deep pass to a wide-open Vance McDonald went through his hands down the middle of the field. . . Cornerback Leon McFadden went high to break up a pass intended for DeAndrew White at the sideline. . . Center Daniel Kilgore watched practice while using crutches and wearing an orthopedic boot on his left foot. Kilgore underwent a recent procedure to clean up his left lower leg, which he fractured in November.
Daily transactions: None.
Returned to practice: DL Darnell Dockett
Did not practice: LT Joe Staley, WR Jerome Simpson, RB Reggie Bush, OLB Aaron Lynch, RB Kendall Hunter, DB Jimmie Ward, WR Issac Blakeney, OL Ben Gottschalk.
Physically unable to perform: C Daniel Kilgore (left leg)
Non-football injury/illness: LB Michael Wilhoite (leg), WR DeAndre Smelter (knee), LB Nick Bellore (illness)
Next practice: The 49ers are scheduled to return to the practice field Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. for their first padded practice of camp. The workout is closed to the general public.