Deebo Samuel Is Back! Three Takeaways From the Start of Week 2 At 49ers Training Camp

Aug 1, 2022, 2:34 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers training camp is back for the second week as the Red & Gold hit the practice field Monday morning.

The Bay Area team practiced in front of another packed crowd of faithful, sporting pads for the first time in training camp this season. The big news of the day was, obviously, the return of All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who officially signed his three-year extension with the team Monday.

An update on his first day, plus much more as we take a look at a few takeaways from the first day of pads at 49ers practice.

Deebo Is Back And A Whole Lot Richer

The Deebo saga is finally over 49ers fans.

Samuel made his first appearance on the practice field Monday after inking his three-year, $73.5 million extension with the 49ers earlier on in the morning.

To say the atmosphere in Santa Clara was electric would be an understatement, as the organization and its supporters were elated to see number 19 back with his teammates.

Yep, the 49ers’ X-Factor is back in pads, cue Kodak Black.

All jokes aside, head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were excited to have their guy signed on until 2026, raving about Samuel before practice even started.

“We are overjoyed to have come together with Deebo to keep him with the 49ers for years to come,” Lynch said, via the team’s statement. “Deebo has the rare ability to not only play at a unique level but to inspire his teammates with the way he plays. He is a special player that embodies ‘will meeting skill.’ We’re proud to move forward with him as an integral leader and foundational piece of our team.”

The world is finally balanced once again.

Shanahan also noted Monday that Deebo would not be in 100% of the first-team reps in camp starting out, looking to bring him back gradually to avoid injury.

Making first-team All-Pro for the first time in 2021, Samuel was a wrecking ball for the 49ers, spearheading their offense to the NFC Championship game. Racking up 1,405 yards and 6 TDs as a wideout, and 365 yards and 8 TDs as a running back, Deebo showed that he is a complete offensive player in 2021.

It’s early in camp but the faithful should be looking forward to seeing more connections, (like the one below), for years to come.

Offensive Line At Full Strength On The Outside, Needs Work On The Interior

The first day of pads means the offensive line can really start practicing. After getting run over by the 49ers’ stout D-line during the first week, you’d think the O-line would answer in a big way.

Well, not quite.

Yes the team’s run game was able to open some holes for running backs Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty, but most of those were towards the outside, where Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey play. Reports indicated that neither tackles gave up much pressure Monday, if any, during scrimmage sessions.

The problem is on the interior, allowing numerous pressures on Trey Lance and the QB group, forcing them to either roll out or throw the ball away.

We knew there’d be some shuffling around after Alex Mack retired and Laken Tomlinson departed the organization during free agency, but this has to be a key concern for 49ers brass. An inability to protect Lance down the middle of the line will leave the young QB in rather dire situations on passing plays, not to mention the inefficiency that come with being stuffed up the middle on run plays.

Granted, the young interior line is going up against arguably the best defensive front seven in the NFL daily, with Williams even admitting the depth on defense can be a bit overwhelming.

“I’m like, ‘damn, how many pass rushers do you want, Kyle? You just keep on bringing them in,'” Willams said regarding rookie DE Drake Jackson.

Additionally, the veteran tackle was complementary of his young guard group, specifically Aaron Banks, saying he’s one of the best lineman in camp thus far.

“He’s really showing out…[based on] his body composition, you can tell he’s been working,” Williams stated.

Regardless, the Red & Gold are faced with a decision for the center and guard spots. Jake Brendel and Daniel Brunskill can’t split the snaps for the entirely of camp, eventually one of them has to come out on top.

Or the front office may turn to the free agent market for a starter, J.C. Tretter is still available.

Lance Continues To Be Up & Down Amidst Defensive Dominance

Trey Lance’s first day in pads followed suit for the majority of camp: Some good, some bad, some improvements.

Lance finished 5 for 11 on the day, throwing two passing TDs, one rushing and one INT. His interception came in the rezone when Charvarius Ward snagged a late throw from the young QB to Kyle Juszczyk crossing over the middle. The interception is the defense’s 11th of camp.

However, Lance’s best completions of the day went to Brandon Aiyuk, who was phenomenal Monday, according to sources. The pair worked together vigorously in the offseason and the connection has shown through the first five practices of training camp.

The North Dakota State product also showcased his running ability Monday, scrambling up the middle for a 15-yard score.

Yes, Lance has made mistakes in camp but they aren’t all his fault as his offensive line has been underwhelming in the center and guard positions, allowing numerous rollouts and incompletions. Additionally, the young prospect is going up against arguably the best defense in the league, a footnote worth mentioning when discussing his performance in camp.

“That’s what really gives me the most confidence is watching him versus a very smart, very fast defense,” Trent Williams said Monday. “They don’t give him anything easy… Anything you see, he worked for. Going against a defense like that is the greatest tool you can use.”

Practice struggles don’t always equal regular season success but when you face players like Nick Bosa, Ward and Fred Warner on a daily basis, that has to bode well for Lance’s development. While he’s struggled in spots, his continuous improvement each day is what the fans and the front office need to see out their young QB.

The big takeaway from today: Numbers don’t tell the full story.

For all things 49ers and NFL, stay locked in here on Sactown Sports.

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