There were some fireworks at Day 6 of 49ers training camp. The first fights of this year’s camp broke out after Fred Warner twice got under the skin of San Francisco’s wide receivers. While the fight drew headlines, a slew of other interesting notes came out of Tuesday’s session.
Here are some takeaways and what they could mean long-term:
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There was a fight. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk finally got fed up with linebacker Fred Warner, which was Warner’s stated goal early in camp. Aiyuk’s fire could be another sign a breakout season is coming for the receiver heading into his third season. There are tons of things pointing to him having his best year yet, and the willingness to jump in and scrap is probably more of a good thing for the 49ers than a bad one.
Javon Kinlaw returns
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Kinlaw was back in action after sitting out Monday’s practice for a routine maintenance day. The production matters less than the availability for the third-year defensive tackle at this point, so seeing him return to the field is a plus for the 49ers.
Charvarius Ward’s day off
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Speaking of routine maintenance days, Ward sat out Tuesday for a much-deserved day away from practice. He’s been widely considered the best player in camp on a defense that’s been outshining the offense by a wide margin.
Center battle continues
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
There appears to be some movement at center. Daniel Brunskill hasn’t taken any first-team reps at right guard, a position he held down for virtually all of the last two seasons. Instead he’s been in competition with Jake Brendel for the starting center job and he might be gaining. That’s a problem area for the 49ers that they have to get sorted out, so seeing a new division of reps, per Brad Graham from TheSFNiners YouTube channel, this early in camp isn’t a huge surprise. The club needs to figure out that job more than any other along the offensive front.
Jimmy Garoppolo draws attention
This is wild! Garoppolo threw on a side field during practice and fans took the opportunity to watch the QB sling throws in a 49ers long sleeve shirt as he continues his throwing program and rehab from offseason shoulder surgery.
Danny Gray sighting!
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The rookie third-round pick has been relatively quiet since flashing his speed at the unpadded, non-contact OTAs. That could be a concern since plenty of fast players have faded when the pads come on. That wasn’t the case for Gray on Tuesday when, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN, the rookie hauled in five receptions in team drills. More importantly, he was making his receptions while working different areas of the field. His speed could be a game-changer in the 49ers offense, and his emergence at this point is worth noting with just over a week until the preseason opener.
How about Jason Poe!
Multiple reporters noted Poe’s success in one-on-one drills between offensive and defensive linemen. This video from the Athletic’s Matt Barrows shows the explosiveness that made him an intriguing undrafted rookie signing for the 49ers.