49ers kick off training camp
SANTA CLARA, CA (KGO) -- The "nutcracker" is back and it has nothing to do with a holiday ballet. It is all about large men clad in red and gold crashing into each other at high speeds.
The San Francisco 49ers put the pads on Monday in their second day of training camp in Santa Clara.
Head coach Mike Singletary is old school and likes his players to hit early in camp.
"What we're trying to do is be a fundamentally sound, technically sound team and that team will be the one that wins tight games," says Singletary.
This team is poised to make some noise. A top 10 defense, they added depth through the draft, they have plenty of weapons on offense for quarterback Alex Smith, who feels more comfortable than he ever has as the 49ers quarterback.
"The expectations have risen, we expect so much more, more success and we continue to demand that," says Smith.
Smith was named the starter in the off season and is not competing for the job like last year. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree sees a big difference in Smith as a result.
"I know when I see him, he's a lot more confident. I can see it in his eyes. I feel like we've clicked this summer and I'm looking forward to doing something in training camp," says Crabtree.
Football is the ultimate team sport, but it seems like the 49ers' success this year may depend on one guy and that's Smith.
Starting left guard David Baas suffered a concussion Monday at practice. Rookie Mike Iupati stepped in for the injured veteran and that could trigger a battle to see who starts when the season kicks off.
mike singletary, san francisco 49ers, nfl, mike shumann
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