QB Colin Kaepernick: He's been taking the first-team reps. His arm strength stands out on the field. So far, he looks pretty good. He had made some tremendous deep and intermediate throws. Some of his shorter passes have been off target and very difficult to catch because of the velocity with which he throws. All in all, a nice beginning for the rookie.
RB Anthony Dixon: The big, shifty back got the first-team reps during Frank Gore's absence. He looks a lot more polished than a year ago when he was the third running back at this time behind Gore and Glen Coffee.
WR Ronald Johnson: Perhaps the most-impressive looking of the wideouts in the early days of practice. He and Kaepernick have hooked up on some deep corner routes. He has also been working as the deep man on kickoff returns.
Former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook has signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Westbrook has been looking to find a job, visiting several teams in recent months. Westbrook had spent his entire eight-year career in Philadelphia but was released in the offseason after injuries limited him to just eight games in 2009.
The 49ers' 2009 third-round pick, running back Glen Coffee, abruptly retired over the weekend. Coffee was expected to compete with Anthony Dixon and Michael Robinson for the backup job to starter Frank Gore. Coffee told the 49ers he no longer wanted to play football.
Westbrook is a two-time Pro Bowler and at the height of his career was considered one of the best all-around backs in football. However, he struggled with multiple concussions in recent years and the Eagles decided to move on.
Westbrook led the NFL with 2,104 yards from scrimmage in 2007, but missed eight games last season with a pair of concussions and an ankle injury while scoring only two touchdowns.
The 30-year old passed a physical on a visit to St. Louis earlier this offseason. As recently as Saturday, the Rams denied reports they were close to a deal with Westbrook.
Westbrook also visited the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos during the course of the summer.
The move makes sense after Glen Coffee retired. Westbrook isn't what he used be, and while he should be the RB2 on the 49ers, he'll still have Michael Robinson and Anthony Dixon around. He's an injury risk at age 30 as well so don't have high expectations he'll be a major fantasy contributor this year.
While his former 49ers teammates are lining up in Indianapolis today for their first exhibition game, former San Francisco running back Glen Coffee will be lining up the rest of his life.
In his first interview since abruptly stepping away from the game, Coffee said he planned to return to the University of Alabama to complete his undergraduate degree in consumer affairs and pursue a master's in a field to be determined.
Coffee, a third-round draft pick a year ago, said he had contemplated leaving football since he played for the Crimson Tide. He said he left school after his junior year in the hope that playing professionally would jump-start his passion for the game. It did not.
"It was a struggle for a long time," the ex-running back said. "Actually, when I look back, I feel I never should have entered the draft in the first place. Football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college. It changed my views on everything. But I still was a football player because it was expected of me – it was something I did all my life. I was basically wasting the (49ers') time."
Since his religious awakening, Coffee said he has been directed down another path. Although his retirement papers have not been filed, he said he would not reconsider his decision.
"I've already told Christ it's time to go," he said. "I've already rung the bell. That's not going to happen."
49ers RB Glen Coffee said to day in a prepared statement that he is retiring and moving on from football.
This one came as a shock. Last year's preseason darling, Coffee was slotted in as the primary backup to Frank Gore. Gore looks to get the vast majority of the work in San Fran, but Michael Robinson and rookie Anthony Dixon will battle it out for the #2 spot. Robinson may win the job initially, but Dixon will be the long term answer to the questions left behind by Coffee's departure.