© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA – It was clear when you walked down Marie P DeBartolo Way on Wednesday that it was Dwight Clark Day. The stadium’s ticker read “Dwight Clark Day,” fans were handed out commemorative shirts with Clark’s number and likeness making “The Catch” on it, a host of prepared fans adorned themselves with their own Clark jerseys, and some members of the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance.
What a day at #49ersCamp surrounded by our alumni who came to support our team & honor our friend #DwightClark. The presence of those valiantly fighting ALS and their families was special & reminded me of how DC and my mother-in-law used their own battles to inspire others @49ers pic.twitter.com/DT6eNZntpR
— John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) August 8, 2019
Yet, for all those signs that Clark was being honored, it was an otherwise straightforward practice, as evidenced by the quartet of consecutive touchdown passes Jimmy Garoppolo connected on in the red zone, and the pair of injuries to Jason Verrett and Nick Bosa, who are receiving MRIs on their ankles (plus the Marquise Goodwin injury scare which he quickly returned from).
Garoppolo discusses “The Catch”
After that four touchdown day, Garoppolo was asked about Clark, who, as the reporter acknowledged, was too young to remember The Catch. Garoppolo said he wished he had met Clark.
“He sounded like a very charismatic guy,” Garoppolo said. “I never got to meet him, unfortunately, but just the energy he brought, it sounded like it was contagious. Would have loved to have a chance to meet him, but it sounded like he made some real impact on this organization.”
As for The Catch, well, he’s seen the film; and was understandably impressed by Montana’s ability to keep the play alive. Garoppolo says he hasn’t had the chance to work with Montana or Steve Young on film sessions, but asked reporters to put in a good word for him to make that happen.
“It’s incredible,” Garoppolo said of the play. “I mean, to keep it alive, for [former 49ers QB] Joe [Montana] to keep it alive first and then to give Dwight the chance in the back of the end zone and really put it in the only spot he could put it, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime play right there.”
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) August 7, 2019
Tarvarius Moore “a lot closer” to being an NFL-ready safety
Just a week ago, Robert Saleh said that Tarvarius Moore was, “… by no means even close to being an NFL-ready safety by Week 1.” Today, Saleh said Moore is, “… getting a lot closer.” Moore has looked extremely active and effective in the start of training camp (and, ahem, healthy) coming up with a massive run stop on Tevin Coleman on the fourth play of 11-on-11s on Wednesday, while not appearing to be exploited in coverage. Here is what Saleh has said about Moore on July 30, August 3 and now August 7.
“Yeah, he’s staying at free [safety]. He’s been progressively getting better. He’s by no means even close to being an NFL-ready safety by Week 1, but he is getting progressively better. He’s got a lot of things to clean up with regards to, he’s hesitating, which is expected. He’s still new at the position, but he’s got to get to the point where he’s not really thinking about his job anymore where he can react and trigger, which is so important for our safety to be able to do.”
“He’s getting better. Tarvarius does not lack athleticism, does not lack instincts, he does not lack burst or anything like that. That’s not his problem. He’s not a dumb guy, he’s actually really smart. And so, for Tarvarius, he’s only been playing the position for a couple weeks, if you think about it, here for our team. He’s been a corner. If you take the week or week and a half that he had in OTAs plus the first week here, so he’s kind of got to accelerate his learning which is going to be more on him as a player. He does not lack the skillset and for him to just continue to get better, be confident in his alignments, where he needs to place his eyes. The instinctual part, you can see it. He gets on course very well. He’s got good feel in the backend on when to stay deep and when to cut it short. It’s just, he takes really good angles, so he’s got a chance to be good. He’s just got to continue to get better every day.”
“He’s getting a lot closer. It’s like I said, he does not lack athletic ability or anything like that. It’s just catching up in the position, with the position. He’s a smart kid so he’s learning pretty quick. When his feet are on the ground and he’s in the box or he’s in the middle of the field he’s got great physicality to him. I’m excited about the direction he’s going into and he’s making that competition very close. He’s doing a very, very good job.”