From Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee: Proving that truth is indeed more interesting than fiction, Mike Singletary's first ever training camp practice this morning was highlighted by a hard-hitting drill he calls ... wait for it, wait for it ... the nutcracker. Yes, it's true. The drill consisted of seven stations at which one offensive player went up against one defensive player in an effort to see who could push the other man back.
Singletary said the nutcracker is superior to the more traditional Oklahoma drill because in the Oklahoma, a defensive player can move around the offensive player. In the nutcracker, there's no way to avoid contact. Said Vernon Davis: "It's like blocking a defensive end or a tackle - you have to engage." The nutcracker requires legs, leverage -- and most important, according to Singletary - fundamentals. The team that has the best fundamentals at the end of the game, wins the game. So what were the highlights of the first Niners nutcracker? Everyone participated save the QBs, kicking specialists and OT Marvel Smith, who is taking it easy on his back.
The players were matched up against opponents their own size. It was hard to follow all the action, but this is what I saw ...
* Michael Robinson seemed to get the better of Patrick Willis in their matchups. Willis' strength, after all, is moving in space and utilizing his speed.
* Fullback Brit Miller actually held his own against Takeo Spikes, a surprise. Willis also gave Miller a shoutout when talking about the drill with reporters.
* Delanie Walker beat Ahmad Brooks on the first go around, but Brooks looked better toward the end. That's a matchup Brooks needs to win.
* Big Bad Alex Boone (BBAB) put Pannel Egboh on his back, but later Demetric Evans did the same to Boone.
* Rookie Bear Pascoe roundly defeated Jay Moore.
* Vernon Davis said he beat Parys Haralson three times out of four.
And so the first full season under Mike Singletary begins...
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