Signing off until summer

Observations, impressions and inclinations after Thursday's minicamp finale offered one final look at the 49ers in action until training camp begins in seven weeks:

--- Goldy two-shoes? Jimmy Williams was wearing flashy gold covers over both cleats Thursday, perhaps an indication those feet are headed toward some golden performance this season.

--- And why not? Williams looks like he's finally 100 percent recovered from his 2002 knee surgery and he has been displaying considerable potential this spring.

--- When the 49ers use two linebackers in passing situations, there names will be Derek Smith and Jamie Winborn.

--- The Niners haven't decided just where Curtis Conway fits in, but he definitely fits in somewhere.

--- Saleem Rasheed is the Niners' No. 4 linebacker until Julian Peterson returns. But Richard Seigler might have something to say about that in training camp.

--- The Niners don't look too concerned about Kevan Barlow's blocking, because they'd rather have him swinging out of the backfield on pass patterns.

--- Scott Rehberg looks like the consummate teammate every time he grapples with a defender, then pats that teammate on the back once the play is finished.

--- Beaten by Derrick Hamilton on a sideline fly pattern, Shawntae Spencer displayed his closing speed by making it back in time to bat away the pass at the last second with a diving lunge.

--- Ken Dorsey, of course, put that pass right on Hamilton's hands, 45 yards down the field.

--- This summer has to be the last chance for defensive tackle Josh Shaw, right?

--- Andre Carter is ready for a breakout year.

--- In addition to his many other virtues, Justin Smiley holds his space in pass blocking like a player beyond his years.

--- The 49ers gave a lot of money to tight end Eric Johnson, but it will be difficult to keep the bigger, athletic Aaron Walker off the field.

--- He's a roster longshot, but Norm Katnik has a chance to challenge Brock Gutierrez as the team's backup center.

--- No matter how you slice it, the Niners are going to be small on defense when they go to a 3-4 set unless they have both Bryant Young and Anthony Adams on the field at the same time. And maybe even then, too.

--- Cedrick Wilson beat Ahmed Plummer on a deep slant in team drills, then made a diving grab and held on even though the cornerback was draped all over him.

--- Dorsey drilled that pass on the money, right where it needed to be. Does this guy ever miss a throw?

--- Well, yes, but not many lately.

--- Jimmy Williams and Shawntae Spencer are set as the Nos. 3 and 4 cornerbacks entering training camp. The fifth corner at this point looks like pesky Joselio Hanson.

--- We would have liked to have seen more this spring from Isaac Sopoaga. Maybe he just needs to hit somebody wearing pads.

--- If nothing else, all that shifting with receivers, tight ends and running backs should at least confuse opposing defenses for a while.

--- Hopefully, the Niners won't need that deception to make up for a lack of experience or - even worse - talent on offense.

--- Brandon Lloyd made his daily diving grab Thursday. Or two.

--- Everyone's anxious to see what Brandon Whiting can do in training camp.

--- Did somebody say training camp? Only 50 more days and counting.


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