Monday notebook: Time to reel in Lewis?

Nobody made a big deal about it Monday, but the Niners no doubt need to make a point about reeling in rookie safety Keith Lewis, who didn't let a broken hand slow down his aggressive tendencies in practice.

Lewis fractured a bone in his right hand during Sunday's practice, but there he was during Monday's morning session, wearing a cumbersome cast on his hand and forearm but still laying the hurt on those who crossed his path.

On Sunday, Lewis had drawn the ire of coaches and teammates after he walloped fullback Jasen Isom on a screen pass and planted him to the turf. It was a great hit, but not the kind the Niners want to see in practice situations, when defenders are expected to wrap up ball carriers and then let go during contact team drills.

Coach Dennis Erickson made a point to let Lewis know he'd broken the rules of practice decorum, even stopping by his locker after practice to make sure he was aware of those rules.

But on Monday, Lewis delivered another borderline hit on tight end Gabe Crecion and, unlike Isom the day before, Crecion didn't survive the contact without some complications. He left the field with a stinger and watched the rest of practice with an ice pack on his shoulder.

Erickson downplayed the incident, but it's a good bet another similar episode won't be tolerated – not just by coaches, but by a whole pack of teammates wearing the white offensive jerseys.

RATTAY LOOKING SHARP: Another day, another step in the progress of quarterback Tim Rattay. He again didn't participate in team drills in the morning padded session, but he drove the first-team offense right down the field during two-minute, no-huddle drills in the afternoon.

His passes were razor sharp and always on the mark.

Rattay said his arm is "getting into camp shape," which is obvious to all. "The last couple of days I've been able to get my legs and arms working together," he said.

SPLENDID SPENCER: Shawntae Spencer continues to assert himself as one of the top young newcomers in camp.

The team's second-round draft pick has shown speed and good instincts since the pads went on Friday afternoon. He continues to make plays in team drills and appears to be gaining ground on veteran Jimmy Williams in the battle for the team's No. 3 cornerback duties.

"Spencer's been quite a surprise for us," Erickson said. "If you look at all the guys we've drafted so far, as far as where we are right now, he's jumped out. He's got great athletic ability, changes direction and he's a good cover guy. It's going to be a battle."

Spencer said perhaps his biggest obstacle so far has been grasping the team's defensive system.

"There's a lot to learn in a certain amount of time," he said. "They throw a lot at you and, unlike college, you don't get a lot of time to walk through and have them hold your hand through it. But I'm really, really enjoying the process."


--- First-round pick Rashaun Woods left the morning practice with a slight hamstring pull. He did not participate in the afternoon session.

--- Defensive tackle Anthony Adams was wearing a protective boot on his right foot after sustaining a mild sprain earlier in the day.

--- Backup left tackle Jerome Davis didn't practice due to a strained right knee. Projected starting right guard Kyle Kosier – who could wind up as the top backup at both tackle positions if the Niners decide to go with rookie Justin Smiley at right guard – took some snaps at left tackle during the day.

--- Receiver Arnaz Battle came down awkwardly – and head first – during morning team drills and was shaken up momentarily. But he returned to the field a few plays later, and made several impressive catches during the afternoon session.

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