2002 Niners assemble for first practice

The 49ers flew into the San Francisco Bay Area from all their different corners of America on Thursday for individual physicals, and the 2002 edition of the team will practice for the first time on Friday morning to begin a three-day minicamp at the Niners' Santa Clara headquarters

 Practically all 80-odd players who are under contract with the team will be present - except for NFL Europe players - though a few veterans will be held out of drills or limited in practice. Guard Ray Brown, who signed a restructured deal with the team in March, will not be in attendance since he no longer is in the team's plans after the Niners signed free agent Ron Stone to take his place. Brown will be released on or after June 1.

 The team will practice five times over the next three days with the minicamp culminating with the team's annual beep test - won the past two years by quarterback Jeff Garcia - after practice Sunday morning.

 Stone and fellow free-agent signees Tony Parrish and Sean Moran will be practicing with the team for the first time. Stone and Parrish, a strong safety, will be joining the starting lineup, where the Niners have their other 20 starters returning.

 Third-year quarterback Gio Carmazzi will be held out of drills as he continues to rehab after shoulder surgery late last year. Carmazzi has been throwing for about a month, and he's expected to face a stiff challenge from free agent Aaron Garcia and fifth-round draft choice Brandon Doman in training camp for the No. 3 role behind starter Jeff Garcia and backup Tim Rattay.

 Safety John Keith and cornerback Anthony Parker - both coming back from season-ending surgeries last year - might be limited in practice. Guard Dave Fiore, defensive end Bobby Setzer (toe), Jamie Winborn (sore leg), defensive end Andre Carter (thumb surgery) and defensive end Menson Holloway (knee) are either limited or out.

 But everyone else is expected to practice as the Niners welcome to the field their 10-player draft class and the dozens of new players they have signed since the end of last season.


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