SANTA CLARA — The 49ers on Sunday learned one of the drawbacks of having perhaps the most talented roster in the league: Every other team is eager to see which players you leave exposed.
Five players who spent training camp in Santa Clara were snapped up by other squads, including two rookies, cornerback Marcus Cooper and tight end MarQueis Gray, the 49ers had hoped to re-sign to their practice squad after waiving them Saturday.
Gray was signed to the Browns' active roster; the Chiefs signed Cooper to their 53-man squad. Kansas City also added receiver Chad Hall, who was on the cusp of making the 49ers' roster this year. Hall and Cooper join two other ex-49ers, quarterback Alex Smith and receiver A.J. Jenkins, in Kansas City.
In perhaps the biggest concern for the 49ers, quarterback Scott Tolzien, who was part coach, part backup the last two seasons with San Francisco, was added to Green Bay's practice squad. The Packers begin the season in San Francisco on Sunday.
Green Bay is likely to debrief Tolzien on his old team, just as the 49ers did with former Rams safety Craig Dahl when they signed him as a free agent in March. Dahl's admission that he spilled information about St. Louis' defense drew angry words from former Rams teammates this offseason but a shoulder shrug from Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
"First off, anytime a player that's involved in the system changes addresses, there's always going to be some sort of debriefing," Fisher said. "That always happens, so that's not unusual."
Tolzien's job the last few years was to act as a second set of eyes for the starting quarterback as far as breaking down the opposing defense in the run-up to the game and help analyze what was happening during the game. Players and coaches said that was something at which Tolzien excelled.
Tolzien, obviously, would have very good insight into the 49ers' offensive and defensive personnel — most notably Colin Kaepernick — their defensive tendencies and their snap-count patterns. But judging from discussions with players, there has been little, if any, game-plan preparation for the Packers thus far.
The 49ers opened the season against the Packers last year, too, and they said they began their Week 1 preparation as far back as the spring. The coaches undoubtedly started working on Green Bay earlier this year as well.
But it hasn't been passed on to the players — perhaps in anticipation of this type of situation — and it won't until the week's first practice Tuesday.
Another ex-49er, receiver Ricardo Lockette, was added to the Bears' practice squad.
The 49ers' practice squad will include offensive linemen Carter Bykowski and Patrick Omameh, cornerback Darryl Morris, running back Jewel Hampton, receiver Chuck Jacobs, defensive lineman Mike Purcell and safety Michael Thomas.