SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers ended their six-day break from the NFL as they returned to team headquarters from the bye week. Several players talked about what they did during their time off.
“I got to kick my feet up and get my legs and my body back,” defensive end Ray McDonald said. “Any injury I had, nicks and bruises I had before the bye week, I was able to heal up.”
McDonald and defensive end Justin Smith stuck around the Bay Area last week, working out and studying film. McDonald said he even did some boxing during that time.
“Whatever mistakes we made these previous six games we played, we studied film and realized what we need to improve on,” added McDonald. “We just need to improve on all that in practice this week.”
“We were going over everything from Week 1 to that week,” nose tackle Ricky Jean Francois said. “We weren’t looking at the good stuff. We were looking at all of the mistakes we had done and what we need to improve in.”
Linebacker Ahmad Brooks got a chance to go back home to his family in Virginia and catch up on some really needed rest.
“Probably sleep,” Brooks said of the one thing he improved on. “Still working out and all, but at the same time we’re not out there practicing. We missed a week of playing in a game. We’re playing this week and guys might be a little tired in the first two series. But once we get our second wind, I think everybody will be back in football mode.”
Brooks, who has been on the field for all but five defensive snaps (according to his estimation), said that there were pros and cons about the bye week. Getting rest was good, but it came at a time when the team was on a roll.
“We had a routine pretty much,” Brooks said. “We had a streak of winning and I believe we can still stay on that streak and continue to prepare like we did before.”
“All we can do is take it one game at a time,” tight end Vernon Davis said. “I’m not thinking about (being 5-1). We still have 10 more games to finish. After we finish that, I’ll get excited. I really can’t get too excited – we have a lot of games left.”
Several players echoed that statement, that the team had to get back to work. And the team had no intention of getting complacent with a 5-1 record.
“We got Freddie P. Soft in the chest somewhere,” McDonald said of the team’s fictional nemesis. “We’re not even worried about what he’s saying. As a team, we’re trying to stay focused and get ready for the Cleveland Browns.”
- FB Moran Norris said that he feels good and has been doing some jogging. Norris suffered a fibula injury a few weeks ago and had his walking boot removed last week. He is expected to get some practice time this week.
- WR Michael Crabtree said that the incident when he got pulled over last week actually stalled him for 45 minutes. He said his Texas license plate had been removed and he doesn’t have a plate at all on his car.
- Crabtree also took his Texas Tech cap and put it in Reggie Smith’s locker. Texas Tech (Crabtree’s school) upset Oklahoma (Smith’s school) over the weekend.
- A few game balls were distributed to players on Tuesday. LB NaVorro Bowman got one from the game against the Eagles. LT Joe Staley and LG Mike Iupati both got balls from the game against Tampa Bay.
Ricky Jean Francois outside of the NFL
NT Ricky Jean Francois is one of the best people in the locker room to talk to. He elaborates on a lot of things on the 49ers as well as things outside the team. He had a few tidbits from today that are worth noting.
- He said that he gives a 5.5 out of 10 to Nike for their uniform design this past weekend on LSU’s uniform. Jean Francois loves his alma mater and said that the uniforms could have been better if they added gold to the helmet.
- As a big fan of the SEC, Jean Francois said that if Stanford QB Andrew Luck faced an SEC team, his draft stock would drop.
“If he was in the SEC, his draft stock would fall,” Jean Francois said. “He wouldn’t be the top player taken in the draft. I can say that hands down. Andrew Luck is a good quarterback, but playing SEC schools might not work out for him too much.”
Luck is predicted to be the first player taken in the draft but Jean Francois said that SEC football could be too tough for him. He cited Brady Quinn’s struggle against Jean Francois’ LSU team in the 2007 Sugar Bowl. Jean Francois joked that Jim Harbaugh wouldn’t talk to him if he brought the topic of Luck up to him — but if somehow LSU faces Stanford in a bowl game and wins, Jean Francois has a shirt for the coach to wear.
- Jean Francois, a former teammate of JaMarcus Russell at LSU, said that change isn’t hard for any young athlete. Russell has been in the news recently. The former teammate said that sometimes, you have to be around the right people. Jean Francois said that when he got into the NFL, he had to separate people from his life that could be a distraction. Even some friend intentionally stepped back knowing that they don’t want to hurt his football career. Jean Francois said that giving up the night life as well as some friends had to be done in order for him to stay on the right track.
- During the bye week, the Bay Area had a couple earthquakes and Jean Francois said that he was glad that he wasn’t around for that. He’s experienced earthquakes before, but said that he prefers hurricanes — at least he can prepare for that.
As I walked into the team heaquarters, I saw MC Hammer and said hi to him. I didn’t get a chance to ask him why he was here but NT Ian Williams revealed it on Twitter.
big shoutout to @MCHammer who came in today and talked to us rookies about some things… Crazy I was able to meet and talk to him #2legit