Each year when training camp rolls around, 49ers.com presents a new veteran training camp diary with a different tenured member of the team. This year, starting left guard
I made sure I got my rest and slept in a little bit before I checked into the team hotel Thursday mid-day with the rest of the vets. I hung out with my wife and my little boy a lot before I reported for camp. Basically, it’s one of those things where you make sure to enjoy their company before you’re away from them.
I just started thinking about camp the other day. For me, I think I’ll start to enjoy everything a lot more once we get the schedule of what’s going to happen at camp. After I checked in, I took my physical. Then I went back home to see my family again, because we had a few hours before our first meeting. I used that time to say my goodbyes for the next month.
I don’t know what it’s going to be like this year, honestly. It’s very interesting because in years past we’ve had some nights off to see our families. Coach Singletary, he’s a family guy, so I’m wondering if that will be in the plans again this year. That’s why I’d like to see the schedule. It’s good mentally for the players. If we’re going through double-padded practices every day – one night off can do a lot of good.
Personally for me, just to go home and get to see my almost 7-month-old boy bounce in his bouncy seat would be great. That’s something that can almost give you a morale boost. A lot of times in camp you’re feeling sorry for yourself. But then you see your family and you’re like, this is why I’m doing it.
It’s kind of like it gives you that little boost that you need. So when you come back to practice, you’re almost refreshed. And it’s only for a few hours, which is crazy because when you think about all the time we just had off, the five weeks or whatever it was, you take that for granted when you come to camp.
At camp, an hour with the family is like spending five weeks with them in the offseason.
Becoming a dad did change my life. For example, I’ve never had so much stuff to check in and to get through security in an airport. It’s crazy! You’re sitting there in line and you’re sweating from carrying all of those bags, strollers, and car seats. But it’s all worth it!
My boy’s name is Bryson. My wife Liz and I are really fortunate to have him and it’s really changed a lot of our perspectives on things. As a parent, you’re scrambling for a night off, trying to find a babysitter. But you can only get those, like once a month. That’s crazy because before we were so free.
So it’s really like being in two training camps. But Bryson’s camp is a lot easier, not as physically and mentally demanding sometimes. It’s great being a dad and I love that aspect of my life.
The football part is just starting up again and I’m excited for this year and I think a lot of people are too. I really think we’re going to have a good year. Training camp’s going to be hard from what I’ve heard. I mean, no training camp’s easy. It’s going to be a brutal one and hopefully I stay injury-free, knock on wood!
Hopefully we can all be injury free and get through this and be a very strong team going into the season. I think we can do really well and of course, you look at any other team, when you do well a lot of things happen. Whether it’s gaining a few fans out in the community, or having someone recognize you when you go out to eat, it definitely feels nice.
It’s simple stuff that you miss when you don’t do as well. Man, that is a cool feeling. I had that feeling in college and I want that back. I think a lot of us are motivated to get that feeling back and get some recognition in the Bay Area. And I really feel like we can do it this year. I am excited, even though we might have 20 padded practices in a row. I’m curious too, because with Singletary, it’s different. He’s a different coach than what we’ve had.
We all have big goals for this season and we’ve put in a lot of work this offseason to feel excited about what lies ahead. Sometimes in the offseason all the work gets tiring, but that’s what it takes. Jimmy Raye’s system is a good system for us. All the fans are say it’s going to be, ‘Run the ball! Run the ball!’ We can do that, but we’ve got to be able to pass it too.
Whatever he calls I think it’s going to be exciting for us. Of course, with Chris Foerster being our new O-line coach for a full season for the first time – I’m excited. He is like one of my old coaches in college, Andy Moeller. I really adapted well with him and performed well. I feel like that’s kind of the same path with Chris and the way he teaches things. I’m excited because I know he’ll take care of us. But also, you’re going to work hard for him because you don’t want to let him down. I really think the pieces of the puzzle are there for me, for my position. But, now it’s a matter of everybody having that same feeling.
I think we do have a big, strong offensive line. We’re not as quick as some teams since obviously I don’t weigh 290 pounds. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t chase you down. We still have athletic guys who people underestimate. That’s fine if they want to do that. That will help us out more. I think that we’re smash mouth and we enjoy playing down hill. “We’re coming at you” style of football is what suits me, along with the other guys on our O-line. I think that’s what Singletary’s looking for. I have a feeling that’s going to be a big part of our formula. But we’ve got to keep everybody healthy, so we can do it every week.
Right now, I’m sitting in my hotel room at training camp and this is room number five for this hotel.
Every year I’ve been on the other side of the hotel by the cars, so I’m actually excited about being by the courtyard. It might be a little quieter. I know guys like
With this being my first entry in my training camp diary, the one thing I’m going to try and do is keep it exciting. Our fans have to realize what we do in camp is pretty repetitive, because that’s how you get better at it. We keep practicing and practicing. I’m going to try and keep it as exciting as I can in terms of what’s going on in training camp and what’s going on with me.
You might think a lot of the time it’s going to be, “Well, practice was the same as yesterday. I’m tired!”
But I’ll try and keep it entertaining for you guys. You’ll get to know me a little bit more and how everything is going for me through training camp.
Thanks for reading my first entry. I’ll have the next one for you guys after we’ve had some time on the practice field.