About 49ers PREP
As a direct program of the 49ers Foundation, 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank provides youth from ages 7-18 with the opportunity to experience football through a multitude of diverse programs aimed at creating young, healthy leaders on and off the field. With grassroots efforts that include hosting the annual Levi's® Stadium High School Football Series, free youth flag football programs, and free youth football camps, 49ers PREP has increased participation steadily year over year across all programs in all nine Bay Area counties and beyond. While promoting a more enjoyable, safer game for boys and girls, 49ers PREP directly impacted more than 130,000 participants since 2014 and hosted 147 events in partnership with the NFL's "Play 60" initiative in 2019, which encourages children to get outside and play for 60 minutes each day.
In the Community: Special Olympics of Northern California and Nevada
49ers PREP Presented by U.S. Bank and Special Olympics of Northern California and Nevada teamed up for an hour-long live online workout for over 200 athletes, along with their family and friends. Special guests included 49ers OL Daniel Brunskill and Sourdough Sam.
Coach's Corner: Jon Embree
Having another big year for the TE position with the 49ers, what is it about this offensive scheme that makes TEs so successful?
I think the success of the scheme is being able to do play-action passing and run the football. To do that, your tight ends have to have a certain skill set that complements what we're trying to do. Obviously in the run game, George Kittle does a good job. When you get a tight end that blocks and you have a coach like Kyle Shanahan that wants us to play-action pass, the opposing team doesn't know if Kittle's coming to block them or if he's going to run a route. If they aren't good with their eyes they find out the hard way that it's probably the opposite of what they thought and that lends itself to big plays.
George Kittle is described by many as the best TE in the league. Where do you see improvements that he can make to stay on top of his game?
He can be a lot better as a route runner which is something that we'll continue to work on. There are some things in the run game, just having looked at the season, that he can be more consistent with. And then I think he can be a lot better as a pass protector. Those are some of the main things we'll be focusing on and trying to get better at.
Can you talk about the importance of blocking by the TE position in the Shanahan offense?
It's not just in this offense, but any tight end I've had, if you don't block, you can't play for me. That's just how it is. Having played tight end myself, a lot of run blocking is a mindset and if you have the right mindset then the technique and all the stuff that you need to take your game to the next level, so to speak, will be a lot easier to do. In this scheme with Kyle, it all ties together.
Can you describe what your role as Assistant Head Coach is for the team?
My role varies. Sometimes it's helping out with scheduling, other times it's bouncing things off of Kyle or trying to be a buffer on things that would take him away from doing what he needs to do as far as game planning. It is a catch-all.
Do you and your players take pride in helping the offensive line/offense become the second-ranked rushing offense in the NFL and having the most rushing TDs in the League?
It's cool, but I think if you ask any of the coaches, we want to be Super Bowl champions. That's what I want to be a part of. The numbers are great and we did have a lot of success, but I think we're just scratching the surface of what we're capable of being and what we will be. That's the most exciting thing as a coach and for our fans. Hopefully, next year you ask me what it feels like to be a Super Bowl champion.
Having been with TE George Kittle since he entered the NFL in 2017, what did you see in him early on that made you believe he could become the player he is today?
His passion. I knew he loved football. I knew that he wanted to be coached and was willing to be coached. Those were the two key things for me. Then there were things he did in Iowa, playing in the pro-style offense, but ultimately we just felt like he could be a real good player for us.
What do you remember about Kittle when you were getting ready for the 2017 NFL Draft?
I remember we thought he was one of the very few guys that could come in and make an impact for us. We knew we had to draft one and we didn't as early as I would have liked, but we had so many other needs. As coaches, and I'm probably the biggest at it, we get selfish and greedy because we want our guy when we want them. But it worked out great that he was there in the fifth round.
49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank Video Coaching Series
Each week 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank brings people together from across the football landscape to talk about their experiences. Guests have included former 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone and senior manager of football operations at USA Football and general manager of the United States National Team, Aaron Ingram.
From travel logistics to injury prevention and recovery, 49ers team dietitian Jordan Mazur is breaking down the A-Z's of player health and performance through nutrition.
Monthly Workout Tip
The 49ers PREP team presented by U.S. Bank is dedicated to providing drills and activities for youth to stay active at home. 49ers PREP Coordinator, Ryan Dillard shows us how to strengthen our upper body by focusing on areas such as your shoulders, triceps, core, and chest muscles.