When Adam Snyder joined the San Francisco 49ers as a third-round draft pick in 2005, the 49ers were coming off a 2-14 season. It was the worst record in the NFL and the 49ers had the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft.
It's a much different situation for Snyder this time around after the versatile offensive lineman signed a two-year deal with the 49ers as a free agent.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pound guard kept close tabs on his friends in San Francisco while they made their run to Super Bowl XLVII. He spent seven seasons with the 49ers before signing a five-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals last offseason. The short time away still allowed him to root for his newfound division rival.
"I had so many friends here and I followed the team very closely," Snyder told 49ers.com after his first day back on the 49ers practice fields. "I kept in contact with some of the guys. 49ers.com, I checked that out a couple of times. I talked to the guys and watched pretty closely what they were doing and was very excited for the year they had."
Snyder was released after just one season with the Cardinals and couldn't be happier to be back with the 49ers.
"It's pretty surreal for me," Snyder admitted. "To be in one place for seven years, leave and then come back is awesome. To be able to have an opportunity to finish what I started when I came here is a great feeling. What we have going on here is hard to beat. You can tell that by the new stadium and the way last season went. There's good things happening here so I am so excited to be back."
While much has changed, some things have also stayed the same. Displaced in a temporary metal locker in the center of the locker room along with the 49ers rookies, Snyder was pleased to see his old No. 68 waiting for him before Tuesday's football school practice.
Snyder was also able to jump right back into the 49ers playbook since the terminology is still the same.
"The verbiage is all the same and the concepts are all the same, maybe a few things here and there," Snyder noted. "Today, I was able to jump right in and pick up where I left off. The more I do it, the better I'll feel and that should be by the time OTAs come."
Snyder's role should also be familiar to him. He will likely serve as a backup for multiple positions. While Snyder originally started out as a tackle with the 49ers, he eventually slid over to guard and earned a starting role after Week 3 of the 2011 season.
In Arizona, Snyder again showed his usefulness, starting 14 games playing guard and center.
"I'll be a swing guy," Snyder said about his role with San Francisco. "I got to play some center last year so I added that to what I can do. Right now, I'm so excited. Those five guys are playing well. I'm not here to mess that up. I'm here to help and contribute and get plugged in wherever I have to. I haven't talked specifics yet, but I can play all five positions."
While changing positions so frequently may be difficult for some players, it's business as usual for Snyder as he enters his ninth NFL season.
"At the point I am in my career now, it's not very difficult," Snyder said. "I feel comfortable at each position. It's more just being able to do it mentally and making sure you're focused on what you're doing at that position. The body movements I've been doing for a long time. It was something that helped me early on and I'm glad I was able to do it."
Snyder's excited to return to the place where it all began for him and says the change comes at a good time. He and his wife Erika already have two boys, Kael and Zane, and are expecting a third child on the way.
"Both my children were born here and we're expecting a third who will be able to be born here in the same hospital as the other two," Snyder said. "It's a perfect situation for me."