Player Feature: Daniel Brunskill
As a member of the Alliance of American Football's (AAF) San Diego Fleet in 2019, Brunskill was coached by former NFL head coach, Mike Martz.
After finishing his high school playing days as an offensive lineman, Brunskill walked on at San Diego State where he began his career as a tight end. It wasn't until an injury before his senior season that he made the switch back to offensive line for the Aztecs and went on to start all 14 games at right tackle.
NFL players had the opportunity to participate in the NFL's annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign during Week 14 of the 2019 season. Brunskill and his teammates represented their respective causes with custom-designed cleats to raise awareness and funding. Brunskill chose the Melanoma Research Foundation and Vietnam Veterans of America, saying, "I play for my cousins battling melanoma, and for Vietnam veterans like my uncle."
Read more about Daniel Brunskill by clicking his bio below.
Coach's Corner: Jon Embree
This month's "Coach's Corner" is the second of a two-part interview from 49ers Tight End/Assistant Head Coach, Jon Embree.
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.
To read more about Coach Embree, click his bio below.
WON of Us: Julie
Julie Schmitz, originally a Chicago native, became a die-hard 49ers fan after moving to the Bay Area.
I moved to California from Chicago in 1983 for work which set the wheels in motion. I had grown up in a family of very passionate Bears fans. After adapting to the Bay Area and realizing that this was going to be my new hometown, I started looking at the hometown sports teams to feel more a part of the community. Much to the disagreement of my family, I switched allegiances. Of course, it helped that by that time it was 1984, which was a special year for the 49ers. 1988 NFC Championship was difficult for our family (spoiler alert, the 49ers upset the Bears at Soldier Field) but we remain very close and they all came with me to Levi's® Stadium for the 2014 home opener against the Bears.
What do you love about WON?
I love the passion for football that the women bring. The support in the group is amazing. There is extreme support behind the team but we also bring support for women in general. It can be hard to find groups of people who are as passionate about things as you are and especially when talking about women and sports. This group is so much more than a social group themed for football. We know all of the plays, players, and what does and doesn't work on the field too. Many of us now meet before and after games or WON events to talk about the latest news about the team.
Get to know WON member Julie.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
I'd have to say the Divisional Round game against the Saints in 2012. We had end zone seats, 25 rows up from the field. It was the most intense game I have and to this day have ever seen. First, the Alex Smith rushing touchdown was right in front of us, but then minutes later to witness the Vernon Post for the game-winner was incredible. Candlestick Park was always a stadium with great energy but that celebration was next level. I still have the rally towel from that game hanging in my house to this day.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
Before the season I decide on one jersey that I'm going to wear for the entire year. Regardless of how the season plays out, I will not change jerseys. If the team wins in Week 1, I'll wear the entire outfit again until the team loses. If there is a loss, I still keep the jersey but I'll mix up the rest of the outfit to get the energy right for the players. Each gameday I am always dressed head to toe in red and gold. My only other tradition is to make sure that I am in my seat before player introductions. It's the only way to make sure that you don't miss any of the action.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
It's always great to have a team that is easy to support on the field, but it's even better when it's a team you like off the field. The current roster is made up of such good guys. So many of them have their own foundations or are constantly supporting the community. I've been fortunate to meet several of them through events held by the 49ers Foundation and the Ladies of the Empire group. All of the players I've chatted with are really good people. When an organization like the 49ers is giving back as often as they are, it makes it even easier to root for the team and all of the people working there.
Sports, specifically the 49ers have been a great distraction from the pressure of everyday life. It's truly had a great impact on my life and I love learning about the personalities and the actual plays on the field. It is very inspiring for me.
On Monday, April 13th, in partnership with Peet's Coffee, the 49ers made donations to frontline medical workers in Silicon Valley. Assemblyman Evan Low and 49ers Team President, Al Guido worked with the Valley Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center to personally thank and hand out coffee to medical staff. In total, the donation reached nearly 7,000 items for essential workers.
This Month in 49ers History
A look at marquee moments throughout the team's rich history pulled from the 49ers Archives.
May 3, 1979
In his first NFL draft as 49ers head coach, Bill Walsh was without a first-round pick. He chose UCLA speedster James Owens in the second round and Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana in round three. In a twist of fate, Owens' pre-draft workout led the 49ers to Montana. Quarterbacks coach Sam Wyche arranged a workout at UCLA for Owens then received word that Montana was in Los Angeles. Wyche contacted Montana and asked him to swing by UCLA and throw passes to Owens. Impressed by Montana's agility and accuracy Wyche persuaded Walsh to put Montana through another throwing session. Walsh selected the future Hall of Famer with the 82nd pick in the draft.