Player Feature: Robbie Gould
Named the 49ers representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2018, which recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.
Started The Goulden Touch Foundation in 2011 to help those in need. An avid golfer, he has hosted charity golf events through his foundation. In June of 2017, the Goulden Touch Foundation held two golfing events that benefited the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in addition to the raising of funds in Gould's hometown of Lock Haven, PA.
This season, Gould kicked off the #RG9KicksForKids charity campaign in an effort to raise money for Cal's Angels, a pediatric cancer non-profit who grants wishes for kids. For every field goal he makes this season, Gould is donating $500 dollars with the goal of reaching $50,000 by the of the year.
NFL players had the opportunity to participate in the NFL's annual My Cause, My Cleats campaign during Week 14 of the 2019 season. Gould and his teammates represented their respective causes with custom-designed cleats to raise awareness and funding. Gould represented 49ers Foundation (& 49ers PREP & 49ers EDU), saying, "I play for Bay Area youth to tackle what's possible in the classroom and on the football field."
Off the field, helped create Eventlify, which is aimed to change the way golf events are managed. Also hosts a podcast series titled "Kickin' It With Robbie," which features guests from all different realms of sports and entertainment.
Holds the 49ers franchise record for most consecutive FGM with 33 from 10/29/17 to 10/7/18. Started a new streak on 10/15/18 through 9/8/19 of 25 consecutive FGM.
Read more about Robbie Gould by clicking his bio below.
Coach's Corner: Johnny Holland
This month's "Coach's Corner" is an interview with 49ers Run Game Specialist/Outside Linebackers Coach, Johnny Holland.
How does vision and recognition play a role as a linebacker?
I think vision is really the number one key to playing linebacker or really any position. You have to actually know what you're looking at in order for you to know what to do. We teach linebackers that something is going to tell you where you need to move, where you need to go, what you need to do. Vision is your key to get you going in the right direction.
What is your relationship like with DeMeco Ryans? How do you both complement each other when coaching the linebackers?
We have a unique relationship that goes way back. I was in Houston when we drafted him in 2006. He's one of those rare players that you draft that you feel a bond and relationship with. He's like a brother to me. We think alike, our morals are similar, we see things in a similar way in and out of football. I think one thing that DeMeco brings to our group of guys is that he's a really good teacher. He's a guy that's played the game, he's been in their shoes and players can relate to him. I think we both bring more than just being a football coach to the group. We bring life experience, experience playing in the NFL, what goes on outside of the game and we know what these guys go through as a player to get themselves focused on being able to play this game. We have a good bond.
DeMeco is a very quick learner. Once you tell him something he'll never forget it. He still remembers things I said in meeting rooms from 2006. He's an outstanding linebacker coach. He's one of the top in the league and to see him grow as a coach has been outstanding. I feel privileged to have someone like him to coach these guys.
What makes a linebacker stand out? What separates the good linebackers from the great ones?
We always say that great linebackers make great plays. I think what separates those guys is that no matter where you start out, how dedicated they are to putting in the time and the work to be the best is crucial. I'm not saying that everyone is going to be a Hall of Fame player, but can you make yourself better every day. If you can do that, then the sky's the limit.
It's also important that guys are not only dedicated to making themselves a better player every day, but also are able to accept coaching. That's what I see from our group of guys. They love learning, they love to get better and they work hard to get better. I just see improvement every day from our guys just wanting to get better.
When did you get a sense that Fred Warner would turn into the type of player/leader that he's turned into?
I probably knew it since day one. Fred came in very mature as a young player. Fred is a guy that pays attention to details in everything he does and he works on it every day. Whether it's in walk throughs, the meeting room or training room, he's always focusing on the details. I think that it's no surprise that he was doing that from day one. You see how he is three years later and what he's turning into. He's eager to learn and continues to have an open mind for learning football – that's what has made him so successful.
How do you personally like to motivate your players?
I think players really follow the coach's energy. I'm not a big speech guy, but I think if the coach has energy and a positive attitude every day and he can be uplifting every day, the players follow. I love talking to players about what motivates them, but I can guarantee you when a game starts and that ball is snapped, they probably don't remember what you said for motivation. I do think they remember the energy that you bring to practice, the meeting rooms and in your everyday life. They see it and they can feed off of it. We always try and keep our meeting rooms lively. I see the energy that DeMeco brings to meetings and how the players react to that, it makes them want to get involved. To me, that's motivation for the players.
What have you seen from your LB group overall that has helped them elevate their games this year?
Every day they come in the meeting room and step on the field they're willing to sacrifice and put in the work. They put in work every single day. I've seen them grow tremendously even this year just from paying attention to all the little details. I think everything they're doing on the practice field has carried over to the games. It's not luck that Fred got that interception against New England. Those are balls that he's worked on in practice. He's making that play during the week so when it comes to the game he's able to do it there because he's worked on it. The overall preparation that those guys have make them game ready. They're always ready to play games and they play how they practice. They practice with energy and they play with energy and it shows on Sunday.
How have Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair grown into their roles in year two in the defense?
They have both matured a lot from year one to year two. For Azeez, he was just getting healthy and getting used to his knee and the new system and Dre as well. Now in year two, they both have taken a huge jump. They know the system and now they can dig into the depth of learning and advancing their game with the minor details. They both have a great understanding of the game so you can see a little more physical play out there. They're running faster because they aren't having to think as much about the play this year as they were last year. To me, they both have progressed in their second year like you would expect them to do, but they're still working hard every day to get better.
To read more about Coach Holland, click the bio below.
WON of Us: Dawn
Dawn Rabonza, a U.S. Army Vet whose 49ers fandom inspired her to continue through 31 years of service.
I became a 49ers fan back in 1960. My father grew up in Chinatown of San Francisco and when he moved to southern California he brought his affinity for the team with him. After several years he would become a Rams fan, wanting to root for a home team, but I had already made up my mind to be a part of The Faithful. My earliest memories of football would be my dad inviting all of the neighborhood kids over to watch the games and I was always the only girl and Niners fan – I hold those memories very near and dear.
What do you love about WON?
It reminds of being in the army, the camaraderie is unique and special. Since my time in the military has ended, I have been looking for that sense of togetherness! I love that WON is a place where women who are Niners fans can come together and bond over a common interest. I'm most excited to get together after this quarantine and see everyone again at events.
Was there one inspirational moment in team history that confirmed your 49ers fandom?
My favorite moments of course were watching the team win each Super Bowl, while we didn't complete the job in 2012, it was truly one of my favorites, just the way we played the game. Of course, when the team made league history by hiring Katie Sowers, it was one of the most inspiring moments that I've witnessed as a fan to see the team push the needle.
Get to know WON member Dawn.
What 49ers tradition or superstition do you/your family have?
Just like most fans, I can only eat or drink during the commercial breaks because I can't miss any of the action. I do have a lucky cup that was a gift that I now use every gameday. If I decide not to wear my Jerry Rice or Joe Montana jerseys, I do have to run upstairs and at least acknowledge each for good luck.
What impact has the 49ers had on your life?
This team has carried me through 31 years in the army. Whenever I have ever felt down and had the opportunity to watch a game, it would rekindle the light in my life and push me through. This team is so special, it was introduced to me by my father and it has always been something to look forward to whenever I could come home.
49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank annually invites varsity high school football captains to participate in its Mentorship Academy. This is a three-step program that is designed to provide high school football players with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to succeed and be leaders on and off the field. Mentorship Academy is traditionally held at Levi's® Stadium but to abide by COVID-19 precautions and to ensure this opportunity to young student-athletes, it was transformed into an online program.
On Tuesday, October 6th, 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank hosted its Virtual Mentorship Academy consisting of 10 high schools and a total of 57 high school football captains from across Northern California. The digital program began with a live Zoom presentation from Dr. Herb Martin focusing on stress management and leadership development. After the Zoom presentation, the participants were placed into breakout rooms where 49ers rookies Javon Kinlaw, Charlie Woerner, Jared Mayden, Coltin Mckivitz, Darrion Daniels, JaMycal Hasty, and Josh Hokit surprised the high school captains and talked to students about their experiences with leadership and accountability. With the support of the 49ers, the next step for these high school football captains is to be mentors themselves within their community. Over the next few months, each participant will report back to the 49ers PREP team how they successfully executed being mentors themselves, completing the Mentorship Academy.
We understand that having positive mentors is critical in a young person's development. We hope that through guided leadership from like-minded athletes in their community, the 49ers Mentorship Academy will help build character through accountability.
This Month in 49ers History
November 22, 1993
Safety Merton Hanks started a 42-point scoring spree against the New Orleans Saints with a pick-six at Candlestick Park on Monday Night Football. Hanks returned the interception 67 yards and the 49ers ran off 42 unanswered points to post a 42-7 victory. Hanks was selected out of Iowa in the fifth round of the 1991 draft. In his eight seasons with San Francisco, from 1991-1998, he intercepted 31 passes and was selected to four Pro Bowls.