After returning to team headquarters following a five-day break over the bye week, the 49ers weren’t experiencing a typical case of the Mondays.
The 2-6 squad came into work eager to get in an extra practice and put all their focus towards Sunday’s opponent at Candlestick Park, the 4-4 St. Louis Rams.
The 49ers are looking for their third consecutive home victory (the last took place in London) and will need the come-from-behind overseas win to carry over positively this week.
While several players headed home for the week, there were others who stayed nearby. For example, quarterback Alex Smith spent most of the week rehabbing his injured non-throwing shoulder. Smith began lifting weights on Monday, but said he refrained from overhead lifting.
“I’m continuing to wrap-up the rehab but I’m still not cleared for right now,” Smith said during the team’s afternoon media availability. “I’m trying to get better every day – that’s my main concern.”
Neither Alex Smith or Troy Smith had heard a definitive word as to who will start against St. Louis. Both said they’re preparing as if they’re starting. Alex didn’t participate in Monday’s practice leaving all the reps to Troy and said he hopes to test out his arm later in the week, noting that his arm continues to get better each day.
Conversely, Troy spent his bye week back home in Cleveland with his family. In addition to going over the 49ers playbook, he spent time watching the NFL games on Sunday and wasn’t at all surprised to see upsets across the league.
“It lets you know there’s good football everywhere,” Smith noted. “Teams are playing well, that has no bearing on us. We have to go out and execute as a team. It’s good to see everybody playing well, but we have to play well too.”
The 49ers will have to make a decision at some point as to who will start in Sunday’s important divisional contest. But as Troy pointed out, all the quarterbacks prepare the same every week – no matter the circumstance.
“Continuing to get better and learn the offense that’s pretty much my life right now,” he said.
Say ‘Bye’ to the Routine
Eight weeks into an NFL season, players tend to get into a routine. Meetings and film review on Mondays. Players’ day off on Tuesdays. Practices and meetings the rest of the week, then traveling plans are made based on opponent.
But the players said goodbye to routines last week and enjoyed a change to the norm.
“I guess the bye week is weird for your first year, but after awhile you get used to it,” fourth-year cornerback Tarell Brown said. “You get into a routine here at the facility, and so it feels good to get away.”
Brown’s defensive back mate Nate Clements agreed.
“I’m used to it now. I relaxed, tried to get myself back healthy and watched some football games and the Zenyatta race. I just chilled and stayed around here.”
While a bye week is always appreciated by the players, the timing of this year’s break was exactly what the team needed.
“We have a few guys nicked up and its perfect timing for guys to heal up from injuries, get away, relax and then get back into it,” Clements said. “It’s all downhill from now.”
The 49ers rookies especially enjoyed their first week-long break in an NFL season.
Third-round linebacker NaVorro Bowman visited with his son in Washington D.C., while first-round tackle Anthony Davis spent time with his family in Piscataway, NJ.
Both said they’re refreshed and ready for the next eight-week stretch of football.
“I think now that we’ve played the first part of the season, these next eight weeks are do or die,” Bowman said. “You either want it or you don’t and I think the whole team is approaching it like that.”
“Being in my hometown and seeing all the support, it helps get you going,” Davis said.
Tags: Alex Smith, Anthony Davis, Nate Clements, Navorro Bowman, Tarell Brown, Troy Smith
Posted in Announcements | 87 Comments »