The road Steve Mariucci used to take to work every day doesn’t exist anymore. Centennial Blvd. has since been leveled out as the foundation is being laid for the new Santa Clara Stadium, within a stone’s throw of 49ers headquarters.
The former 49ers coach and current NFL Network analyst visited the veteran minicamp session on Tuesday, but he got a bit turned around as he tried to figure out the detour to his old workplace.
“It’s a whole new deal,” Mariucci said. “Just driving in here was an experience – I got lost over there by the soccer fields.”
Mariucci, who coached in San Francisco from 1997-2002, said he was impressed with the facilities and prospect of a new stadium being built next door. The players flying around in the red and white jerseys caught his eye, too.
“All that aside, I was impressed with the team,” Mariucci said. “It’s a veteran team that looks like they know what they’re doing this early in the offseason. I know they’ve been working a little bit with OTAs, but they’re further ahead than most teams, believe me, with the things they’ve installed and taught. There’s some carry over from last year and it’s a good football team.”
Mariucci watched the entire practice session on Tuesday before chatting with Harbaugh and walking into the 49ers locker room. But the NFL Network analyst was back at his day job by Wednesday, as he prepared to be in studio for the unveiling of players No. 21-30 on the NFL Top 100 Players list of 2012.
The 49ers still have three players remaining on the list, while tying for the league lead with seven total players in the Top 100.
“Jim has been able to get the most out of his players and the talent,” Mariucci said. “Some of those guys has been around here and they’re just on the verge of doing some good things. Jim made it come together. There’s a good confidence level here and I like the chemistry with this team.”
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