The staff at 49ers.com spoke with several players this week about their favorite aspects of Thanksgiving. Here’s what they had to say.
TE Delanie Walker says:
“The best part is family getting together, telling old stories about when you were kids. I remember playing in a Turkey Bowl. It wasn’t with the family, but it would be the kids in my neighborhood against another neighborhood. We’d go to an elementary school, meet up and get a big football game going on. This year, my girl is going to do the cooking. Most likely, I’m going to chill. The coaches are giving us most the day off so I’m going to get off my feet. I don’t know if we’re going to have turkey this year, we might do some catfish just to do something different.”
Tags: Ahmad Brooks, Dashon Goldson, Delanie Walker, Moran Norris, Tony Wragge, Troy Smith
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Starting on Monday of next week, the 49ers will begin their organized team activities at team headquarters with a two-day session. The other 12 pad-less offseason practices are likely to occur after the NFL Draft in late April.
Last year, the 49ers first OTA session included a rigorous conditioning circuit that left the players better prepared for how head coach Mike Singletary likes to run his offseason practices.
In year two, players who have been working out at the facility feel like they’re ready for what’s to come this time around.
“Being here helps out a whole lot, you’re able to bond with the guys and get to work with them early,” fullback Moran Norris said. “We have OTAs Monday, so these last two weeks have been good for familiarizing myself with the new guys. And when the other guys come in on Monday, it’ll be like we have a big ol’ family.”
Last year’s rookies who were introduced to a similar circuit training session for their first NFL minicamp are also benefitting from their time at the team’s offseason conditioning program.
“It’s different than the type of training I did in college,” second-year linebacker Scot McKillop said. “I definitely like it. It’s more position-specific for the player.”
After each player underwent performance testing in the opening days of this year’s offseason program, the 49ers strength staff have since implemented designed workouts to help each individual.
“I’ve been here two weeks and we have a great turnout of players. This isn’t mandatory, but a lot of us are here,” McKillop added. “I know we’re all excited about the upcoming season.”
But are they ready for a possible round of circuit conditioning?
“I don’t know if we’ll do that again,” McKillop said. “But regardless of what we do, we’ll be prepared.”
Essential in getting the most out of the Monday-Friday offseason workouts at 49ers headquarters, is compiling the perfect playlist for the weight room.
Most teammates would agree that the right song can get the entire room amped up for whatever lifting they’re doing at the time. The only problem is getting the players to agree on the soundtrack.
Currently, Norris resides as the main offseason DJ when the skill players are lifting. But he’s willing to take input from teammates on new songs to add.
Norris recently unveiled his latest creation for the second week of the team’s offseason condition program.
“I just put on songs that I knew guys would get up to and get the weight room going,” the 10-year veteran said earlier in the week. “Our strength and conditioning staff does such a great job with everything; I just try to help our (lift) numbers get up.”
Norris’ selections included up-tempo music which helped the other skill players focus on the tasks at hand.
“Sometimes you get an extra push from the music. It makes things a little more entertaining down there, just without the distraction,” McKillop said.
When offensive linemen are the ones stationed in the weight room, center Eric Heitmann takes over the music choices.
“He’ll play whatever rock station that day and we’ll go with it,” tackle Alex Boone said, who prefers the heavy metal sounds of Pantera when he’s lifting.
No need to worry, there will be plenty of time for song selections as offseason workouts have just begun.
Tags: Alex Boone, Eric Heitmann, Moran Norris, Scot McKillop
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